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5. Programme and process

The workshop combined plenary presentations and discussions and extensive group work. It included a series of general introductory presentations on secondary forests in Africa; a presentation and discussion of secondary forest definitions and dynamics; review and discussion of country papers5; presentation of a discussion paper on the country reports; a one-day field excursion; working group discussions on the state of knowledge, policy and management experience; and recommendations and next steps to take to manage and use secondary forests in a better way.

The workshop process was implemented in eight sessions which are detailed below in the workshop's programme, Part 4, Annex 2.

5.1 Session 1: Inauguration

The opening session was addressed by Mr Gideon Gathaara, Chief Conservator of Forests of Kenya, Mr Michael Doeff, acting Resident Representative, FAO, Kenya, Dr Bashir Jama, representing the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and regional coordinator for the East and Central Africa programme of ICRAF, and Mr Herman Savenije, on behalf of the workshop Organizing Committee (Part 4, Annex 3).

5.2 Session 2: Introduction to the workshop

The workshop facilitator explained the agenda to the participants in a plenary session. Participants were invited to give their views on what they expected from the workshop. Their expectations ranged from gaining better understanding of the concept of secondary forests to learning more about their management including specific guidelines and standards, as well as looking into policy and implementation issues.

The participants' views on expectations and the subsequent plenary discussion are given in Part 4, Annex 4.

5.3 Session 3: Setting the scene

In this plenary session a general overview was given by means of the following presentations:

Presentations are given in Part 2 of the proceedings.

5.4 Session 4: Detailing the overall picture: country issues and experience

This session consisted of two elements:

a) Presentation and discussion of the country papers in subgroups

These papers were prepared by the participants prior to the workshop and highlight the status, main issues and challenges of secondary forest management in the respective countries. Presentation and discussion took place in the following groups:

1. Group 1: Gambia, Kenya and Zambia
2. Group 2: Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe
3. Group 3: Ghana, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa
4. Group 4: Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Uganda

The 15 country reports are presented in Part 3 of the proceedings.

Based on the presentations the group participants identified the major socio-economic, technical-ecological and political-institutional issues related to the management and development of secondary forests in their countries. The results of this group work were presented and discussed in plenary.

The four working group reports are presented in Part 4, Annex 5.

b) Presentation and discussion of the discussion paper Secondary forest management in Anglophone Africa, prepared on behalf of the organizing committee by Mirjam Kuzee. The discussion paper was elaborated to identify and summarize the main points for further treatment in the workshop and to facilitate the workshop discussions.

The discussion paper is presented in Part 3 of the proceedings.

5.5 Field Excursion: Exploring secondary forest issues in local realities

Halfway through the workshop, to give participants a break and enable them to get to know each other in an informal environment, a field trip was organized to illustrate and discuss the workshop themes in a concrete field situation. Participants went in two groups, one to Embu (where ICRAF has a collaborative research station with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and Kenya Forestry Institute) and the other to the Aberdares. A summary report on the trips is given in Part 4, Annex 6.

5.6 Session 5: Issues, opportunities and constraints, lessons learned

The first objective of this session was to identify the main issues, opportunities and constraints with respect to the sustainable management of secondary forests. The second objective was to determine the lessons learned so that the management of these forests may be improved.

These aspects were mainly discussed in three subgroups, each representing one of the following areas: policy/institutional, technological/ecological and socio-economic. Participants were able to sign up for the subgroup in which they were particularly interested, and all group work was facilitated by a member of the Organizing Committee. The results of each workgroup are given in Part 4, Annexes 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3.

At the end of the session the results of the workgroups were discussed in plenary. The main discussion points may be found in Part 4, Annex 7.4.

5.7 Session 6: Definitions and typology

In response to a request made by the participants, a special session was organized on the definition and typology of secondary forests in the specific context of tropical Africa. A special working group led by Unna Chokkalingam elaborated a proposal that was presented and discussed in plenary.

The proposal on the definition and typology is presented in Annex 8.1 and the subsequent discussion is summarized in Part 4, Annex 8.2.

