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3.17 Country paper: Zimbabwe

Reality and perspectives
Zimbabwe Country Paper

Written by
Edward Mufandaedza
Forestry Commission, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe



Reality and perspectives
In collaboration with ICRAF and CIFOR
Nairobi, Kenya, 9-13 December 2002


By definition, "secondary forests are forests regenerating largely through natural processes after significant human and natural/ or natural disturbance of the original forest vegetation at a single point in time or over an extended period, and displaying a major difference in forest structure and/or canopy species composition with respect to nearby primary forests on similar sites". Zimbabwe essentially exhibits three types of tropical secondary forests which are: post extraction secondary forests, post fire forest secondary forests and post abandonment secondary forests. This country report looks at each type of secondary forest, the landscape they are embedded in, and the effects of each type thereof.

Secondary forests are of socio-economic importance. They are used by people to provide the necessary goods and services, for example, timber, firewood, construction poles, etc. Ecologically, secondary forests provide protection to the flora and fauna and conservation to biodiversity for intergenerational equity. This is at the local level. At the national level, secondary forests are an important asset which belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. From this point of view, revenues from forestry operations go to the treasury for distribution to all provinces in the country (be it revenues from hunting operations or timber logging operations, etc).

Local forestry companies, private companies, Rural District Councils and non-governmental organizations are involved in the management of secondary forests in one way or another. For the exploitation of the secondary forest resources, institutional arrangements, and tenurial arrangements should be taken into account to avoid conflict. Rules, regulations, norms and cultures of people also affect resource utilisation. Cross-sectoral policies which affect interest groups from different backgrounds, and implications and impact of these policies on natural resources management need critical attention.

Finally, the main lessons and recommendations from secondary forests from the report are given as well as the subsequent recommendations thereof.


There is a decline in Zimbabwean woodlands mainly due to clearing for agriculture, and partly due to harvesting fuelwood and construction poles, infrastructure development and overstocking of domestic animals (Gondo and Mkwanda, 1991). Rapid population growth puts a strain on natural resources as well. Natural regeneration in the form of secondary forests in degraded areas, post fire areas or areas previously logged is critical for the sustainable management of the natural forests in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's economic policies are based on the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP, 1991-1995) and Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation (ZIMPREST, 1996-2000), which were supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The economic policies include tight fiscal controls, removal of subsidies and opening up of foreign investment. One of the vehicles that the economic policies delivered is the Public Enterprise Reform. It's objective is to reduce public enterprise reliance on taxes. Such enterprises were expected to operate more effectively and effectively in the commercial environment using private sector measures and to encourage competition in the natural resources industry. Forestry Commission, a public enterprise, was restructured in response to this policy. These policies have resulted in less budgetary allocations to government departments, including those in the natural resources sector. This led to inability of these respective departments to effectively regulate exploitation of natural resources.

For the natural resources sector (including forestry), ZIMPREST proposed the formation of an overarching policy which includes:


Zimbabwe is a land-locked country covering about 39 million hectares. It has four topographical zones (Katerere et al., 1993): the Eastern Highlands on the border with Mozambique; the Highveld, a plateau of 1200 to 1500 m above sea level running diagonally across the country from northwest to southeast; the Midveld on both sides of the Highveld between 900 and 1200 m above sea level; and the Lowveld below 900 m above sea level mainly in the southeast. The country is also divided into five regions based on soil types, rainfall and other climatic factors (Katerere et al., 1993):

The soils in Zimbabwe vary from less fertile sandy granite-derived soils, which constitute 70 per cent of the soils, to fertile clay igneous intrusion soils.

Zimbabwe's per capita income in 1996 was US$718, and it is much lower now due to drastic devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar (exchange rate Z$10 per US$1 in 1996, Z$ 37 per US$1 in November 1998 and currently pegged at Z$55 to US$1). Zimbabwe's economic structure is dominated by agriculture, manufacturing and service provision. Manufacturing contributes 25 per cent of GDP. Forestry accounts for about 3 per cent. The timber industry contributes 8 per cent to the manufacturing value. Forestry contribution to the economy is largely based on the wood processing industry (plantations of exotic species, particularly pines and eucalypts). Natural resource conservation and use, at the provincial level, are co-ordinated by the Provincial Council, at district level by the District Council and at the local level by traditional chiefs.


