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News of the world

Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany (Federal Republic), Italy, Netherlands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela


· Die Forstwirtschaft im nationalen und internationalen Raum (Forestry at the national and international level.) by W. Kossarz, 135 pages, and published by Oesterreichischer Agrarverlag, Vienna in 1960, was prepared as a reference volume for teaching policy at the agricultural high school in Vienna. It examines the functions of forestry in national economies, and describes the forest policies of Austria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany (Federal Republic), Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.S.A., U.S.S.R. and Yugoslavia.

In the first part, the author elaborates on the contribution forestry can and should make to national economies. This is followed by a short review of land-use problems, and the production factors in forestry. A description of the protective functions of forests leads to a discussion of the indirect benefits of forestry.

The description of national forest policies is preceded by notes on the organization of forestry in the several countries, the forest area, its composition, and the legal basis for the national forest policy.


· A member of FAO's Amazon mission who has just completed his assignment remarks that the Amazon is not the dangerous place that fiction describes. This is the common experience of foresters working and living in tropical forests. His inventory parties were never attacked by animals unless these were accidentally disturbed. For instance, they often found traces of jaguar on the trail and although the animals wandered around the camps out of curiosity, no one was ever attacked. His only misadventure with snakes was when he stepped on a boa-constrictor some 5 meters long, which then attacked the group but was killed with a sharpened stick by one of the carriers.

The hunter with the group on field trips set before them a variety of food, including monkey soup, roasted wild turkey, deer, pigs, rodents and crocodiles. They also ate electric eel and the piranha fish. This fish is interesting because of the stories of its ferocious attacks on anything moving in the water. The 40 people in the group bathed every day in every kind of water and were never attacked, even though there were shoals of the fish present. Piranha were caught with difficulty because they could even bite through a double-strand iron clothes line.

The major problem is the small insect and members of the group came clown with a variety of illnesses from those pests. Mosquitoes however are not prevalent: in fact, out of 100 camps only one or two were infested with mosquitoes.

The group had little contact with Indians and only on one occasion met members of a tribe at one of the centers set up by the Brazilian Governments for protecting the Indian population. On one trip, along a 7-kilometer track cut into the forest from the river, they came across two saplings on either side of the track bound across and tied with a creeper, from which was suspended a wooden cross. This was a sign that the Indians did not wish strangers in their territory and that killing would be the order of the day. The officer in charge sent the party back and remained with a few followers. However, they heard cries of a parrot coming from various points around them and slowly approaching through the undergrowth, so they hastily cleared out.

Most of the problems come from transit through the river rapids and several people in the various survey parties have been drowned.


· A number of technical assistance projects involving foresters are included in the current Agency for International Development (AID) program of the United States of America. There are posts for forestry advisers connected with various watershed improvement and plantation programs spread throughout the country. An agrarian reform project of which the purpose is to aid the Government of Colombia in }and settlement and development, comprises a seven-man team including a forestry adviser and has been working with the agrarian bank, mainly on colonization projects in the eastern Llanos but might be put at the service of the new agrarian reform institute. A basic resources survey project includes forest inventory experts and is costed at US$ 3.5 million spread over four years. The greater part of the aerial survey, soil sampling by ground parties, forest inventory, and other related work is intended to be carried out by contract.


· While the cedars of Lebanon are world famous, the cedars of Cyprus are almost unknown although they are far more numerous, cover a larger area and are much more carefully protected.

In ancient times cedar timber from Cyprus was much sought after for ship building and was well known to contemporary authors. It seems, however, that the cedar forests of Cyprus, like those of the neighboring mainland, must have been almost exterminated many centuries ago. They appear to have been completely forgotten for centuries, until they were rediscovered in 1879 by Sir Samuel Baker, who visited Cyprus in that year and sent specimens of Cyprus cedar to Europe for botanical identification.. It proved to be a separate species.

