Eighth Conference – 1962, East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda)

Three East African countries, Kenya, Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and Uganda, acted as joint hosts to this conference, the first to be held in a tropical region. It met in Nairobi, Kenya, from 25th June to 20th July, under the presidency of the Honourable Al-Haji Tewa Said Tewa, Minister of Lands,  Forests and Wild Life for Tanganyika. The chairman was Mr. Christopher Swabey, Forestry Adviser to the Colonial Office, who has since become Director of the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau. Twenty-two countries were represented, and 109 scientific papers were presented by 107 authors.

Tours were made to the Nairobi Royal National Park where foresters play a leading part in managing  woods and  savannahs  that  have  the   primary   purpose of forming a wild life reserve. This  attracts  many  tourists  and  is  also  of  great scientific value for the preservation of East Africa’s amazing fauna, which includes  elephant,  rhino,  giraffe,  many  kinds  of  antelopes, and  the great carnivores, lion, leopard, and hyena. Delegates also visited the famous Treetops Observation Centre at Nyeri, designed to give visitors a chance to see and photograph rare animals at close quarters.

A visit was paid to the East African Agricultural and Forestry Research Organisation at Muguga, to study the co-operative efforts of agriculturists, pure scientists and foresters in solving common problems. Muguga was established to serve all the three East African countries in the Commonwealth, and its findings have proved of value in many neighbouring territories too.

The more routine work of timber growers was seen during trips to the Kinale and Mimakiu Forest Districts. Visitors were particularly impressed with the large-scale use of exotics. These include eucalyptus, cypresses of the Cupressus genus, sub-tropical pines, and Australian wattle, Acacia mearnsii.

The resolutions passed by this conference show the main topics discussed, and the likely trend for future meetings. They dealt with: Silviculture, Forest Policy and Management, Utilisation, Protection, and the need for developing research, particularly in the forest products field. Appreciation was expressed of the past achievements and future plans of the East African forestry departments. Support was pledged to three continuing Commonwealth organisations – the Commonwealth Forestry Institute and the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau at Oxford, and the Standing Committee which arranges, despite all the difficulties of distance and differences of terrain, each successive conference.

Excerpt from:
Commonwealth Forestry Conferences: 1920 to 1962
H.L. Edlin
The Commonwealth Forestry Review
Vol 46, No 3 (129) (September, 1967), pp 192-200 (10 pages) Published by the Commonwealth Forestry Association