Philippe Guizol and Christian Cossalter
Guizol is a socio-economist-forester working with
CIRAD-Forêt since 1990. In 1998, he was assigned to set up the
CIFOR-CIRAD joint project on decision making process for Forestry
Plantation Management. Since then, he has been based at CIFOR,
Bogor, Indonesia in charge of that project. He is responsible for
forest policy and natural resources management, research on
decision making and appropriation patterns for sustainable development.
Prior to joining the CIRAD-Forêt in May 1990, he also worked for the
Ministry of French Cooperation from 1982 to 1990. His highest position
held in that Office was Research Director of Forestry Division in
Burundi, East Africa.
Cossalter, a forest engineer by profession, is the
Programme Leader on Planttaion Forestry and Degraded Low-Potential
Sites Program of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR),
Bogor, Indonesia. This research programme on plantation forestry
focuses mainly on the management of trees to maintain or enhance the
productivity of forest lands, especially those where smallholder systems
are prevalent. Before joining CIFOR, Mr. Cossalter was with CIRAD- Forêt
(formerly, CTFI) from 1972 to 1986 and from 1991 to 1993 and was
assigned in different countries. In 1986 to 1991, he was with FAO, Division
of Forest Resources based in Rome. His main duties then was to plan,
organize and supervise the Forestry Department's Programme on forest
The total amount of industrial plantations around the world is still small compared with the total area of global forests, but plantation forestry in the tropics is expected to increase quickly because of growing demand for timber and the depletion of wood from natural forests. Forestry plantations in the tropics have a comparative advantage over temperate plantations in terms of potentially higher yields. Tropical countries are trying to encourage greater private-sector investment in forestry plantations and downstream wood industries. In many countries, however, land ownership and access is disputed by a variety of stakeholders. A major challenge for plantation companies is to reach agreements with these stakeholders to ensure a supply of raw material.
Agreements between plantation companies and communities or other stakeholders offer a means of meeting the different objectives of various groups. Yet, in actual forest planning decisions, some stakeholders have more power than others. This is especially true when large international companies are dealing with local communities whose residents may have little understanding of what an agreement entails. In such a context whether agreements are sustainable is questionable. CIFOR's Plantation Programme is engaged in research to develop tools and methods for assessing and monitoring the viability of such agreements between plantation companies and other stakeholders.
Key words: forest plantation; forest management; stakeholder agreements; multi-agent system
The total area of plantations around the world is about 3.5 percent of all global forests. Most forest plantations are in non-tropical areas: China, the Russian Federation, the United States and Japan. Tropical and sub-tropical resources constitute 44.7 percent of all global forest plantations. Overall, forest plantations totalled 123.7 million hectares in 1995, of which 103.3 million hectares were industrial plantations. The development of forest plantations in Asia is a recent phenomenon; high proportions of plantations in Asia are less than 15 years old. China, India and Japan account for 78 percent of all forest plantations in the region. Currently, plantations are thought to be supplying about 12 percent of the world's total harvest of round wood, and projections suggest the total area of industrial plantations may double before 2050 (Brown 1999).
A number of factors are driving the expansion of forest plantations. In developing countries, especially tropical regions, populations are growing rapidly and standards of living are improving dramatically (this is the general trend, despite setbacks in Southeast Asia during the recent regional economic crisis). At the same time, natural forests in the tropics are shrinking, and there is greater public pressure to preserve a larger part of the forests that remain. Yet, the demand for solid wood, wood particles and pulpwood is expected to increase, requiring more forest plantations. In addition, growing demand for environmental services of forests, such as carbon sequestration or watershed protection, may lead to new forms of plantation forests.
In Southeast Asia, the main forces driving the development of forest plantations are the board and the pulp and paper industries. Scenarios of the global timber market indicate that the pulp and paper industry could be adversely affected by limited or restricted timber supplies, although technical changes within the industry may mitigate the problem and help curb the growth of pulpwood prices (Tromborg et al. 2000). Tropical plantations have comparative advantages over plantations in temperate zones, including potentially higher yields and lower production costs. In regard to wood production, tropical plantations have comparative advantages over natural tropical forests. Commercial timber yields from natural forests are at most 2.5 cum/ha/yr., whereas the productivity of most tropical plantations is 15 to 25 cum/ha/yr. - a considerable difference.
The scientific forestry community expects that plantations will ease the current pressures on natural forests. Even though ecological services from plantations may be significantly lower than those of natural forests, the development of forest plantations may, at a much larger scale, contribute to the protection of natural forests and their resources. In many countries, however, the pace of plantation development has been slow because natural forests still constitute a cheap source of raw material, while reliance on forest plantations entails higher costs and risks.