The cedars form one of the best-known families of the Coniferae, but it is a very small and select family comprising only four species, each of which comes from separate geographical areas. The botanical distinctions between these four species are trivial and are confined mostly to habits of growth and foliage. It seems possible, therefore, that they may only be geographical forms of the same tree. But since each has developed characters which appear to be constant they are now generally regarded as being separate. They are:

Cyprus cedar (Cedrus brevifolia) found in its natural state only on the island of Cyprus and with an extremely limited range even within Cyprus. It is the least known cedar and has not been much introduced to other countries.

Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) which grows naturally on the Lebanon mountains and the Taurus mountains of Turkey.

Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) found in the natural state on the Atlas mountains of Morocco and Algeria in North Africa.

Deodar or Himallayan cedar (Cedrus deodara) which has a wide natural distribution throughout the western and central Himalaya mountains of India.

It is evident that the Cyprus cedar can claim considerable distinction and, botanically, is perhaps of more interest than the others on account of its very restricted natural range. Its present range is confined to certain scattered localities in Paphos forest. It occurs in groups mixed with the other natural forest species of the area such as aleppo pine, plane, oak, and arbutus. It is now only found at altitudes above 1,000 meters (3,000 feet). It easily withstands cold and often grows well on the most exposed ridges and in bleak positions right up to the summit of Paphos forest. At the higher elevations it grows mostly in association with dwarf oak (Quercus alnifolia) which, like the cedar, is a tree that is found in its natural state only in the island of Cyprus. One of the best groves of cedar is to be found in the Irkasteratsa valley of Paphos forests, which is situated on the southern slopes of mount Tripylos between Kykko monastery and Stavros forest station. A forest road, known as the cedar road, has been constructed through this spectacular spot. So far very few people avail themselves of the opportunity of seeing this beautiful valley of cedars and the fine surrounding scenery of Paphos forest area.

The worst enemy of the cedars are goats. Cedar seedlings are sweet and tender and, as has been proved by recent observations, can easily be completely grazed out by goats. In the Lebanon mountains the final stages of cedar extermination may be seen going on today. Not only are the last trees sought out and hacked down for timber and fuel, but one sees mature trees being lopped and actually felled in order to provide goat fodder. The felled tree is left to rot where it falls. Given protection from grazing, the cedars would soon reproduce themselves and extend. There is no doubt that the Cyprus cedars would have been exterminated from Paphos forest just as surely as their relation is being eradicated from the Lebanon had not forest protection been applied in Cyprus.


· The Control Station for the Origin of Forest Seeds and Plants at Springforbi is now the controlling authority for forest seed and plants, replacing the Seed Committee of the Danish Forest Association. The station is supervised by a joint committee composed of officials of the Danish Forest

Experiment Station, the arboretum of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural College of Copenhagen, forest owners, forest seed dealers, nursery managers selected by the Danish Nursery Owners' Association, seed producers, and others.

Subject to control are seed and plants grown from seed collected from seed-producing stands selected by the Danish Forest Association and from seed orchards1 recognized by the arboretum, and imported forest seeds and plants when the importer desires this. Danish seed dealers are required to issue certificates of origin only for seed in quantities in excess of 0.1 kilogram, and of 1 kilogram for beechnuts and acorns.

1A seed orchard shall moan a plantation consisting of clones or selected plants of seedling origin and having as its object the production of seeds.

Special printed forms are issued by the control station for seed collection licenses. Certificates of origin (white) are issued for Danish-grown seed and for foreign-grown seed imported into Denmark, and these are regarded as master certificates for green certificates issued for domestic sales in connection with seed middlemen's business; yellow for Danish nurserymen and for export; and blue for plants raised from such seed.

The control scheme is financed by fixed annual fees paid by nurserymen (on the basis of the area cultivated) and by seed producers and dealers (on the basis of a percentage of invoiced amounts). These fees arc paid by means of stamps, purchased from the control station.

GHANA. The photographs illustrate two of four diorama models supplied by Hunting Surveys, model department to the Forest Service of Ghana, showing aspects of the latter's work.

A party of 19 men move through the high forest. Three operations are in progress - identification and measurement of all the trees; recording and scribing of all valuable trees; and thinning-out. This last operation involves the cutting of small useless trees and the poisoning of the larger useless ones.

