Report from 22nd Session

This working party was formally ratified as the 6th Working Party of the IPC at the 22nd Session in Santiago, Chile .

The agreed mission statement of the new Working Party is to better share the knowledge and technology on the implementation of cost-effective environmental applications of Poplars and Willows to contribute to sustainable livelihoods and rural development.

The above activities are grouped into two primary categories:

  • Site and landscape improvement, including bank stabilization, combating desertification and salinisation, shelterbelts and windbreaks, and soil rehabilitation; and

  • Phytoremediation of polluted soil and water, including buffer zones, contaminated sites, waste water management/treatment and organic waste management.

The outcome of a SWAT analysis for the working party conducted at the 22nd Session is as follows:

Strengths Weaknesses

  • Multi-disciplinary and multi-functional;
  • International network of researchers exits;
  • Sound foundation of research; and
  • Multiple benefits from environmental enhancement.

  • Many environmental benefits have not direct financial value;
  • Public resistance to land-use change;
  • Social barriers to adopt new technologies; and
  • Short life span and susceptibility to pests and diseases;
  • Economics for bioenergy remain marginal.
Opportunities Threats

  • Environmental uses lower cost than engineered alternatives;
  • Combining environmental applications of Poplars and Willows and engineering approaches;
  • Greater awareness of environmental issues by the public and institutions; and (Green = Good);
  • Increased demand for reduced CO2 technologies; and
  • Poplars and Willows forests and trees increasingly contributing to rehabilitation of degraded lands, combating desertification and restoration of landscapes.

  • Unwillingness of society to pay for benefits;
  • Potential for eco-terrorism, particularly with biotechnologies and transgenics;
  • Resistance to use of exotic species and monocultures;
  • Invasion of exotic species into natural ecosystems; and
  • Vulnerability to insect, disease and pest attack.
Lesson Learned The Way Forward

  • Need for genetic diversity in planted forest development;
  • Research without outreach is not effective in implementation;
  • Caution should be exercized in introducing new plant materials into existing ecosystems;
  • Combine scientific and traditional/local knowledge in implementation of projects;
  • Participate with, and collaborate with, local people, including in benefit sharing;
  • Pilot and demonstrate new technology in the field before production or commercial scaled operations; and
  • Any transfer of knowledge and technology needs to be complemented with public awareness programmes.

  • Compile a repository of existing knowledge and make it available on the IPC website;
  • Create/write implementation manuals;
  • Package information suitable for policy makers and decision makers;
  • Develop criteria and indicators for gender associated issues;
  • Produce educational materials (schools and universities) and
  • Produce environmental guidelines for landscape/bio-aesthetic sensitive projects.

The agreed programme of work for the period 2004-2006 is:

  • Review of and document case studies in alternative environmental applications;
  • Prepare a directory of experts to detail the individual or organizational activities and key publications;
  • Review, update and maintain the Environmental Applications Working Party portal on the IPC website;
  • Establish templates and reporting procedures to document and review case studies, list of experts, other useful websites and a reference library of relevant publications;
  • Contribute a chapter on Environmental Applications in the new Poplar and Willow book;
  • Participate in the joint meeting with IEA Bioenergy Task Group 30 (Autumn 2006); and
  • Conduct a meeting of the Working Party at the 4th International Poplar Symposium, Nanjing, China, June 2006.

The Working Party on Environmental Applications made the following recommendations:

  • IPC and the Working Party need to collaborate more fully with other international agencies (IUFRO, IEA, ITTO, etc.) to exchange ideas;
  • IPC and the Working Party need to become more engaged in dialogue with regulatory bodies, environmental engineers and environmental organizations; and
  • IPC, through FAO, need to encourage greater collaboration with National Poplar Commissions and Councils.

last updated:  Thursday, October 11, 2012