In many cases, plantation development has been pursued mainly as an `insurance policy' - seen as useful eventually when natural forest resources are no longer available (Barr 2000). Recent experience in Southeast Asia shows, for example, that plantation forestry has not reduced the pressure on natural forests at the national level (Abdul Razak Mohd Ali and Appanah 2000). Given this situation, it is inevitable that future supplies from natural forests will continue to decline, while large-scale development of forest plantations is expected.
In general, national governments have been retreating from plantation investments and are encouraging more private investment in the forestry sector, for both plantations and downstream industries. Plantation development involves considerable costs, time and risks. The investment generally centres around the need for large tracks of land, and a major challenge is maintaining control of such areas over a long period. Yet, access to land is becoming more and more difficult, as local communities claim land for alternative uses. Under these conditions, acquiring guarantees of land access is a prerequisite for attracting private investment in forest plantations.
Box 1: Conceptual framework of forest plantation managementcontrolled by a single decision maker
The basic approach to forest management has changed dramatically in the past decade. Until recently, managing tropical plantations to achieve sustainable yields depended mainly on a thorough understanding of forest growth processes and how plantation forests respond to interventions such as fertilising, weeding, clearing and logging. Forest plantation management targeted wood production as the single objective and was viewed largely as a process of technical operations to achieve optimum performance. In this management model, the manager - backed by his technical staff - was the main decision maker.
Today, however, forest management has come to be viewed as a dynamic process that almost invariably requires addressing social impacts of existing and potential plantations as well as physical constraints on the forests' performance. Instead of acting independently, a manager is often required to initiate a decision-making process that involves multiple stakeholders, while the management objective is to reach an acceptable trade-off among the desires of different stakeholders.
Commercial wood production is a key objective of plantation forestry. Yet, plantations also provide an opportunity to generate or support local development, and can be made to simultaneously meet a number of different objectives. Adopting a new forest management approach that emphasises social and institutional dynamics at the expense of other legitimate objectives such as timber production would be as inappropriate as the old style of forest management that focused exclusively on biological aspects.
Box 2: Conceptual framework of forest plantation management controlled by multiple stakeholders
The main difference between the two conceptual frameworks presented here is the decision-making process. The first model is based on a single-actor decision-making process; in the second model, decisions are made by multiple stakeholders. Coordinating stakeholders' multiple interests in forest resources is becoming an issue of major concern. This implies the need to take into account new kind of processes as the appropriation regime the way in which different stakeholders compete for the same resources and the institutional processes by which the resources are allocated. This appropriation process is at the interface of social and biological concerns.
The means by which forest-related resources such as land, wood, non-timber products and water are appropriated by the stakeholders can be characterised by five factors (Weber 1993):
In the new decision-making process, forest stakeholders interact and negotiate a management plan. It constitutes not only a set of actions but also a set of agreements among stakeholders. These agreements can be readily adjusted according to predefined rules that provide mechanisms for resolving conflicts of interests and addressing other problems. This opportunity to make adjustments as necessary is a cost-effective way of keeping the management system viable. Yet, this arrangement may not work well in the event of catastrophes or other major changes such as fire, tree diseases, new national regulations and the emergence of additional stakeholders. In such cases, a complete reassessment of the management system is needed - the management process enters a new `loop.' This reassessment must be done under the control of the stakeholders.
In the new conceptual framework, stakeholders together elaborate the forest management plan. How they interact to reach agreement about land use and forest plantation management, and how this process remains viable, is the subject of a new field of research. Researchers monitor and evaluate the processes and the viability of the agreements.
Forest management agreements involving local stakeholders are not yet extensive. In Indonesia, the system governing relations between Perum Perhutani and local communities with regards to teak plantations was a rare example of an enduring agreement between a company and other forest stakeholders. New kinds of agreements have been instituted only in the last decade, yet there is now rapid movement in that direction. Large companies in Indonesia such as Finnantara, a subsidiary of Stora-Enso, are investing in such schemes. Under an agreement with nearby communities, Finnantara has planted about 30,000 ha of Acacia mangium plantations in Kalimantan.