The estimated cover of different land uses is shown in Table 1 (Forestry Commission records, 1996). Exotic forest plantations, primarily of Pinus and Eucalyptus species, cover 156,000 ha (0.4 per cent of the country). They are located mainly in the high altitude, high rainfall Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. Afromontane rainforests cover a very small area in the Eastern Highlands (see Timberlake and Shaw 1994). Indigenous woodlands cover about 25.8 million ha (65.5 per cent of the total land area).

Table 1: Estimates of the extent of each land use system in Zimbabwe

Land use

Area (x 1 000 ha)

% of total area

Afromontane Rainforest






Indigenous woodlands

25 772



1 894


Cultivated land

10 783





Other (waters, rocky outcrops)

257 500



39 090


Source: Forestry Commission records (1996)

Most forest cover, other than Mopane woodland, is found in the gazetted state forests, National parks, commercial farming areas and the eastern highlands of the country (Table 2). Forty percent of the natural forest and woodland is found in the communal areas. In these areas they are most exposed to frequent natural fires, indiscriminate tree cutting, clearing for agriculture, for construction purposes, etc. Agricultural expansion is one of the major causes of deforestation in the country. The harvested wood is sold to towns and service centres both big and small at give away prices. Approximately 100,000 ha of forest are cleared annually for agricultural purposes and this represents about 0.6 per cent of the total forest area.

Table 2: Distribution of the major woodland types by land tenure category in Zimbabwe (x 1,000 ha)

Vegetation type








1 037

1 866


22 264

3 520

2 395

28 179





1 203



1 501

1 129

2 867

Total area

23 188

5 385

5 542

34 115

Source: Coopers and Lybrand, unpublished document (1985)

Vegetation types


The varied geological substrates, and the wide altitudinal and rainfall ranges resulted in a rich biodiversity and a number of distinctive woodland types (Bradley and Dewees, 1993). There are basically five main woodland vegetation types: Miombo, Mopane, Baikiaea (Teak), Acacia and Terminalia-Combretum woodlands.

Miombo woodland

Miombo is dry deciduous woodland dominated by leguminous tree species, covering a significant area of Africa south of the equator, including large parts of Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Miombo woodlands cover 75 per cent of the country. The major species are Brachystegia spiciformis and Julbernadia globiflora. Associated species include Faurea spp, Combretum molle, Uapaca kirkiana, Pterocarpus angolensis, Albizia antunesiana, Strychnos spp, and Parinari curatelifolia. Relatively undisturbed miombo woodland is characterized by a single stratum of 6 to 12 m high, with a canopy cover up to 80 per cent.

Brachystegia/Julbernardia woodland is common on the highveld of Zimbabwe at altitudes above 1200 m. Woodland co-dominated by B.spiciformis and J.globiflora does not exist on shallow clay soils where water is limiting, while in areas prone to slight sub-surface waterlogging, such as Mazowe, Beatrice and Chatsworth, J. globiflora is restricted to higher ground. At Burma Valley in Mutare, B. spiciformis was found on deeper more fertile soils, and most of these soils have been cleared for agriculture. There is considerable within-site variation, with B.spiciformis found more on mid-catena sites, while on the upper catenas where the soil tends to be shallower and drier, J.globiflora is common.

The estimated volume ranges from about 25 to 30m3/ha, with mean annual increment of 1.2m3/ha. The Miombo woodlands also happen to be the richest in terms of fruit production and variety (Campbell et al., 1993).

Mopane woodland

Mopane woodland is characterized by mono-specific stands of Colophospermum mopane and occurs at altitudes below 900 m where the climatic conditions are hot and dry, with rainfall below 600 mm rain. Where mixed stands do occur, associated species include Acacia spp, Combretum spp, and Kirkia. A characteristic associate is Adonsonia digitata. The woodland develops best on deep well-drained soils, more clay-rich substrates, but assumes a shrubby form on dry sites, particularly where exchangeable sodium levels are high.

