d) Program trends
245. To give guidance to the Director-General in framing his 1958-59 program of work in forestry, the Conference discussed a number of important problems in world forestry, and drew attention to some of the major tasks which confronted Member Governments and to ways in which the Organization could help in arriving at solutions.
246. The Conference discussed the relation between world forest resources and prospective wood requirements, and drew the attention of Member Governments to the following conclusions:
(i) An expanding world economy and the rapid increase in populations promised substantially to raise industrial wood needs; this increase would be most pronounced in the less developed areas of the world.
(ii) Technical changes taking place in the wood-using industries, as well as changes in consumer needs, had changed, and would continue to change, the pattern of industrial wood requirements For example, the need for pulpwood would grow more rapidly than requirements of other major categories.
(iii) The changing needs of industry implied changed requirements from the forests. But adjustments in forest policy could take effect only slowly; once initiated, they could not easily be reversed. Moreover the forester, besides raising forest output and adapting it to the changing needs of industry, had to bear in mind the forest's productive capacity over the long term and to pay due regard to the protective functions of the forest.
(iv) For the formulation of forest policies, whether at the national, regional or world level, an understanding of the implications of technical and economic trends in wood use was no less important than the assessment of the extent and nature of existing forest resources.
247. The Conference therefore urged member countries to devote increasing attention to the quantitative and qualitative appraisal of current and prospective wood resources and requirements. It requested the Director-General to continue his efforts to assess, region by region, present and future demand and supply for wood, in order to provide member countries with the elements necessary for formulating national forest policies and also their import or export policies, thus facilitating, where appropriate, the elaboration of regional production and trade policies.
248. Finally, the Conference suggested that the topic of world wood resources and requirements should be a major theme for the Fifth World Forestry Congress which, it was hoped, would be attended by the chiefs of the forest services of all the countries of the world.
249. The Conference noted that economic progress in the less developed areas of the world, as well as the expected increase in wood requirements in all regions, now rendered necessary more concentrated attention on the problems of tropical forestry. Hitherto, the harvesting of the heterogeneous tropical forests had been difficult, selective and wasteful, but in recent years technical advances which had broadened the raw material basis of the wood-using industries offered new hope of more complete utilization.
250. However, many problems, mainly of an economic nature, remained to be solved. The magnitude of these problems tended to divert attention rather to the establishment of manmade forests, sometimes of exotic species, either where the existing tropical forests had been cleared or on quite other areas. But there was no occasion to adjudicate finally between natural forests and plantations in all circumstances. The choice could only be resolved case by case, with a full knowledge of local needs for forest products and the silvicultural and ecological possibilities in each locality. This dilemma called for much more precise data than were presently available concerning the silvicultural, technical and specially economic aspects of exploiting natural tropical forests and of establishing and exploiting plantations.
251. The Conference therefore requested the Director-General, in drawing up his program of wolf; in forestry for 1958, 1959 and subsequent years, to give attention to:
(i) technical studies on the methods for the natural or artificial regeneration and development of the tropical evergreen forest, and the silvicultural systems and management methods to be applied;
(ii) the fostering of technical technological and industrial research and the dissemination of the results, so as to enable as complete a use as possible of the produce of tropical forests of all categories:
(iii) comparative economic studies on the silviculture and utilization of the various types of tropical forest;
(iv) the collection, analysis, and publication of information on all aspects, but especially on the economic aspects, of the establishment of pure or mixed plantations of indigenous and exotic species in the tropics.
252. Finally, the Conference strongly supported the Director-General's proposal to convene a special meeting of experts on the various aspects of tropical forests and the utilization of their products, to consider the problems outlined above, and expressed the hope that it would prove possible to arrange such a consultation at an early date, preferably in 1956.
