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Annual Report 2001

After more than 2 years at SPDC in Vienna, Dr. David Langor returned to his research position in Canada at the end of June 2001. As his successor, IUFRO employed Dr. Michael Kleine under a financing agreement with the German Government through BMZ/GTZ. The outgoing and incoming Co-ordinators worked together during the month of June 2001, in order to ensure a smooth handing-over of duties. In March 2001 Administrative Assistant, Ms Eva Schimpf, went on maternity leave. Her position was filled by Ms Birgit Buxbaum.

An international advisory group was established with the intention to serve as a discussion forum to support IUFRO-SPDC in planning and evaluating its activities and projects. This group provided valuable input into the formulation of a revised strategic plan. The plan provides the framework for action in the period 2002-2005 and highlights the priorities for the three components: training, collaborative networking and scientist assistance. In addition, project planning was undertaken in cooperation with potential partners such as IUFRO Task Forces, FAO, GTZ and FORSPA.

Project Operations
Project 1 GFIS Africa: This 3-year project funded by the EC DG Development, completed its second year of implementation. Project operations progressed according to plan. Five GFIS nodes hosted by IUFRO partner institutions were established in Africa, including the supply of the necessary hard-and software and the training of webmasters and information managers.

Project 2 Carpathian Mountain Project: With the wrap-up workshop held in Slovakia in May, this project was completed.

Project 3 Preparing and Writing Research Proposals: A translation of the English version of the handbook on Proposal Writing into French was undertaken in co-operation with FOAFRI (Gabon), a forest research co-operation implemented by CIRAD Forêt and CIFOR in Central Africa. Training workshops were held in Kenya, Iran and Cameroon involving some 75 participants. The workshops were organised by IFS, and SPDC contributed through the provision of English and French handbooks. IFS and SPDC plan follow-up workshops in 2002 in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo.

Project 4 BIO-REFOR: Funded by ODA (Japan), this project had provided substantial support to SPDC for over 10 years. SPDC received about US$ 150,000 in February 2001. Those funds were used for the BIO-REFOR Workshop in Tokyo (2001) and for general operations and projects.

Project 5 Scientist Assistance Programme (SAP): After the SPDC funding base for this programme had been exhausted at the end of 2000, the SAP was suffering from a permanent lack of funds. Because of changes in donor policy and overall scarcity of funds for development in the forestry sector, donors do not want to provide funds to a third party to be used for travel assistance. In order to adapt to this situation, the SAP was re-organised and a new strategy was formulated.

Administration and Finances
Work in SPDC administrative matters concentrated on streamlining the office management and the processes of internal accounting. In addition, project management according to existing agreements with the GFIS Africa Project took about 60% of all the work carried out.Recurrent expenditures such as salaries of SPDC staff, travel costs of the Co-ordinators, and administrative overheads for printing, postage, telecommunications, office supplies, leasing, equipment and auditing were financed from the SPDC core fund budget. In 2001 those expenditures amounted to a total of US$ 230,678. Income in 2001 included mainly contributions from DANIDA, ODA (Japan) and some smaller earnings from the sales of publications, project management and interest. Overall, a surplus of income of US$ 30,734 can be reported. This surplus is needed to keep the operations going in 2002 and simultaneously achieve a non-declining core funding base. The German-funded project through BMZ/GTZ provides the salary for the Co-ordinator and is based on a three-year financing Agreement between GTZ and IUFRO. The project is being implemented according to plan.

Michael Kleine
IUFRO-SPDC Coordinator