The main reason for the development of agreements like these is industry's need for wood supplies in the face of land scarcity and disputes. Investment per mill in the pulp and paper industry is increasing, and vast areas of land are needed to supply enough raw materials for large-scale industry. The biggest challenge now for industry is how to develop sufficient wood resources to meet its future needs. In the past, wood mill supply in Indonesia came from extensive, unsustainable logging of natural forests (Barr 2000). Soon, this source will be exhausted. This growing shortage is happening in an environment of increasing land claims by local communities. The problem of acquiring access to land for growing trees is hardly unique to Indonesia. Mondi, a large commercial forestry company in South Africa, for example, needed a minimum of 100,000 hectares of plantation to support its investment in a timber-processing facility. Through a joint venture, Mondi bought about 80,000 hectares of commercial farmland, of which only about half was suitable for establishing plantations. As a result, Mondi began as early as 1994 proposing agreements with local groups to grow trees on community lands.
This issue of alternative land uses and the need for agreements with local stakeholders are sure to be raised as well in relation to the present interest in exploring the development of forest plantations for carbon sequestration.
Agreements between plantation companies and communities or other stakeholders offer a means of meeting the different objectives of various groups. Yet, in actual forest planning decisions, some stakeholders have more power than others. This is especially true when large international companies are dealing with local communities whose residents may have little understanding of what an agreement entails. In such a context, whether agreements are sustainable is questionable.
The research question:
Are stakeholder agreements feasible when there is an imbalance of power among the various partners?
The objective is to develop processes and tools for assessing and monitoring stakeholder agreements in the context of forestry plantation development in tropical countries.
An imbalance of power among stakeholder groups can be remedied by transparency in the decision-making process. Through increased communication and information flow among partners, we can increase the viability of cooperative forest management. Transparency means that communities at least understand the terms of an agreement and have enough information to assess its potential impacts on their livelihood. A company has the means to monitor impacts of the agreement on aspects of its business, but can monitor as well effects on other stakeholders and on the forest resources.
Scale of interest:
The landscape is the main scale of interest. But this level has to be seen in relation to the farm-level or plot-level scale on the one hand, and to the policy-level scale on the other hand.
The main partners are national research centres (universities and forest institutes), the private sector and NGO's.
The beneficiaries are basically all stakeholders. However, as the research attempts to increase the transparency of the decision processes towards real fair share of the resources, the main beneficiaries will be the smallholders and the communities. The large companies, which are really looking for fair agreements with communities, will also benefit from this research.
a) Criteria and indicators to assess and monitor stakeholder agreements.
b) Processes to build scenarios and anticipate conflicts. Each process will include the elaboration of site-specific models that can be used as tools.
c) Tools to monitor the impact of agreements on benefit sharing among stakeholders.
d) Identification of stakeholders influential in forest decision making.
a) Greater empowerment of local communities.
b) Fairer benefit sharing.
c) Fewer risks for companies and more benefits for all parties.
d) Feedback on land use and shift toward greater diversity.
a) Fewer conflicts.
b) Alleviation of poverty.
c) Better use of land and resources.
This research will support the development of small-scale forest plantations in the tropics and will contribute to leveling the playing field between large companies and small holders, as the basis for establishing alternative, sustainable sources of raw material for the wood industry. Comparative research will be done through research networks in Southeast Asia. This research will help CIFOR fulfill its mission of conducting strategic, collaborative forestry research that contributes to the sustained well-being of people in developing countries, particularly in the tropics, and promotes the transfer of appropriate new technologies and the adoption of new methods of social organization for national development.
Abdul Razak Mohd Ali and S. Appanah 2000 Forest Resources Management in Southeast Asia: New Directions. IUFRO 2000, Kuala Lumpur
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Barr, C. 2000 Profits on Paper: The Political Economy of Fiber, Finance, and Debt in Indonesia's Pulp and Paper Industries. Draft. 48p.
Brown, C. 1999 Global forest products outlook study, thematic study of plantations. FAO. 129p.
Tromborg, E., J. Buongiorno and B. Solberg 2000 The global timber market: implications of changes in economic growth, timber supply, and technological trends. Forest Policy and Economics I: 53-69.
Weber J. and D. Bailly 1993 . Prévoir c'est gouverner. Nature Sciences et Sociétés, Vol. 1, No.1.
Weber, J. 1993 Economie des ressources renouvelables et de l'environnment, Programmememe CIRAD-GREEN. 12p.
Dr. Simmathiri Appanah and U Saw Eh Daw
Appanah is a Senior Programme Adviser to
FORSPA. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Tropical
Forest Science, was the recipient of numerous fellowships
including the MacArthur Fellowship and the Monbusho Special
Scholar Fellowship. He is the author/co-author of over 180
publications, including books and proceedings, and has
supervised seven (7) M.Sc./PhD students from several universities.
His experience in tropical forest management, and has frequently
served as a consultant to many forestry projects in the region,
including GTZ, DANCED, Lao-Swedish Project and CIFOR.