Productivity in Forest Operations and Industries
253. The Conference endorsed the long-term aim of the Director-General's program in forestry: to ensure the most productive use of forest land, labor and capital. It noted that emphasis in this program had so far been limited to raising efficiency in forest operations and to forest workers' training, through both the Regular and the Expanded Technical Assistance Programs. Believing that it was not less necessary to take parallel measures to increase productivity in forest industries, the Conference:
(i) requested the Director-General to continue his efforts to secure the improvement and where appropriate the mechanization of forest operations, particularly logging;
(ii) urged that this work be extended to all regions, taking due care to ensure that regional efforts were correlated and overlapping studies and activities avoided;
(iii) drew the attention of the Director-General and of Member Governments to the urgent need to promote greater efficiency in the several forest products industries, thus ensuring more rational use of the output of the forest and minimizing waste; and
(iv) emphasized the contribution that could be made to the achievement of this objective by the exchange of technical information, the holding of technical consultations and by fellowships.
Regional Co-ordination of Forest Research Activities
254. The Conference reaffirmed the importance of research in the proper development and use of the world's forest wealth, including research into the possible uses of atomic energy, and stressed the advantages that could accrue to member countries if a proper degree of integration and co-ordination of research activities were assured. It. registered its approval of the tangible progress made in research coordination in those regions where research institutes already in being were very limited in number. This was evidenced by the formation of regional research organizations in the Near East and Latin-American regions, with central institutes in Syria and Venezuela respectively. The Conference agreed that the Director-General should establish research co-ordination committees under the regional forestry commissions in the Near East and Latin America and also in the Asia-Pacific region, as requested by the respective forestry commissions.
255. The Conference also noted with approval the Director-General's intention to bring about such research co-ordination in consultation with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations.
256. The following resolution was adopted by the Conference:
Resolution No. 23/55
Regional Committees on Forest Research
Having noted the requests of the Forestry Commissions for the Asia and Pacific, the Near East, and the Latin-American regions respectively, concerning the organization of regional committees on research;
Approves the formation of such committees to facilitate the desirable stimulation and co-ordination of research on a regional basis;
Requests the Director-General to take such administrative measures as are necessary to establish such committees with appropriate representation by Member Governments, and in this matter to maintain co-operation with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations.
a) Nutrition programs in 1954 and 1955
b) Program for 1956 and 1957
c) Dietary requirements
d) Food consumption and management
e) Food technology
f) Education and training in nutrition
g) Home economics
h) Regional activities
i) Long range program
j) Association with nutrition research workers
257. Nutrition plays an essential part in FAO's program through defining physiological needs and evaluating the contribution which any food can make towards meeting these needs. Modern knowledge of nutrition should be used in assessing food consumption levels and in formulating food production and distribution policies. Since the greater production of foods does not automatically achieve their effective con gumption, education in nutrition is of great importance to the work of FAO and especially to the selective production and consumption of food. The educational process must take account of social, cultural and economic factors. Nutrition and home economics contribute materially to raising the general levels of family living, one of the main objectives of FAO.
258. The Conference considered that this part of FAO's program-covering the nutritional aspects of food policies, dietary requirements, food technology, protein malnutrition, supplementary feeding, education and training in nutrition, home economics and other fields was effective and well-balanced, and integrated both with FAO's program as a whole and with that of other United Nations organizations concerned with various aspects of nutrition in relation to social and economic development.
259. The importance of FAO's work in nutrition and home economics and the success achieved in these fields have been stressed at previous Conferences. The staff responsible for work in nutrition and allied fields is, however, small, and the expenditure devoted to nutrition represents only between 5 and 6 percent of the Organization's total expenditure. The program of work for 1956-57 does not include any new activities, but envisages only, within modest limits, the development of present activities. The Conference requested the Director-General to consider, in preparing the FAO budget for 1958-59, the need for providing for a fuller development of FAO's program in nutrition and home economics.