Baikiaea woodland

The Baikiaea or Teak woodlands are confined to the western and northwestern parts of the country, on Kalahari Sands, extending over one million hectares. Baikiaea plurijuga is the major species commonly found in association with Pterocarpus angolensis, Guibourtia coleosperma, Afzelia quanzensis, Shinjioplyton rautaneii, Burkea africana, Terminalia spp and Combretum spp (see Rogers, 1993). They contain most of the commercially exploitable indigenous timber species. Their average productivity ranges between 150-200m3/ha with a mean annual increment of 0.6 to 0.7m3/ha (Chihambakwe, 1987). About 800 000 hectares of the natural Baikiaea woodlands have been demarcated and gazetted as forest reserves. These fall directly under the state's control through the Forestry Commission. There are an additional eight protected forest blocks under the District Councils covering 70 000 hectares.

Acacia woodland

Acacia woodlands occupy extensive areas with eutrophic soils that developed from base-rich geological formations, particularly along river valleys, low-lying and hot areas. They are dominated by various Acacia species, depending on soil type. The mean annual increment for Acacia has been quoted at 1.8 to 9.4 t/ha/yr.

Terminalia-Combretum woodland

Terminalia-Combretum woodlands are characterized by Terminalia sericea and Burkea africana species, but include a range of other tree and shrub species, such as Combretum spp, Lannea discolor, Peltophorum africanum, Faurea saligna, Pterocarpus angolensis, Sclerocarya birrea and Kirkia acuminata.

Evergreen mountain rainforests

The giant mahoganies, Khaya nyasica and Lovoa swynneifonii, Diospyros abyssinica and Trichilia dregeana appear as tracts of evergreen mountain rainforests of the Eastern Highlands (Natural Region I). Although these are very small in relation to the rest of the country, they contain more than half of the woody plant species found in the country (Timberlake and Shaw, 1994).


The main types of secondary forests found in Zimbabwe:

Post extraction secondary forests

By definition, these are the " forests regenerating largely through natural processes after significant reduction in the original forest canopy through tree extraction at a single point in time or over an extended period, and displaying a major change in forest structure and or canopy species composition from that of potential primary or natural forests on similar site conditions in the area given a long time without significant disturbance."

A survey was done on 10 September 2002 to find out the evidence of a secondary forest in Gwaai forest (Baikiaea plurijuga closed woodland) in the Lupane District, about 140 km north of Bulawayo. Height and diameter measurements were taken on logged and un-logged sites. The area was last logged in 1980, about 22 years ago. The diameter-height relationship of trees shows the differences between the logged and un-logged areas (Figures 1 and 2). The logged area has all big trees (>31 cm DBH) been selectively harvested (Figure 1). Most of the growth is the regeneration or secondary forest developed over the past 20 years. In the unlogged forest (Figure 2) most diameters are above the 31 cm DBH threshold indicating that the un-logged area is predominantly composed of primary forest. Regeneration is evident from the shade tolerant species with diameter as low as 1.2 cm DBH.

Figure 1: Diameter-height relationship of trees in a logged area of Gwaai forest

Figure 2: Diameter-height relationship of trees in un-logged area of Gwaai forest.

Post fire secondary forests

Fire influences the environment directly and indirectly. Fire may directly change soil and atmospheric temperatures during a fire, consume organic matter and release nutrients. Fire indirectly affects the environment by consuming plants and litter thereby creating space for establishment of plants and modifying the post-fire microclimate and activities of the soil biota (Frost and Robertson, 1987). Some measurements were taken in the Gwaai forest to see the effect of fire on the vegetation structure and composition in relation to the regeneration of the secondary forest (Figure 3), when compared to un-burnt forest (Figure 4). The maximum diameter is just above 10 cm and the minimum diameter is 0.5 cm with a mean diameter of 3 cm. The heights measured ranged between 0.6 and 4 m with a mean of 2.1m. The measured plot is heavily stressed and what is clear from the field is that Bauhinia macrantha secondary regeneration is taking over from the former Baikiaea plurijuga (Teak) forest. Regular late fire favours species such as Burkea africana and Terminalia sericea, but not Baikiaea plurijuga. Shrubs such as Bauhinia macrantha and Commiphora mossambicensis increase under fire regimes. This confirms the observations of Calvert (1986). Fire reduces the mean heights and increases coppice stems of desirable regeneration. It seems that fire affects Baikiaea plurijuga more than Guibourtia coleosperma (this conflicts with Forest Research Centre conclusions of Calvert of 1969, unpublished report). The un-burnt area shows a full range of diameters and heights, from saplings to large trees, typical of a mature forest (Figure 4). The distribution of diameter measurements range between 1 cm and 57 cm with a mean diameter of 14.2 cm. Height measurements range between 1 m and 12.5 m with a mean height of 5.6 m. Bauhinia macrantha persists very well under fire suppression and it is clear that in areas of repeated fire frequency, Bauhinia encroachment is abundant.