A fuelwood plantation initially established by the Taungya method. The diorama shows various stages of growth over a five-year period. A cut crop from fifth year is seen staked in cords and being loaded onto lorry. Also shown is the sixth year position when the felled block of the fifth year is actively coppicing - producing shoots from-the stools (stumps) which will later grow on to form a second crop of fuelwood.

Germany, Federal Republic

· Die Systeme der Waldbesteuerung und die steuerliche Belastung privater Forstbetriebe in, einigen europaeischen Laendern (The systems of forest taxation and the tax burden of private forest enterprises in some European countries) by W. Kroth, 435 pages, and published by Bayerischer Landwirtschaftsverlag, Munich in 1960, is intended to point up the differences of the systems of taxation in Austria, Finland, France, Germany (Federal Republic), Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, in order to promote improvements in assessing the tax burden on private forest enterprises which has considerable bearing on the competitive power of individual enterprises.


· The paper industry and European integration, published by Ente Nazionale per la Cellulosa e per la Carta, at Rome in 1961, has been compiled with a special eye to the possible effects on the European paper industry of a union between the two main associations in Europe - the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

The first three chapters are devoted to an analysis of the policy and structure of these two groups. Within the two groups, there is a difference of interest and point of view as regards paper. In the EEC, some countries are more concerned to obtain cheap supplies of newsprint and, to a much lesser extent, other raw materials, while the rest are interested in developing their own timber and raw material resources with the aid of protective measures. In the same way, there are clashes of policy within EFTA. Sweden is a large exporter of pulp. The United Kingdom and Switzerland are anxious to avoid exposing their paper industry to Swedish competition since, if protection on British products was abolished within EFTA, the United Kingdom might not be able to compete effectively with its stronger rival.

However, the problem is not simply one of affording protection against powerful competitors. The demand for paper is rising rapidly. Supplies are unlikely to be able to keep pace with this increase. It is estimated that, in 15 to 26 years, the Swedish and Finnish giants will not so much dominate the raw material field as be the main suppliers. There will be room, and indeed a need, for all.

It is therefore vital for importer countries to build up their forests. It would be short-sighted to expose the industries of the importer countries to such a blast of competition that they would be seriously weakened, and might, in some sectors or areas, have to close down. If they are forced out of business, they will not find it easy to start up again, and, in the meantime, afforestation policies in these countries would have been seriously undermined, since there is obviously a close connection between demand for timber and planting. It is therefore essential to ensure a smooth transition between the present position and the different situation likely to prevail 20 years from now.


· A symposium on photo-interpretation is to be held from 30 August September 1962 at the International Training Center for Aerial Survey, Delft. The discussions will cover:

1. photography, equipment and techniques
2. geology (including geomorphology, hydrology)
3. soils (including land classification, soil conservation)
4. vegetation (including forestry, plant ecology)
5. regional geography and planning
6. fee
7. archaeology
8. oceanography and coastal research
9. engineering.

An FAO representative will give a paper on aerial surveys in developing countries. The symposium is designed to take stock of the rapid progress now being made in photo interpretation for many purposes, and to lead up to the 10th Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry due to be held in Portugal in 1964.


· With the equivalent of some U.S. $ 230,000 from a Foundation, Cambridge University, England, is to establish a Nuffield Unit of Tropical Animal Ecology in Uganda's national parks.

Scientific buildings are being established at Mweya Lodge in the Queen Elizabeth Park. The unit will interest itself in all ecology - what the animals live on, the plants they eat and the species, like hippopotamus, which are getting out of hand and destroying the balance. When established, the unit will be a major practical contribution to the problem of preserving Africa's wildlife.

United Kingdom

· The Forestry Commission held successful training course from 9 to 13 October 1961 on forest genetics, tree breeding and seed production as part of its contribution to the FAO World Seed Campaign. Nineteen participants from nine countries took part in seminar discussions on such subjects as: genetics of forest trees; use of best existing varieties; selection and treatment of seed sources; fundamentals of seed production; procurement and handling of tree seed; establishment of seed orchards and breeding arboreta; production of new cultivars; tree breeding programs; selection of parent trees and the application of genetics and breeding to forest practices.

