The Joint FAO/ECE/ILO Committee
on Forest Technology, Management and Training assists countries to develop
their forestry activities within the context of sustainable development.
It fosters international cooperation on technical, economic and organisational
aspects of forest management and forest working techniques and of the training
of forest workers in logging and forest operations. Special attention is
Its programme focussed on the sustainable
development of the forest sector and the follow up to the UN Conference
on Environment and Development (UNCED) and the Ministerial Conference on
the Protection of Forests in Europe, considering the Joint Committee had
an important role in translating into practice the guidelines agreed at
the highest level.
the development and implementation of
forest use planning and general management aspects, increasing the efficiency
of labour; the reduction of waste;
the establishment of an adequate balance
between technical, social and economic requirements and protection of the
It recognises the essential role of
training and extension activities and pays special attention to the needs
of the countries in transition as well as to southern Europe and Mediterranean
The Joint Committee is geared towards
practitioners and technology transfer, and concentrates on the interface
of policy, science and practice.
The Joint Committee has three work
Methods of work
Management (e.g. multiple use forestry,
ecological and economic issues, marketing, information systems);
Technology (e.g. forest engineering, ecologically
and economically sound operations in silviculture, wood harvesting and
Training (e.g. for workers supervisors
and managers, including applied ergonomics, and occupational safety and
The main methods are:
The regular sessions of the Joint Committee
itself normally take place every two years, invited by a member country.
The Joint Committee agrees on the programme for the next 2-4 years. The
session is usually held in conjunction with a seminar on a topic of interest
to the host country.
seminars, focusing on important topics
of general interest, with fairly large participation and with interpretation
into English, French and Russian;
workshops, combined if necessary with
excursions, with well defined terms of reference, smaller participation
and in one language only;
teams of specialists to solve specific
problems and address particular issues;
in certain circumstances, advisory missions
may be organised.
Much of the responsibility for the
running of the Joint Committee programme lies with the Steering Committee
consisting of the Chairperson, two Vice-Chairpersons, the past Chairperson
and five coordinators, who develop programme activities and monitor and
encourage their implementation. There is a coordinator for each work area
and another is responsible for work concerning countries in transition.
The Steering Committee meets annually.
Many aspects of the Joint Committee's
work are of interest not only to national forest services and other government
agencies directly concerned, but also to specialists throughout the forest
and forest products sector. Representatives of forest enterprises and organisations,
research institutes, universities, training institutes, labour unions
etc. take an active part in the work of the Joint Committee.
Cooperation between international organizations
The Joint Committee is a subsidiary
body of two international intergovernmental bodies, the UN/ECE Timber Committee
and the FAO European Forestry Commission. The International Labour Organisation
(ILO) is also a sponsoring body. This arrangement mobilises the resources
of all three organisations in an efficient manner and avoids any duplication
of activity between them in the Joint Committee's field of responsibility.
The Joint Committee cooperates with
other international organisations as appropriate: in particular there is
close cooperation and joint activities with the International Union of
Forestry Research Organisations (IUFRO).
The results of the Joint Committee's
activities are distributed automatically to participants and are published
A list of publications is available from
the secretariat, and complete information on activities, including bibliographical
references, is made available in the Timber Committee Yearbook.
Geneva Timber and Forest Study Papers
Geneva Timber and Forest Discussion Papers
ILO or FAO publications; or
publications of national institutes (proceedings
The Joint Committee was founded in
1954 as a forum for the exchange of information and experience among the
countries of Europe and North America on forest working techniques and
the training of forestry workers. Since then, its priorities and methods
of work have evolved, notably by giving greater emphasis to environmental
and management questions, but the main focus of interest has remained constant
over the Joint Committee's history.
The secretariat of the Joint Committee
is shared between the FAO regional forestry adviser for Europe, the Timber
Section of the ECE Trade Division, the Industrial Activities Branch of
the International Labour Office and the Harvesting and Transport Branch
of the Forest Products Division of the FAO Forestry Department.