a) Nutrition programs in 1954 and 1955
260. The Conference, in reviewing FAO's work in nutrition and allied fields in 1954 and 1955, noted that there had been increased co-operation with certain United Nations and regional governmental organizations. Associations with WHO had been strengthened, and both organizations continued to benefit from the guidance of the joint FAO/WHO Experts Committee on Nutrition, which held its Fourth Session in 1954. This Committee fulfils the double purpose of giving technical advice to FAO and WHO and of coordinating their nutrition work. The expanding nutrition program of UNICEF called for closer FAO/UNlCEF co-operation; FAO has the responsibility for providing technical guidance to UNICEF in this field. Co-operation with the United Nations Bureau of Social Affairs also increased, with special reference to subjects having social implications such as home economics and the definition and measurement of standards of living. Other joint activities included collaboration with UNESCO in fundamental education projects, and with the Caribbean Commission in home economics work in the Caribbean area
261. The appraisal of national and world food consumption and supplies from the nutritional standpoint was continued, and also interdivisional collaboration in work on the selective expansion of agriculture and surplus disposal. The latter is linked with supplementary feeding, and effective means of using certain surplus foods to advantage.
262. An important part of FAO's nutrition activities is to define the levels of nutrition needed for health, in order to provide a sound basis for FAO's work as a whole. Further attention was given in 1954-55 to dietary requirements. An expert committee on protein requirements met in Rome in October 1955 (see paragraph 266 below). Preparations were made during 1955 for a meeting of a committee on calorie requirements to he held in 1956 to revise and complete the report of an FAO expert committee on the same subject published in 1950. The second committee will take account of the recommendations of the joint FAO-WHO Expert Committee on Nutrition (Fourth Session).
263. Work continued on protein malnutrition, a problem of great extent and importance. Much of FAO's activity in the field of food technology was devoted to the study and development of processed foods which can help to satisfy the protein needs of children and expectant and nursing mothers. Food technology was also applied to other problems, such as baking, milling and canning. A joint FAO/WHO program on food additives was initiated.
264. FAO's work on supplementary feeding, education and training in nutrition, and home economics, continued to expand in 1954 and 1955. The growing interest of FAO Member Governments in home economics was reflected in a larged number of home economics ETAP projects.
b) Program for 1956 and 1957
265. While this program will be essentially a further development and expansion of work now in progress in different fields, emphasis will be placed on dietary requirements, food consumption and management, food technology, food additives, improving the diet of children and mothers, education and training in nutrition, home economics, and regional activities.
c) Dietary requirements
266. The Conference noted that the Report of the Committee on Protein Requirements would be issued during 1956. This Committee adopted milk protein as the reference protein and expressed the requirements of different age groups in terms of milk protein. Methods of establishing "safe practical allowances " which take account of differences in the nutritive value of proteins and the various factors influencing protein metabolism and requirements, were defined. Knowledge of amino acid requirements and the amino acid content of foods has made it possible to estimate the quantities of foods necessary to cover protein requirements and to indicate in terms of appropriate amino acids patterns, methods of supplementing protein deficient diets. This knowledge can also be applied in establishing requirements for the " reference protein " and " safe practical allowances. " Examples showing how the new methods of assessing requirements can be applied in practice will be included in the Committee's report.
267. The proposed revision of the Report on Calorie Requirements in 1956 will facilitate the task of appraising food consumption and defining nutritional targets.
d) Food consumption and management
268. The preparation of country food balance-sheets will continue to be an important part of FAO's work in the fields of economics and nutrition, since food balance-sheets data, supplemented by available information from dietary surveys, form the basis for periodic world food appraisals and the establishment of food supply targets. Collaboration between FAO nutrition specialists and economists will continue in this and allied fields of work, including the selective expansion of production and consumption. The Conference re-emphasized the need for food consumption surveys which throw light on variations within countries and extend the picture of national average consumption provided by food balance-sheets. Special studies of this nature will be required for such purposes as the study of the possible relationship between diet and degenerative diseases to be undertaken by WHO in association with FAO. The Conference felt that the proposed increase in staff would be justified because of the in creasing work in the field of food consumption and management, not only for the various activities mentioned above and elsewhere, but also for the study of the increasing food requirements of the world's population in connection with the appraisal of the world's food and agricultural resources in relation- to needs.
