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There is a new and increasing emphasis on poverty alleviation and livelihoods improvement in forestry, representing both a challenge and an opportunity. This paper briefly reviews the evolution of the ‘livelihoods’ issue, analyzes the concept of ‘poverty alleviation’ and discusses means by which forestry can contribute to livelihoods improvement. It focuses on the contributions of forest products and markets, questioning the typical timber vs non-timber dichotomy. The role and the potential of a forest product is determined more by the socio-economic and environmental context of the production, processing and marketing system than by the physical characteristics of the product itself. This is important as new opportunities arise through increased control of resources by local people and new markets for forest products. Helping achieve poverty alleviation through forestry requires protecting poverty mitigation functions, enhancing income and employment options, and taking advantage of opportunities to build and strengthen local institutions through policies and project-level interventions.
This paper describes and analyses the structure of illegal forestry in Estonia in 1998–2002. A short background detailing the terms related to illegal forestry is followed by an analysis of the causes of illegal forestry in Estonia and their relationship to the post-Soviet policy reforms. The structure and dynamics of illegal forestry are then described. Field studies, interviews and document analyses provide an overview of the estimated extent of selected forms of illegal forestry. The results indicate that over 50% of the timber extracted from private forests during 1998–2002 was likely to have been related to one or more forms of illegal forestry as forest theft, environmental damage or tax violations. The role of the forest resource use policy in creating a favourable situation for emergence and expansion of illegal forestry is then discussed. It is concluded that post-Soviet liberal policy reforms have enabled illegal forestry to emerge, while political reluctance to acknowledge the whole scope of illegal forestry activities has obstructed the application of efficient countermeasures.
A growth model for uneven-aged mixed-conifer stands in California was developed with data from 205 permanent plots. The model predicts the number of softwood and hardwood trees in nineteen diameter classes, based on equations for diameter growth rates, mortality and recruitment. The model gave unbiased predictions of the expected number of trees by diameter class and species group over eight to twelve years, on 28 validation plots that were not used in model estimation. The results of predictions of undisturbed growth over more than a century were consistent with previous knowledge about succession and productivity in this forest type. The growth model, embedded in the CalPro simulator, was applied to project the effects of managing stands to maintain the current average stand state over the observed plots, with cutting cycles of ten or twenty years. The results suggested that uneven-aged management could match the productivity of even-aged systems. The ten-year cutting cycle led to higher productivity, higher present value of harvests, higher tree species diversity but lower tree size diversity than the twenty-year cycle.
This paper illustrates the geographical extent of the Armenian forests at five points in time, from the year 4,000 B.C. to the present. For each period the social and economic context that is most relevant to the use and conservation of the forests is presented. An extensive literature search for the most reliable geological, archaeological, and bio-geographical records was conducted to provide an estimate of the extent of the forest cover in ancient times. According to the estimates produced, and the National Forest Inventories during the Soviet period, the forest cover has decreased from covering approximately 35% of Armenia during the first three millennia B.C., to 8.1% during the 1950s, 11.2% during the 1980s , to7–8% today. The degree of deforestation that Armenia has suffered and the likelihood of losing the remaining highly fragmented forest areas in the coming years is highlighted.
Despite the rapid strides made in recent years in terms of development, India has a long way to go to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This paper attempts to analyze the role and potential of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to meet the subsistence and income needs of forest inhabitants. Based on available literature, field and policy level experience, it shows how the NTFP sector has not received due importance in the country. The paper depicts the unique potential of NTFPs to assist in achieving all the 8 MDGs for the 178 million forest inhabitants in particular and the remaining population in general. It also provides a strategy for achieving the MDGs in India through NTFPs.
This paper examines issues that should be addressed in the design of regeneration standards for the sustainable management of boreal mixedwood stands. To illustrate concepts, a new system is proposed for setting boreal mixedwood regeneration standards. The proposed system is developed using a framework for creating standards that derives from the discipline of performance measurement. From a consideration of the goal of regeneration and the key factors that determine goal achievement, three performance measures that operate at the multi-block scale are proposed: i) the percent of the harvested area that is stocked, ii) the percent of the harvested area in mixed (deciduous and coniferous) patches, and iii) the percent of the harvested area dominated by free-growing conifers. Minimum and maximum acceptable levels are chosen for each performance measure. When these measures are within prescribed ranges, harvested areas are considered satisfactorily regenerated, the post-harvest condition is expected to produce the desired future forest, and reforestation is contributing to sustainability. Mixedwood regeneration standards currently used in western Canada are reviewed. The proposed system is compared to mixedwood regeneration standards currently used in British Columbia. Aspects of the proposed system requiring refinement, and insights into the design of regeneration standards provided by the field of performance measurement, are also discussed.
This paper critically examines the application of a decentralisation principle in the community forestry (CF) programme of Nepal and discusses the implications of decentralisation efforts. Decentralisation applied in the forestry sector is devolution, which involves the transfer of functions or decision-making authority. The Local Self-Governance Act (LSGA) 1999 provides the framework for decentralised governance in Nepal. While assessing the LSGA 1999 and Forest Act 1993, it emerges that in many instances, forest legislation bypasses the local government. There exist conflicts and contradictions between the FA 1993 and LSGA 1999 which adds further confusion in the community forestry programme. Local government (LG) has always claimed any natural resources lying within its jurisdiction and initiated claiming ownership of the forest situated in their jurisdiction as per LSGA 1999. But local communities or community forestry user groups (CFUGs) reject any move of the government leading towards handing over of the forests to the LGs. Nevertheless they want an active role of the LGs in the community forestry programme, mainly in user group identification. Sustainable management of the forests is unlikely without the constructive support, cooperation and active role of the LGs. Thus, role clarification between different actors and stakeholders of CFs, especially LGs, user groups and District Forest Officers with regard to CF is essential to put decentralisation into practice.
Development assistance is changing quickly. More than half of all aid to some countries now takes the form of direct contributions to the national budget. There has been a distinct move away from sectoral programmes and projects and a decline in related funding from the peaks reached during the early 1990s. This decline has been more marked in productive sectors, including rural development, than in social sectors such as health and education. These changes reflect a poverty focused development agenda. This agenda links the Millennium Development Goals with mechanisms and instruments for delivering aid that includes poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs) and general budget support. This paper explores what these changes mean for international forestry assistance.
This Comment focuses on relationships between forests and conflicts and the way these can change over time. It examines the case of Cambodia, where one type of conflict timber scenario has quickly given way to another. It concludes by highlighting some of the main lessons from the Cambodia example that may have a bearing on post-conflict forest management in other countries where timber exploitation has formed part of the war economy.