The aim of inFO news is to introduce some of the work of FAO Forestry that we think will be of interest to the global forestry community. With this new format, we want to make it easier for you to learn about our latest activities and knowledge products. Please let us know what you think and if there’s anything else you’d like to see featured. We look forward to hearing from you.
The inFO news team
Ms Fernanda Guerrieri, Directeur de Cabinet, Office of the Director-General
In January, the FAO Director-General appointed Fernanda Guerrieri to head his Cabinet. The first woman to hold this position, Ms Guerrieri has a background in forest inventory, watershed management, soil conservation and land evaluation. She is also leading the new approach to culture change in the Organization.
It is a privilege for me to introduce myself to the readers of inFO news. I am an agronomist with a specialization in watershed management, and when I joined FAO in the 1980s as an Associate Expert I was assigned to the Forestry Operations Division. I have retained a special attachment to forestry activities and to the FAO Forestry Department in particular ever since.
Highlights of United Nations Forum on Forests 10, Istanbul, Turkey, April 2013
The tenth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests concluded in Istanbul, Turkey, on 19 April after ten days of formal debate and parallel events. The session’s closure came following the adoption by Member States of two multi-issue resolutions regarding, among other things, the implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests (Working Group One) and emerging issues and the UNFF Trust Fund (Working Group Two). Read about these resolutions and other highlights of the session below.
Prime Minister Erdogan urges greater responsibility now for future sustainability
Other Forestry News
BBC World News article provides local insight into the Great Green Wall Initiative
A two-day field trip during the 2nd international workshop on “Guidelines for building resilient forest landscapes in drylands” held in February in Senegal, a partner country of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative, provided freelance journalist Gavin Haines with an opportunity to witness developments on the ground and to hear what some partners and local people think of the Initiative’s impact. Read his article in the BBC World News science and environment section to see what he discovered. Read more
See also Senegal workshop outcomes and the “Towards global guidelines for restoring the resilience of forest landscapes in drylands” brochure.
First global plan on forest genetic resources endorsed by FAO genetics commission
The first Global Plan for Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources has been adopted by FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, with a final decision by the FAO Conference expected at its June session. FAO has been asked to develop an implementation strategy and to ensure that implementation is adequately financed, particularly in support of developing countries. Read more
Cross-border forest products’ trade made simpler and safer
Understanding the role of phytosanitary measures in the international trade of forest products is now easier following the commencement of a free online course developed by FAO, the secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention and other partners. Launched on the margins of the 8th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (8-12 April), the course uses plain language and real-life images to inform users of the key factors in safe forest trade. Read more
EU FAO FLEGT Programme scales up to tackle forest illegality
After four years supporting 105 pilot initiatives in 32 countries, the European Union and FAO are scaling up their work on forest law enforcement, governance and trade. Since expanding to Latin America and Asia last year, the EU FAO FLEGT Programme has endorsed an additional 14 projects. Proposals are being accepted from local stakeholders in Voluntary Partnership Agreement countries until 30 June 2013. Government institutions can request assistance at any time. Read more
German Chancellor recognizes 300 years since the conceptualization of forest sustainability
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and FAO Forestry Assistant Director-General, Eduardo Rojas-Briales, spoke on 16 April at a ceremony to mark 300 years since the publication of the first comprehensive book on forestry to include the concept of sustainability. In 1713, German mining administrator Hans Carl von Carlowitz published Sylvicultura oeconomica to address the need for forest restoration and sustainable use in Germany, marking the start of a scientific approach to forestry that ultimately spread worldwide. Read more
146th Session of the FAO Council takes key decisions in preparation for June FAO Conference
In preparing for the 38th Session of FAO’s highest governing body, the FAO Conference, and continuing the reform of the Organization, the FAO Council made several key decisions, including endorsement of new strategies for partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and hosted a side event on the post-2015 development agenda. Under other items, the Council approved the dates of the next Committee on Forestry (23–27 June 2014) and took note of FAO’s support for the International Day of Forests and its plans for future celebrations. Read more
Sustainable financing mechanisms needed in the Middle East and North Africa
Identifying sustainable financing mechanisms to support sustainable forest management in the Middle East and North Africa was the aim of a region-led, jointly organized workshop in Rabat, Morocco, in April in support of the Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests. Representatives from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey discussed key financing needs and solutions to ensure the sector’s sustainability. Read more
Consolidation of effort needed to address environmental challenges in Africa
Environmental issues in Africa was the theme of the AFROSAI Working Group of Environmental Auditing meeting held in Cairo, Egypt on 17 April. In his presentation on sustainable forests and woodlands management, Moujahed Achouri of the FAO Regional Office for the Near East concluded that addressing environmental challenges requires the consolidation of efforts by partners both within Africa and globally. Read more
Upcoming Meetings and Events
1st meeting of Steering Committee of 21st Committee on Forestry, FAO HQ, Rome, 16 May
1st Global Timber Forum, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy, 22–23 May 2013
Workshop on Forest Products and Technologies for the Future, 22–24 May 2013, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
New publications and videos
National Forest Monitoring System - Democratic Republic of Congo
National forest inventory in Kyrgyzstan
Collaborative Partnership on Forests
Unasylva: a stroll down memory lane
In an occasional series, we feature extracts from early editions of Unasylva, FAO Forestry’s international journal of forestry and forest industries. The following text is from the first edition published in July–August 1947:
"The forest supplies man directly, and in the same way as the tilled soil, with indispensable commodities: firewood to heat his dwelling and to cook his food, timber to build his house and make his furniture. Indirectly, it supplies him with the numerous and varied wood products that contribute to his well being and advance his way of life: paper, newspapers, fertilizers, plastics, alcohols, etc. Its presence alone exercises a direct influence on agricultural land in many parts of the world by affording protection against erosion, maintaining the balance of water reserves, ensuring stability, acting as a regulating factor of the climate, and sometimes even by supplying agriculture with the very soil on which it may sow its crops".
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