Figure 3: Diameter-height relationship in a burned area of Gwaai forest.

Figure 4: Diameter-height relationship of trees in un-burnt area of Gwaai forest.

Post abandonment secondary forests

These are "forests which regenerate largely through a natural process after abandonment of alternative land uses such as agriculture or pasture growing for cattle". There is a clear evidence of the abandonment secondary forest in Gwaai forest in Lupane District and Gwampa forest in Nkayi District. This is true in post resettlement areas. The tree diameter ranges in these areas lie between 1 cm and 13.8 cm. Height ranges lie between 0.5 m and 14 m. This is so because the areas had been cleared for agriculture before. But because of poor soil conditions and erratic rainfall the settlers were forced to move to alluvial areas along the Gwaai River. Secondly, lack of security of tenure arrangements forced some settlers to move to secure areas. This is so because these areas are government areas held by the Forestry Commission, the state forest authority.

Secondary forests from other areas of Zimbabwe

The majority of the human population in Zimbabwe live in the rural areas and derive their wood resources from the indigenous miombo woodland. Seeds of Brachystegia spiciformis are dispersed by mechanical expulsion from the pod, but in most cases are not propelled more than about 6m from the parent tree (Strang, 1965). In addition, seedlings are more likely to survive in under- canopy environments where moisture levels are higher (Grundy et al., 1994). These two factors result in familial clumping. The seed germinates well, but seedlings are difficult to transplant. Like many of the miombo species, B. spiciformis seedlings take a period of approximately five years to develop a well-established root system, during which time there is little above-ground growth. This is an adaptation to fire and moisture stress. The species does not seem to spread into grassland by seeding because of stiff competition for light and moisture from the herbaceous layer' especially during intra-seasonal droughts in the wet season. Thus its spread into grassland is largely by vegetative regrowth from suckers (Strang, 1965), which are often produced after root damage. Cut or burnt stumps produce profuse coppice regrowth which enables established trees to regenerate quickly after felling or fires.

Secondary forest formation in Julbernardia globiflora regenerates in a similar manner to B. spiciformis but does not usually reach the same maximum height. Young seedlings survive better in unshaded environments than do those of B. spiciformis (Grundy et al., 1994).

Most regeneration after felling or post fire takes the form of coppice shoots, root suckers and suppressed seedlings (Strang, 1965; Robertson, 1984; Grundy et al., 1994; Lowore and Abbot, 1995), which, because of the large root systems of the many miombo species, results in relatively rapid regrowth. Fanshawe (1956, 1971) maintains that miombo dominants are likely to be able to produce coppice shoots over the lifespan of the trees. Root damage caused by deep ploughing or stumping encourages root suckers (Strang, 1965). Many miombo trees do not produce seed for the first 60 years or so (Chidumayo, 1993), and seeds are often not dispersed more than 5 m from the mother trees (Strang, 1965). A coppice system which makes no allowance for seed production may therefore result in an erosion of the genetic base (Chidumayo, 1993).

Socio-economic and ecological importance of the different secondary forests types

Secondary forests are important socially, economically and ecologically. The importance of the woodland to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe, particularly in the dry areas, has been well documented (Whitlow, 1979, Bradley and Dewees, 1993; Campbell et al., 1993. Use of the woodland products by the rural households has been estimated at representing between 40 and 160 per cent of their annual household income (Campbell et al., 1991). Given this situation, it is of critical importance to manage our secondary miombo tropical forests for the majority of the population of this country.

Like rural dwellers elsewhere in the country, forest residents use a variety of forest products and services to meet their daily needs. Natural woodlands are a source of various products and services such as firewood, grazing, poles for construction and fencing, thatching grass, branchwood for fencing, medicines, fruits, caterpillars, grass for brooms, wood for utensils, curios and implements and honey. The bulk of the collection and utilisation of these forest products is for personal use rather than for sale.