The participants were able to study field experiments and demonstrations involving Pinus contorta provenance tests; larch seed orchards and progeny tests; poplar variety trials; Douglas fir provenance tests; management of oak plus trees; selection of beech plus trees; and several arboreta containing collections of exotics and various forest tree varieties.

· A report received by FAO mentions that a striking development in England has resulted from the aerial dressing with phosphate of some of the most depressing spruce plantations overgrown with heather and dwarf gorse. Trees which in 30 years had barely grown 75 centimeters are, three years after dressing, making 60 centimeters to 1.50 meter shoots.

The use of chemicals for selective herbage control both in nurseries and in the forest has also saved money and enabled seasonal work to get done without the frantic rush and employment of inferior casual labor which hand work formerly necessitated. The use of a brand product in the right concentrations for control of weeds in transplant lines is the biggest single breakthrough in reducing nursery costs for many years. It is now being used wherever applicable, and in one nursery alone its use has reduced costs by £ 2,000 (some US $ 5,750) below the previous years' costs.

The problem of disposing of slash and lop and top safely and economically in felled areas surrounded by standing plantations shows promise of solution by the use of a specially strengthened chipper which reduces the brash to a mulch through which planting can be done. It is about 70 percent cheaper than burning.

Big surpluses of seedling stocks have offered opportunity for large-scale trials to retain these dormant in cold storage for a season, as an alternative to destruction. Half a million conifer plants were used, mainly 1 + 0 and 2 + 0 seedlings, and stored in bulk commercial cold stores at - 1°C to + 2°C (30°F to 38°F) from March to the end of July, when they were removed from store and lined out in nurseries during the first fortnight in August. At the end of the season, survival was generally excellent. Transplants too showed survival percentage at least the equivalent of stock dealt with in the normal way. This technique therefore holds promise for conservation of surplus stocks and gives additional flexibility to nursery management.

A most interesting development in road construction concerns the use of lime in soil stabilization. This idea was evolved as the result of a visit to the Federal Republic of Germany under the auspices of FAO. It was found that the forest service there had made promising advances in this technique, which may well offer an economic alternative to stoned roads where materials are scarce. It has the particular merit that it is applicable to heavy clays and is much less dependent on weather conditions than other methods.

United States of America

· Harvard University has announced a new program of research fellow-ship in forest resources to be awarded from the Charles Bullard Fund. These fellowships carry stipends up to $15,000, the amount of each award depending on the professional status and needs of the recipient.

The purpose of this fellowship program is to support advanced research and study by men who show promise of making an important contribution, either as scholars or administrators, to forestry and forest management, these subjects to be defined in their broadest aspects - scientific, economic, political, administrative, and legal. Fellowships are open to men in public service, in academic careers, and in private forestry; men who have doctoral degrees, those seeking advanced degrees, and those without advanced degrees who do not wish to have them. Promise of important contributions to forestry broadly defined and the likelihood that a year's study and research at Harvard will help fulfill this promise are the controlling criteria for selection, and these will be gauged primarily by the quality of a man's professional accomplishments and his academic record. Information may be requested from the:

Committee on the Charles Bullard Fund for Forest Research, Littauer Center 123, Harvard University, Cambridge 38, Mass., U.S.A.


· Die Wälder Venezuela (The forests of Venezuela) at DM 22.60 by Kurt Hueck and published by Paul Parey, Hamburg/Berlin, in 1961, contains 127 pages and 56 illustrations, and has a Spanish summary. It is the result of several years' study of the forest flora of Venezuela. From 1957 to 1959, Hueck was FAO forestry officer with the Latin-America Forest Research and Training Institute and he also worked closely with the forestry faculty of the Universidad de los Andes at Mérida, Venezuela.

The discussion of the forest formations, subformations and types, includes the geographical distribution, ecology with composition of main species, as well as the present and potential economic significance. Excellent photographs, maps and tables supplement the text.

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