5.8 Session 7: Conclusions and recommendations

Based on the outcome of Session 5 (opportunities, constraints and lessons), the same three working groups (political and institutional issues; technical and ecological issues; socio-economic issues) formulated a set of conclusions and recommendations. The results are presented in Part 4, Annex 9.

5.9 Session 8: Actions and priorities

On the last day in plenary session participants formulated and discussed a series of actions and priorities that were considered realistic to be taken up by themselves in the near future. The summary of actions and responsible persons is given in Part 4, Annex 10.

5.10 Evaluation of the workshop

In the evaluation of the workshop, participants expressed their satisfaction with its content, the programme and methodology, as well as the results. Most of their expectations were met.

They commended the good organization and logistics and stated that they enjoyed the differentiated discussion and exchanges with colleagues. However, it was felt that the time allocated was too short to cover all aspects in depth. Participants also criticized some of the excursion arrangements.

It was recommended that more time should be allocated for such a workshop and arrangements for an excursion improved. Finally, participants stated that secondary forests were not a priority on the political agenda of most countries and more needs to be done to fully recognize their importance and potential. For details of the observations made by participants, see Part 4, Annex 11.

6. Main themes and conclusions

Observations and conclusions at the workshop were grouped along three lines of focus: 1) policy and institutional issues, 2) social and economic issues, and 3) technical and ecological issues. It is emphasized that these issues are strongly related and may overlap with one another.

Policy and institutional issues

The importance of secondary forests must be recognized at national and international levels.

In national budgets and agendas, secondary forests have been given low priority. This is often caused by insufficient awareness of the (potential) contribution of secondary forests to the economy and community life in general. It is therefore necessary to develop appropriate mechanisms and techniques to better assess the extent, potential, products, value and services of secondary forests. The development of such mechanisms requires collaboration among the various stakeholders, sensitization, education, and raising the awareness and political will of decision-makers. Furthermore, sustainable management of secondary forests should be incorporated into national forest programmes (nfps), national development programmes, and international conventions.

Institutional capacity needs to be improved.

Institutional capacity can be improved by promoting and implementing collaborative research and development programs on secondary forests within regional institutions; increasing the awareness of this resource and related issues; and by training of staff. Exchanging information and experiences on secondary forest management, and the streamlining of communication among institutions at all levels is essential. At the community level more awareness is needed on the importance of secondary forests and how they can be managed sustainably.

A cross-sectoral policy is vital for sustainable forest management.

The forestry sector in general, and more specifically the sustainable management of secondary forests, are often ignored in policy making and resource allocation. This is mainly due to the lack of awareness of the value of goods and services of secondary forests. It is necessary to design appropriate tools to highlight the contribution of this resource to the well being of the population. A greater recognition will strengthen the position of the forestry sector in cross-sectoral debate and conflict. The need for an integrated, cross-sectoral approach is essential if secondary forests are to be managed sustainably.

Multi-stakeholder participation in policy formulation and sustainable forest management are essential.

Local knowledge, experience and capacities are often overlooked, although local communities have become increasingly dependent on secondary forests. Policy formulation and implementation is usually a top-down approach, which is not equitably counterbalanced by bottom-up approaches that should enable secondary forest dependent communities in particular to participate in decision making on an equal footing. Local participation can be achieved by recognizing local authorities and by incorporating use-rights of local communities into appropriate legislation (by-laws). Furthermore, the formation and networking of local groups to empower their negotiating, organizational and implementing capacities should be supported.

Conflicting issues in tenure and legislation need to be resolved.

Incompatibility between traditional tenure rights (land, trees and other resources) and formal land allocation have often led to conflicting (and free access) situations, resulting in the mismanagement of secondary forests. These conflicting issues need to be harmonized and streamlined, whereby customary laws are incorporated into formal land allocation laws. In this respect, multi-stakeholder participation as well as appropriate rules and regulations to enforce legislation at the local level are key issues necessary for the sustainable management of secondary forests. The status of women, landless, tenants and immigrants, in particular, needs to be reviewed as they play an important role in the management of this resource.