e) Food technology
269. FAO's work in this field in 1956-57 will be concerned both with the application of food technology to food supplies in general and to the more limited but most important problem of providing children and mothers with suitable protein-rich foods. Assistance in the former will be provided on an increasing scale to member countries through ETAP. With respect to the latter, attention will be given to developing the use of fish flour and suitably processed oil-cake flours in maternal and child feeding.
270. A program concerned with the testing of such foods, to ensure their safety and acceptability will be carried out in association with WHO and UNICEF.
271. New developments in the manufacture of leaf proteins and proteins from algae will be closely followed, as will also the application of recent methods of sterilizing foods through radiation. A food technology information exchange will be established and a list of food technology institutes in certain regions will be compiled as time permits.
272. The expansion of FAO's food technology work generally, and in particular in coordinated FAO/UNICEF activities, will involve some increase in staff and related expenditure.
273. The governing bodies of both WHO and FAO have on several occasions drawn attention to the importance of the problem of food additives with respect both to health and nutrition and to food production, storage and distribution, and have recommended joint WHO/FAO work in this field in their respective spheres of responsibility. Developments in modern food industry have led to a great increase in the range of chemical substances included in foods to improve their appearance, taste, texture and keeping qualities, which in turn has created some apprehension on the part of troth the general public and health authorities. Further, differences in the food laws of different countries with respect to permissible food additives have created some difficulties in international trade in certain kinds of foods.
274. The Conference noted that an FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives will be convened in 1956. The joint program on food additives will call for the collaboration of national departments or committees and intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations concerned with this subject. In accordance with the recommendations of the Joint FAO/WHO Conference on Food Additives held in Geneva in 1955, attention will be given to the collection and analysis of national food legislation on food additivies, food colors, food preservatives (including anti-microbial agents and anti-oxidants) and emulsifiers, and on the properties of individual food additives with special reference to reasons for their use or their limitation or prohibition.
Improving, the Diet of Children and Mothers
275. In spite of the growth of knowledge and vigorous efforts made in many countries to safeguard the nutrition of vulnerable groups through the production and distribution of appropriate foods, malnutrition still impairs child health on a wide scale and remains one of the principal causes of death in early childhood in many regions. Deficiency of protein is of special importance. Part of FAO's food technology program is concerned with this problem. Strong emphasis must also be laid on the need to increase supplies of milk, and to ensure that these reach those in greatest need. Activities to increase milk production and consumption, calling for collaboration between agricultural and nutrition specialists and economists, will be prominent in FAO's program in 1956-57. On the nutritional side, attention will be given to the study of the milk situation in countries from the nutritional standpoint, often with reference to the use of surplus milk as a temporary measure pending the development of greater local milk supplies, and to co-operation in UNICEF-supported supplementary feeding programs. When the establishment of dairy industries offers serious difficulty other protein-rich foods, such as those referred to in the section on food technology, assume special importance.
f) Education and training in nutrition
276. Developments in food production through modern scientific methods may not be fully effective in improving nutrition unless they are accompanied by suitable education. FAO will therefore continue in 1956-57 to help member countries to develop effective programs in this field, through both the Regular and the ETAP programs. There is increasing realization that, to produce satisfactory results, such programs must be carefully designed and adapted to local conditions. Hence, particular attention will be given to the development of appropriate educational techniques and their application in different countries and regions. Co-operation with WHO and UNICEF in this field will be expanded and within FAO there will be increasing co-operation between nutrition and information specialists with respect to appropriate techniques for influencing dietary habits.
