Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsThe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), based in Rome, Italy, is a UN technical agency that specializes in agriculture and rural development, including forestry, fisheries and the environment. Even though FAO directly funds very few projects, it is able to mobilize international funding as well as to provide a unique source of expertise and information. The FAO regular programme and field activities are mainly financed by country contributions, donor trust funds and United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) funds. The main FAO mechanisms to promote investment and other funding are:
- support to execution of UNDP-funded projects;
- the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP);
- the FAO Investment Centre;
- trust fund projects.
The FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) utilizes earmarked funds from the FAO regular programme to respond quickly to urgent requests for short-term assistance from member countries. Each member country is entitled to benefit from TCP within certain budget limits.
The FAO Investment Centre is a division of the FAO Technical Cooperation Department. Its principal role consists of assisting member countries to find external capital for development assistance and identifying and preparing investment projects and programmes to be submitted for appraisal to international financing institutions and other UN funding agencies. The FAO Investment Centre has established cooperative agreements and close working relations with almost all the major international sources of finance for agricultural development such as the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and to a lesser extent, the Inter-American Development Bank.
Priorities related to the forestry sector
Forestry department technical assistance
FAO is the main specialized agency used by UNDP to assist governments receiving UNDP funding for forestry. Governments can secure FAO cooperation through a request to the FAO and UNDP resident representatives in their countries.
Technical Cooperation Programme priorities
TCP assistance can be made available for activities in all aspects related to the field of agriculture and rural development, including forestry. TCP assistance is unprogrammed and geared to responding to urgent and unforeseen demands with high speed in approval of TCP projects. Other characteristics include limited project duration; low costs; practical orientation; and catalytic role and complementarity to other sources of assistance. Categories for which TCP can intervene are the following:
- emergencies: to meet urgent and immediate needs arising from disasters and unexpected calamities;
- investment: aimed at stimulating investment through pre-investment activities, or by actions which will make an existing investment project more effective;
- training: practical training of men and women directly involved in agriculture, fisheries or forestry production; academic training is excluded;
- advisory services: to meet unforeseen requirements in very specialized fields;
- formulation and programming missions: to support the process of country programming or donor conferences or to formulate a development programme through the advice of multidisciplinary missions;
- assistance to development: to provide small amounts of supplies urgently required to stimulate production, even though not related to an emergency;
- intercountry cooperation: to catalyse Economic Cooperation Among Developing Countries (ECDC) or Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries (TCDC), including research networks, twinning of institutions, etc.
Government cooperative programmes
Only some countries support forest-related activities through FAO's government cooperative programmes. Donor countries generally prefer to concentrate assistance on developing countries with which they have a particular relationship.
As a result of intergovernmental discussions conducted by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and its predecessors, a resolution was adopted stressing the role of national forest programmes (nfps) as an important means for addressing forest sector issues in a holistic, comprehensive and multisectoral manner. Nfps are seen as the vehicle for in-country formulation and implementation of sustainable forest management policies, supported by the broad interests of civil society. As a direct response to this expressed resolution, the National Forest Programme Facility (the Facility) was established. The Facility is hosted by FAO and operates under the guidance of a donor support group and a steering committee which includes representatives of funding partners, beneficiary countries, FAO, the World Bank, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, foundations and the private sector.
Technical Cooperation Programme assistance
A request can be made for a project to stimulate increased investment which may provide short-term consultant services for the identification of investment projects, for completion and improvement of existing technical data or for the conduct of limited additional surveys/studies required for timely preparation of investment projects. Requests should be addressed to the Director-General of FAO, through the FAO representative in the country. The TCP coordinating unit verifies requests that meet TCP criteria and draws on other department staff for technical review. If agreed for further preparation, the project document including the workplan and the budget proposals can be prepared by FAO staff or by international or national consultants depending on the project scope. A TCP project can be operational within three months but emergency projects can be approved within a few weeks.
TCP requests must:
- give emphasis to increasing production and promote an increase in incomes of small-scale producers and rural workers;
- be accorded high priority by the government;
- be directed to an urgent and specific problem or need, limited to a particular sector or area, and involve practical action with well-defined objectives and expected results;
- complement, without duplicating, other development activities, fill a critical gap and, where possible, serve as a catalyst for a larger-scale activity;
- be limited in duration, preferably from one to three months, in no case should the overall duration of project activities exceed 24 months;
- be limited in cost (maximum US$400 000 per project and preferably much lower) and involve the most effective and least costly method of execution;
- provide assurance of the fullest possible participation of the government in project execution, through such means as the use of national institutions, personnel and resources.
Investment Centre assistance
If a country needs to work with the FAO Investment Centre, it must identify an appropriate financing institution, either one already cooperating with FAO or another which is willing to participate in the costs of project formulation and is seriously interested in subsequent investment. When funds for project formulation are not available or insufficient, other sources may be explored such as bilateral aid, the United Nations Development Programme or the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme.
Government cooperative programme assistance
Projects and activities under the Government Cooperative Programme programme are identified at the request of the recipient country (or regional groupings) by the FAO representative or the donor country's local embassy. Each donor country puts its own conditions for its assistance in accordance with the priorities set up by donor policy for assistance and cooperation to developing countries.
The Facility provides assistance to national forest stakeholders through partnership agreements between the Facility, the developing country and the relevant in-country stakeholder. The process to initiate a partnership agreement starts with the opportunity being announced in a given country and a concept note being presented to the Facility.[missing link label]
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 5705 1
Fax: +39 06 5705 3152
Web site: http://www.fao.org