Functions and Organization

The International Poplar Commission (IPC) is governed by a convention, adopted at the tenth session of the FAO Conference in November 1959, which established it as a statutory body within the framework of FAO. The most recent amendments to the convention were adopted at the nineteenth session of the FAO Conference held in November 1977.

The functions of IPC, as described in the convention are to:

  • study the scientific, technical, social and economic aspects of poplar and willow cultivation, and of the use of their wood;
  • promote the exchange of ideas and materials between research workers, producers and users;
  • arrange joint research programmes;
  • stimulate the organization of meetings combined with study tours;
  • report and make recommendations to the FAO Conference, through the Director-General of FAO;
  • make recommendations to national poplar commissions, through the Director-General of FAO and the governments concerned.

IPC is summoned in regular sessions every four years (every two years prior to the 1977 amendments) by the Director-General of FAO, in consultation with the Chairperson of the IPC Executive Committee. It may also be convened in special sessions, if necessary. A session has normally been organized by one of the IPC member countries, after the Director-General of FAO has accepted its offer.

The Forestry Department of FAO provides the permanent Secretariat of IPC. The secretary is appointed by the Director-General of FAO to provide support duties to the Commission.

The Executive Committee is the driving force of the International Poplar Commission (IPC). It has 12 members elected in a personal capacity for a four-year term, and a maximum of five members co-opted for the same duration. All candidates are presented by member countries for their special competence. The committee meets during each session of the IPC and at least once between sessions. The last meeting of the Executive Committee was in 2010 in Orvieto, Italy.

The IPC Executive Committee prepares and follows up on IPC's work for the sessions and between sessions. A major task of the Executive Committee is to facilitate the collection, synthesis and dissemination of information and knowledge on poplars and willows through publications.

The Executive Committee also gives its opinion on the candidacy of countries offering to organize the regular sessions while the Director-General of FAO consults the Executive Committee on all matters concerning poplar and willow cultivation and timber use. 

Scientific and technical problems have been investigated by six working parties which meet about once every two to four years.

At its seventh session in 1953, the IPC established the Subcommittee of the Executive Committee on Nomenclature and Registration, which is responsible for nomenclature and registration of poplar cultivars.

last updated:  Friday, February 3, 2017