277. Many countries lack personnel trained in nutrition to make dietary surveys, to study in association with health authorities the incidence of deficiency diseases, to bring problems of nutrition to the attention of the government, to help in organizing supplementary feeding and to develop education in nutrition. FAO will continue, through troth the Regular and the ETAP Programs, to help member countries in training personnel employed in various fields in the principles of nutrition and their practical application. These can in turn spread knowledge of nutrition among the population they serve. Universities and national research institutes should play an important role in providing training in nutrition, including the training of medical and public health personnel. To achieve concrete results, the attention of governments should be drawn to the value to medical students and pharmacists of regular instruction in nutrition by these institutions.
278. The Conference requested the Director-General of FAO to draw the attention of the Director-General of WHO to this question because of the contribution which medical public health services can make to FAO's objectives in this field.
g) Home economics
279. Conditions of family living can he materially improved by the development of more adequate programs of home economics. In many countries there is a scarcity of well-trained home economists and extension workers. Much of FAO's program is there fore concerned with helping governments to initiate and strengthen home economics teaching in existing colleges and institutions. Training courses. seminars and workshops which emphasize education in nutrition, child care and home management will continue to be an essential part of the program.
280. Within FAO, activities in home economics extension are linked with those of agricultural extension, training and development programs. FAO co-operates with OEEC, UNESCO, the United Nations Bureau of Social Affairs, and organizations for bilateral aid, such as the International Co-operation Administration, in programs related to education in home economies and community development. The Home Economics Information Exchange, to be extended in 1956-57, disseminates information about home economics programs in various countries, and is of value in briefing FAO home economists who take up ETAP assignments and in preparing home economics teaching materials.
281. The Conference noted with satisfaction the rapid growth of home economics work in 1954-55 under the Regular Program and ETAP, this is one of the important aspects of FAO's work which should be further expanded in 1956-57.
h) Regional activities
282. Nutrition officers stationed in the regions contribute to FAO's nutrition program in its various aspects, providing assistance to governments in developing practical programs and maintaining contacts with nutrition specialists. In 1956-57, as in previous years, there will be nutrition officers in FAO regional offices in Bangkok (2 officers!' Cairo. Santiago and Washington. A second nutrition officer for Latin America will be appointed, and also a regional nutrition officer concerned with Africa South of the Sahara. Co-operation with the Technical Commission on Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara I (CCTA), which is organizing its Third African Nutrition Conference in 1956, will remain an important activity. The Conference endorsed the need for these additional posts, noting at the same time that the development of the home economics work makes it desirable to include in future programs more home economies specialists in the regional offices.
283. The Fourth Session of the Regional Nutrition Committee for South and East Asia will take place in September 1956 and will he followed by a Regional Technical Meeting on home Economics for South and East Asia under the ETAP program. Two regional conferences on nutrition and home economics respectively are projected for 1957 in the Near East. With regard to Europe. the Conference noted that the OEEC Working Party on Food Consumption Levels had now been discontinued and that no arrangements existed for convening an appropriate group of European nutrition workers to consider problems of importance to European Countries. It requested the Director-General to consider the possibility of convening such a group within the next two years, after consultation with the governments concerned, which would be asked to indicate the importance they attach to such a meeting and suggest appropriate agenda items.
i) Long range program
284. While recognizing that developments in nutritional science and its practical application were difficult to foretell, the Conference considered that FAO's main future tasks in the fields of nutrition and home economics would he to develop and expand its existing program. From the long-term standpoint. emphasis should be placed on strengthening the influence of nutrition of national food production and distribution policies, and on providing increasing help to governments in developing institutions and services in nutrition and home economics. Of special importance are activities, including consultations, seminars and conferences, which promote co-operation between workers in different disciplines in programs to improve nutrition and family living conditions. Cooperation between such workers within FAO itself should also be prominent in the long-term program. Measures to improve the nutrition of mothers and children, including cooperation with UNICEF, will be of continuing and increasing importance.