Dr. Appanah obtained his PhD from the University of Malaya in
1980 for his work on the reproductive biology of dipterocarps.
He served in a variety of positions in the Forest Research Institute
in Malaysia, progressively as: Forest Ecologist, Silviculturist, Head
of Research Planning and Evaluation Unit; and Director of the Natural
U Saw Eh Daw, a
Myanmar national, graduated from the Yangon
University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry, and did his
post-graduate studies at the International Institute of Aerospace Survey
and Earth Sciences for a diploma in the Netherlands. He served in the
District Forest Office of Shwe Bo as Assistant Conservator, in the
Working Plan Division of the Forest Department (FD) of Myanmar as
Assistant Director and as Assistant Lecturer at the Forestry Department
of the Yangon University. A s a Senior Research Officer, he served in
the Forest Research Institute at Yezin, before he transferred to the
Central Forestry Development Training Centre project, jointly implemented
by FD and JICA, where he served as the principal. During his service at
the training centre, he was given dual responsibility to assist the then
Coordinator of TEAKNET whom he succeeded at the retirement of the latter.
He is currently the Coordinator of TEAKNET and Professor of the Institute
of Forestry at Yezin.
The benefits from tropical forests are wide-ranging and diverse. These include clean air and water, productive soils, biological diversity, forest goods and services, employment opportunities, community benefits, recreation, animal habitats, and naturalness. At the same time these forests are extremely rich in biodiversity, and are further believed to play an important role in the global climate. In the Asia Pacific Region, with about half of the world population and only about a quarter of the global forest area, the pressure on them is intense. Concern for the rapid loss of such valuable forests has sparked intense debate at international fora.
Moves are now in progress to manage these complex terrestrial ecosystems on a sustainable basis. Several international organizations have developed the principles and the criteria and indicators to introduce sustainable management practices. However, the implementation of good management practices cannot be achieved without further research: these principles will have to be translated into appropriate management practices to the local conditions. These require considerable research inputs, in terms of adaptation and fine-tuning of sustainable practices. The national research institutes are entrusted such tasks.
However many, but not all of the national institutes in the Asia Pacific Region were found wanting in their capacity to undertake such complex research. In some cases such institutes, in terms of infrastructure and researchers were non existent. Recognizing this need to strengthen the science and technology capabilities of the forestry sector in the developing countries of the Asia Pacific Region, FAO initiated the Forestry Research Support Program for Asia and the Pacific or FORSPA.
The Forestry Research Support Program for Asia and the Pacific (FORSPA), which was launched in 1991, had the following broad objectives:
Networking was identified as one important tool for FORSPA to promote its efforts to raise the capacity and technical capabilities of forestry researchers and mangers in the region. Networking, if appropriately conceived, can confer numerous benefits to researchers and users of research information. In recognition of the importance and benefits of networking for forestry research these days, a whole sub-plenary session was devoted to it in the recent IUFRO Congress (August 2000, Kuala Lumpur). Several authors discussed the virtues and sustainability of networks (Beer & Guevara 2000, Galloway 2000, Tahvanainen 2000, Valsta et al. 2000, Sarre & Sobral 2000, Souvannavong & Nair 2000). The authors reviewed several forestry networks now in existence, and point out the following benefits:
However, all those considering developing networks must also be aware that if the conditions are not appropriate, networks will not be effective nor can they be sustained. From experience, several such conditions have been identified, and include:
Networks were recognized as instrumental to achieve FORSPA's objective of achieving sustainable forest management through building up the research capacity of institutions and transfer of the technology to the target groups. FORSPA fostered two types of networks. One network was the association of forestry research institutes to bring about regional cooperation, and the other was for specialists in priority areas.
4.1 Establishment and Development of APAFRI:
The heads of Forestry Research Organizations in the Asia Pacific Region met under the auspices of FORSPA in Bogor in 1995, where they passed the resolution to establish the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI). This association is being developed to be a self-reliant and sustainable mechanism to strengthen research networking in the region. APAFRI's overall objective is to foster sustainable forest management in the region, through facilitating the exchange of information, cooperation among members in research and training, and strengthening linkages between national, regional and international organizations. APAFRI functions by facilitating research, promoting its cause and development, improving research management of member institutions, and exchange of information.