Social and economic issues

Communities should be involved in the management of secondary forests.

The roles and responsibilities of local people in the management, conservation and use of secondary forests must be recognized and appreciated, since local communities are often highly dependent on this resource. Empowerment and capacity building of these communities are key issues in stakeholder participation. Increasing access and ownership of secondary forests for local people and equitable cost and benefit sharing will further encourage the sustainable management of this resource.

Appropriate marketing and enterprise development is needed.

Information on trade beyond local markets is not readily available in Anglophone African countries. The value of products, goods and services derived from secondary forests is underestimated and poorly priced. Consequently, secondary forest products are not appropriately valued at national and local level. For an adequate marketing and enterprise development system, better access to information and credit is needed. Improved logistics (transport) and market mechanisms are essential in this regard.

Equitable sharing of roles, responsibilities, costs and benefits can improve the management of secondary forests.

Currently the costs and benefits derived from secondary forests are not equitably distributed. Costs and benefits should be expressed not only in financial terms, but also in human resources and environmental services. The imbalance is often caused by unequal access to the resource, inadequate valuation methods, and the lack of efficient marketing mechanisms. A fairer distribution of and access to resources should result in the improved livelihoods of local people.

The influence of poverty and demography on the management of secondary forests is often underestimated.

The relationship between population growth, population density and forest degradation is not straightforward and often over-simplified. A more immediate problem is the poverty trap, exacerbated by the failure to match the short-term needs of local people with the long-term goals of sustainable land use and forest management. A successful policy for sustainable forest management can contribute to poverty alleviation - and vice versa - through the creation of favourable socio-economic and institutional conditions, through the greater involvement of local stakeholders and by integrating secondary forest management in PRSP's and other poverty eradication strategies.

Technical and ecological issues

The overall typology and definition of secondary forests must be adapted to countries' specific overall conditions.

The harmonization of definitions and typologies of secondary forests can improve communication and collaboration among stakeholders and may help attract new resources; it should also improve its assessment. However, it is important to consider both for operational and policy reasons, to adapt generic definitions and typologies to national and regional conditions. This should be done in a consultative process and through national workshops, whereby it is considered important to use existing local knowledge to stratify and classify local vegetation types.

Secondary forests should be managed as an integral part of the overall land use and not in isolation (landscape approach).

Socio-economic and ecological relations between secondary forests and other land uses are intricate and manifold. Integrated planning results in optimal use of resources but it should be backed by adequate policies and legislation and be participatory in nature. The viability and effectiveness of integrated management plans increases when the interests of relevant actors are properly accommodated, and when it contributes to a better understanding and demarcation of boundaries and authority on land.

A participatory and adaptive management and research approach is needed to increase the ecological and technological knowledge base for secondary forest management.

Information and understanding of the ecological processes and dynamics of secondary forests, both at species and ecosystem levels are deficient. Knowledge gaps include among others, the role of fires and animals; silviculture and economics of target species; how to sustain, enhance and monitor productivity and biodiversity related to this resource. Knowledge development should focus on all components and processes of the ecosystem; this needs a multidisciplinary approach in which practical local knowledge and experience are matched with formal research. This should result in technical guidelines and technologies that are affordable and compatible with the skills of local users and in management strategies that maximize the flow of goods and services to local communities.

Improved secondary forest management requires better inventories and better access to, and dissemination of information.

Secondary forests are now largely a "hidden" resource, which currently does not appear in national and international statistics. Adequate resources should be provided for inventories to also assess secondary forest types. Although more information and knowledge is needed, there is a lot to be gained by synthesis, better access to and dissemination of existing knowledge. Improved networking and collaboration among national and international forest institutions, NGO's and individual experts, using modern information and communication technologies, is critical in this respect. National governments and other stakeholders - externally supported if so required - should elaborate national information strategies and provide the facilities for information technology communication.

5 Prepared by each of the participants prior to the workshop.

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