Some of the products form the basis for woodland enterprises. There is not much information available about trees and forestry enterprises, but it is reported that 10-20 per cent of rural households use woodland resources mainly as alternative sources of income (Bradley and Dewees, 1993). Benefits from woodlands in Zimbabwe can be placed in the following categories; direct, local private benefits (e.g. fruits, fuelwood); indirect, local private benefit (e.g. nutrients, fodder and browse), indirect regional and semi-public benefits (e.g. soil erosion control, water catchment and recreation) and indirect global public benefit (e.g. carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation).

Ecologically, the demarcated forests are protected for a number of reasons. These include:

Revenues from commercial forestry operations go to the treasury for all the people of Zimbabwe. Revenues could be from hunting operations and timber logging operations. The objective of the local level user is to derive the immediate benefits to sustain his family.

The major challenge in the future is the issue of forest settlements. The issue of timber and wildlife sustainability will be under pressure to cope with the growing population. Natural resources conflicts are always there between people and the forest authorities.

Fewer private organisations use secondary forests for timber production, biodiversity conservation, for water catchment purposes and provision of livelihoods especially in the riparian zones. In Zimbabwe, there are many NGOs dealing with conservation issues.


The information on the involvement, experiences and ideas on the management of secondary forest in the country by the forestry authorities is there, but needs to be developed further. The focus of the forestry authority is mainly on the primary forest. There are no concrete proposals to deal with the forest regeneration, for example. This aspect is critical to the sustained management of any forest as a resource.

It is unfortunate that smallholders still play an insignificant role in the forestry industry. The timber industry is dominated by three large players which monopolise the wood supply. This situation may change if the small holders get a stake in the new Forestry Company after the commercialisation and privatisation of the state forests. Privatisation would increase involvement of local people in the timber industry. This move will be in line with the policy of the government of Zimbabwe which values sub-contracting of services and empowerment of the indigenous people.

Policies prior to independence focused on the regulation, control and exclusion of local communities around forest reserves. These policies continued after independence. They led to unstructured illegal settlement and encroachment within forest reserves, and illegal activities such as timber poaching, wildlife poaching, cattle grazing and forest fires. It is now recognised that for sustainable management of forest resources to be successful, a partnership approach to resource management, which allows access to the resources by the local people and sharing of benefits by all key stakeholders is necessary for effective forest management. This policy is being pursued by the Forestry Commission along the same lines as the successful wildlife resource sharing management approach (CAMPFIRE) developed by the National Parks and Wildlife Department (Thomas, 1993).

The local authorities, i.e. the Rural District Councils, do not have the necessary capacity to manage their secondary forests at the moment. Hence they need a lot of help and assistance from the Forestry State Authority company or from the local NGOs. Private companies as indicated above manage their secondary forest for profit concerns, biodiversity and conservation purposes.


The current situation in the country with respect to forestry management of the secondary forests is given below:

The forest authority is responsible for forest operations in the demarcated forests found mainly in Matabeleland North province and all forests found in Rural District Councils. In terms of tenure arrangements, forests in RDCs belong to them. Commercial timber operations (plantation forestry) are mainly managed by the commercial Forestry Company of Zimbabwe. Their operations are mainly based in the Eastern Highlands of the country. However, other private forest owners exist.

In all the sectors mentioned above, clear management systems are well in place, as guided by the management objectives of various institutions. But with RDCs it is not very clear how their management is done. It looks apparent that most RDCs are visible when it comes to harvesting issues. In other words revenue is the major motivator. There is no clear protection system in most RDC controlled areas. They leave most of their forests un-managed. The issue of land use planning with respect to secondary forests to most RDCs is not a complete new phenomenon. Management practices by rural people have often gone unnoticed, either because they are thought to be so commonplace, are not understood or are simply dismissed as unscientific as to continue meaningfully to the science of forestry. There are a significant number of traditional forest management practices in Zimbabwe. Planting of trees from seeds, seedlings, cuttings or truncheons is a common practice in the country. Trees are planted for a variety of uses e.g. fencing, shade, fruit, timber, aesthetics and firewood.