285. The Conference considered that the following subjects, covered only to a limited extent in the present program, were likely to require more attention in future years: (i) the nutrition of aged people, having regard to the fact that the proportion of the population over 65 is rapidly increasing in many countries; (ii) the enrichment of foods with nutrients or concentrates of high nutritive value.
j) Association with nutrition research workers
286. The Conference appreciated the presence of observers from various inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations interested in nutrition and home economics, including the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. It is important that the attention of research workers should be drawn to problems of special significance in the development of FAO's program in which research is urgently needed, and associations between FAO and appropriate organizations of such workers should therefore be strengthened.
a) Library service
b) Legislative service
c) Documents and information services
287. The Conference reviewed the activities carried out by the Library Service, the Legislative Service, and the Documents and Information Services, which together constitute the Informational and Educational Services, in conjunction with the proposed program of work and budgets of these Services for 1956-57 and longer-term program trends.
288. The Conference was of the opinion that an efficient functioning of the Informational and Educational Services was of outstanding importance for accomplishing the work of the Organization as a whole.
a) Library service
289. The Conference examined the manner in which the Library Service was fulfilling its tasks in both direct and indirect services. It noted with satisfaction that besides being used by the staff of the technical divisions, the Library had increased its services to ETAP experts in the field.
290. The Conference noted with approval that the FAO Library was collaborating actively with similar national specialized libraries and international institutions throughout the world. In this connection it appreciated the close coordination established between the FAO Library and the International Association of Agricultural Librarians and Documentalists, to which the Chief of the FAO Library Service was elected Secretary in September 1955.
291. It expressed the view that help to Member Governments through national libraries and National FAO Committees should be extended to as many member countries as possible, by providing research workers, through national libraries, with photocopies and microfilms, taking advantage of the photo-reproduction facilities now available, on a fee basis. in the FAO Library.
292. In considering the question of depository libraries, the Conference stressed the need for following established criteria of selection on the basis of the use made of those libraries by persons interested in food and agricultural matters.
293. It was considered important to extend the services of the FAO Library to the regional level through the regional offices and to out-posted officers, but the Conference recognized that various material problems must be taken into account as regards the maintenance of library facilities in the regional offices.
294. The Conference noted with approval the Library Service's plans looking to the publication of a general catalog in 1958-59, as well as the provisions made to strengthen the Catalog Unit and for additional reference material. Stress was laid on the necessity to keep the Library's collection abreast of publishing in FAO's fields.
b) Legislative service
295. The Conference reviewed in detail the various tasks entrusted to the FAO Legislative Service as regards the collection and dissemination of legislative information, preparation of studies on specific subjects in collaboration with the technical divisions, and advisory assistance to both technical divisions and Member Governments.
296. The Conference stressed the value of the FAO Legislative Service to all member countries, which were interested in all or part of the Service's facilities. Particular reference was made to the usefulness of making available to technical divisions and to Member Governments the legislative information gathered and analyzed by the Service.
297. The Conference noted the appreciation expressed by a considerable number of Member Governments of the quarterly publication Food and Agricultural Legislation, through which member countries obtain useful information, in the three working languages of the Organization, on the most significant enactment's related to FAO's current program of work. It was felt that the usefulness of the Legislative Service to the various Member Governments could be enhanced by further developing the studies of legislation relative to specific subjects of current interest. In this connection, the Conference noted with satisfaction that a number of such studies had already been effected in collaboration with the technical divisions. The Conference also noted with approval the provisions made in the 195657 budget to achieve language parity within the Legislative Service.
298. As regards the monthly Legislative Report of selected titles of enactments with brief comments, mimeographed in English, which on the recommendation of the Seventh Session of the Conference has been sent to all Member Governments on an experimental basis during the past two years, the Conference noted its usefulness to many Member Governments. It agreed that this document, which is in any case prepared for internal use by the technical divisions, should continue to be sent to interested governments. In order to meet, without any significant cost, the requirements of countries using a working language other than English, it was agreed that the original titles of enactments from countries of French or Spanish language should be added.