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The Second Session of the FAO Standing Advisory Committee for Forestry and Forest Products

The Standing Advisory Committee for Forestry and Forest Products held its second session in Washington, D. C. 26-28 June 1947. This committee, made up of specialists in various fields of forestry and forest products techniques, serves as a consulting body to advise the Division on means for implementing policies adopted by the FAO Conference. Its members act as chairmen of technical subcommittees.

Seven members of the committee, the Director of the Division of Forestry and Forest Products, and the heads of the Division's branches were in regular attendance, while various staff members of the Division were present at appropriate times. Lyle F., Watts, Chief of the Forest Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, was elected chairman and H. G. Winkelmann was appointed rapporteur.

A report on the Division's work during 1946/47 was presented by the Director and reviewed, attention being focused especially 'on the forestry and forest products statistics conferences that had been held in Washington and Rome to determine the lines along which statistical investigations should be pursued, the international timber conference at Marianske Lazne (reported in the previous issue), the work of the technical subcommittees, and new appointments to the staff.

All the projects scheduled in the Director's proposed program for 1947/48 were approved as of considerable importance. The following items were discussed in detail.

The proofs of the first number of Unasylva were examined and approved. It was proposed to investigate the possibility of including a bibliographical section which would cover a- wider field, both geographically and by language, than is now covered by any existing agency abstracting information on forestry and forest products. The importance of organizing the translation of technical works was also stressed.

The committee was agreed on the value of technical subcommittees, and adopted as the framework for their organization a general classification into five categories, in each of which one or more subcommittees would be formed as found desirable. The formation of the following subcommittees within the framework of these five categories was approved:

Category (1) Silviculture and Forest Management (a) Research (b) Management;
Category (2) Technology of Forest Products (a) Mechanical (b) Chemical;
Category (3) Economics and Statistics (a) Lumber (b) Pulp and Paper;
Category (4) Education (a) Education;
Category (5) Special committees (a) Unexploited Forests.

Missions of two kinds were noted according to the method of their initiation: namely, those proposed and paid for by a member country and those proposed and paid for by FAO by reason of the urgent need to examine certain problems on the spot. The committee considered that missions in the second category should be organized during the coming year to investigate specific problems of the Mediterranean area and the virgin forests of Latin America. Regretting the omission of a forestry expert from the mission to Greece in 1946, it stressed the importance, in recognition of the close relations between agriculture and forestry, of including forestry experts on all general or agricultural missions.

In discussing regional problems, the committee endorsed the Director's proposals for the Division's activities in Europe, which consisted primarily of a continuation of the work initiated at Marianske Lazne. B. Dufay, Director-General of Waters and Forests, Ministry of Agriculture, France, was elected chairman of the proposed European Forestry and Forest Products Commission, which will work with the Division in fields outside that covered by the ECE Timber Subcommittee. The committee expressed doubts that the budget allocation would permit full implementation of the proposals relating to the establishment of a strong forestry and forest products service to work in Europe as part of the Division, and it pointed out that failure in this regard might prejudice the future work of the Division and the prestige of FAO in Europe.

The program proposed for Latin America was noted with satisfaction, previous recommendations concerning the desirability of detailed investigation into the Parana pine situation being re affirmed. For the Par East, especially China, the urgency of replanting large areas and the necessity for well-concerted measures in that region were stressed. The view was expressed that a forestry conference for the Far East should be held, if possible, before the end of 1948.

The fact that only a few member countries have established forestry subcommittees within the national FAO committees was noted with regret; the Committee believes that such subcommittees are essential to the Division's work as the best means for developing regular contacts and securing proper co-operation.

The committee proposed calling a world forestry congress for 1949 to survey new methods that recent advances in science are placing at the disposal of foresters. This congress would especially examine urgent silvicultural problems connected with the development of virgin forests, the question of minimum standards of forest management capable of assuring sustained yields, and reforestation problems with special regard to the most recent advances in phytogeography, phytosociology, and soil study.

The committee also considered a report, "World Situation and Outlook for Forestry and Forest Products," presented by the Director, and declared itself in general agreement with its structure and conclusions.

Finally, the committee recommended that the documents presented by the Director, amended in accordance with its suggestions, and its own report on the items mentioned above be made available to member governments of FAO prior to the Conference at Geneva in August, to give them a general picture of the world situation in respect of forestry and forest products and to apprise them of the past and projected work of the Division.

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