The potential for secondary forests in the indigenous forests in Zimbabwe is huge especially with respect Baikiaea plurijuga (teak) and miombo regeneration which is profuse. The only major constraint in the management of the indigenous forests in the country is the human settlement in the protected state forests. Human settlement is against the policies of forest demarcation. Therefore, due to the ever increasing population growth, this issue remains a major constraint in the management, control and utilisation of indigenous forests in the country.

Most RDCs where commercial timber occurs in abundance, use consultancies to advise the RDCs on management issues. Implementation, evaluation and follow-up of the these is a major challenge.

In communal areas most of the remaining woodlands are found in grazing areas. Local people manage such woodlands in a variety of ways. The management practices include:

Institutional and political issues governing the management of secondary forests

The current land tenure arrangements is that all forests in the country belong to the state except some pockets of commercial forests and farms which belong to private companies and individuals. In the Forestry areas the Forestry Commission determine the rules of access, use rights, institutional framework and policies that affect secondary forests and their management. We can learn some good experiences from the private companies which include among other issues that they are highly capitalised and in most cases very efficient. Households both within and outside the forests will benefit through improved access to forest resources and improved incomes. The Forestry Commission benefits from improved performance in conservation and management of forest resources.

Open access tenurial arrangements are practised in the Rural District Councils. Natural resources management in the RDCs including forests is regulated through a hierarchy of traditional leadership using various regulations deriving from traditional and religious beliefs, pragmatism and norms of civil society. Kraalheads and chiefs are responsible for land allocation and settlement of disputes in the rural areas. Resource utilisation is regulated through a plethora of rules, regulations and taboos. Functional common property management systems have to function and address a number of tenurial and institutional challenges typical of communal areas. These include, among others, multiple-stakeholder interests in the resources; a variety of institutions; communities that are heterogeneous with respect to composition, preferences, affection, interests, socio-economic status, and power, the complexity of local rules and problems relating to their enforcement, and a lack of well-defined boundaries to territorial or resource management units.

Identifying discrete units of social Organisation for the management of the common property resources is a challenge to community-based natural resource management initiatives in Zimbabwe. Whereas communities can be considered as the appropriate institutions for natural resource management (Murphree, 1991), there is lack of clarity of what the term "community" really means (Mandondo, in press). A common assumption is that natural resource management communities are congruous with sub-district administrative institutions, the assumption is confounded by the presence of many and varied institutions exercising administrative functions at the sub-district level - political, social, spiritual, developmental, and others, and their dynamic nature (King, 1994; Sithole, 1997).

In spite of the many institutions at a sub-district level in the communal lands of Zimbabwe, there is effectively a dual administrative framework of community-level institutions: a customary chief-headman system; and the statutory village and ward development committees (VIDCOs and WADCOs), which are agents of central government. Conflicts over power and the boundaries of responsibility usually centred on the regulation of access to land and its resources, are common between the two, and can undermine the scope for sustainable management of common property resources (Lue Mbizvo and Mohamed, 1993).


Natural forests if not grossly abused could be managed by natural regeneration system of secondary forests, that is, managing the natural forest to replace itself especially after a disturbance.

The main lessons learned from the country paper as presented are:


For the development and wider application of sustainable secondary forests, the following management options should be taken:

Stakeholder participation

People bordering forests or inscribed forest communities should embrace the idea of a shared vision in forest management. Forest residents should feel that their participation in forest activities is being valued. Once the idea of "stakeholder participation" is upheld, communities will feel part of the forestry community and the incidence of forest fires may go down.

Cross-sectoral policy

At the local level, management and utilisation of forest resources in Zimbabwe are governed mainly by the Forest Act and the Communal Lands Forest Produce Act. Other Acts have indirect effects on management and utilisation of forest resource e.g. Mines and Minerals Act, which confers absolute rights to land for mining or establishes that mining is subject to land reclamation.

At the international level, conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Combating Desertification and the Convention on Climate Change are addressing the issue of environmental management.

Conflict Management

Conflict management mechanisms should be put in place to resolve disputes emanating from people living in the forest or outside the forest. This could be in terms of land tenure claims, ownership disputes, use rights disputes, the whole question of boundary disputes, etc


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