There are now more than 50 registered members of APAFRI, including international organizations, private sector, and institutions from developed countries. Besides membership contributions, FORSPA has been the major supporter of APAFRI's activities. The Secretariat is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (FRIM/UPM). APAFRI's activities so far can be summed up into:
With the kind of visibility it has so far received, APAFRI has been able to attract additional financial and technical support from other agencies like FORSPA, CIDA, ACIAR and SEARCA. The CIDA funded TREELINK Project is now part of APAFRI activities, for promoting forestry education in Southeast Asia. APAFRI is now the Asia Chapter of IUFRO as well. In the long term, it is envisaged that APAFRI will mature into a strong association, and effectively represent the region's interests in international fora, a strong and collective voice for the region on forestry matters. It should also be able to advise donor countries on the research priorities for the region, and assist in the coordination of the work.
4.2 FORSPA's Research Networks:
Besides supporting the development of APAFRI as a regional research networking mechanism, FORSPA has also been facilitating collaborative efforts through topic-specific research networks. Networks have been established in areas that are of high priority at the region-wide level. FORSPA provides the initial funding for such networks to take off. It is hoped that with greater visibility, they will be able to spin off on their own ultimately. FORSPA supports by their development through improving interaction among network members, strengthen their collaboration, undertaking thematic research, conducting field tours, seminars, and workshops. The following networks have been initiated:
4.2.1 Tree Nutrition Research in the South Pacific:
This is a project based on collaborative arrangement wherein research on tree nutrition was undertaken in the South Pacific Islands (Nutrition of Tropical Hardwood Plantation Species in the South Pacific). CSIRO and FORSPA supported the research activity, and the work was carried out in Fiji and Samoa. Besides undertaking research, the network organized training courses, meetings, and there are plans to hold a regional workshop. The initial objectives of this network have been mostly met. There is a need to redefine the objectives of this network, and seek additional support for linking the forestry institutions in the South Pacific region.
4.2.2 Rehabilitation of Logged-over Natural Forests:
Rehabilitation of logged-over natural forests has been identified as one critical area for research and development in the Asia Pacific Region. FORSPA initiated the network, called the Asia Pacific Forest Rehabilitation Network (APFReN). The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) coordinates it. FORSPA has been supporting this network. However, FRIM with its expertise and capacity, has been providing the local costs for the Secretariat and a number of activities. In the process, of course FRIM has received much recognition for its work. APFReN intends to facilitate exchange of information on technologies on rehabilitation, develop core group of experts, and facilitate establishment of a network of demonstration plots which will become the base for training local researchers and forest managers on rehabilitation techniques. APFReN has been quite active, and it has so far undertaken the following activities:
4.2.3 Dalbergia sissoo Network:
This Network arose as a result of representations by member countries in the South Asian region, based on a priority problem realized by researchers in the region. Dalbergia sissoo is planted extensively in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Recently, there has been large scale "die-back" of the tree, especially under plantation conditions. Since the tree is economically important for the region, FORSPA assisted in setting up a Network in Nepal to look into the problems faced by the crop.
Under the Network, the following activities have been carried out, and are planned:
Among the Networks that FORSPA helped to create or support, TEAKNET is perhaps the most prominent. The Secretariat for TEAKNET is located in the Forest Department, Yangon, Myanmar. It is supported by the host organization, with staff, office space, and local running expenses. FORSPA provided support for development of information system, and to expose the TEAKNET Staff to networking approaches. TEAKNET has a large number of institutional and individual members from the private and public sectors. TEAKNET is principally supported with membership fees, while FORSPA support is activity specific. The objectives of TEAKNET include:
Some of the activities planned include:
TEAKNET has already organized several meetings, as well as a seminar in 1999 "Site, Technology and Productivity of Teak Plantations." Some of the studies FORSPA-TEAKNET facilitated for discussion during the seminar included: country status papers, subject specific papers, and development of a research programme. The Seminar proceedings have been published recently (FORSPA Publication No. 23). The "Third Regional Seminar on Teak," held recently in Indonesia was another TEAKNET activity.
Mankind is at the threshold of great developments in the field of mass communication systems. The computer networking and multimedia conferencing systems will revolutionize the way we do many things. Already we are beginning to realize the benefits of e-mails, internets, and e-conferencing. The expansion of internet and other forms of communication systems are rapidly going to change the way we do things, in marketing, learning, and entertainment. The way we do research will undergo drastic changes as well. Libraries in their current form would be extinct. Scientists from anywhere in the globe would be able to access any form of literature, formally published material or the gray literature as long as it is deposited in the Internet. The disadvantages that small scattered groups of specialists working in isolation would disappear. In fact, research institutions of the future may be kept small. Third world scientists would not be constrained by lack of critical mass, literature, lack of travel funds, and other limitations currently perceived. These difficulties would disappear provided they invest in information technology and work in networks.
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