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Annex 7: Issues, opportunities and constraints; lessons learned

The following Annexes 7.1 to 7.3 are summaries of the results of the group discussions in each of the three disciplines: ecology, socio-economic and policy and institutional strengthening.

7.1 Technological-ecological group





Knowledge and information gaps, dissemination

Lack of knowledge on extent; type; composition of secondary forests.

Lack of knowledge on species; ecosystem; dynamics.

Lack of adequate dissemination of information to stakeholders.

Lack of information on management systems.

Lack of appropriate methodology for valuation of secondary forest.

Neglect of incorporation of local knowledge.

Techniques of information gathering on socio-economic and use needs are lacking or not applied.

Synthesizing of already existing information to be available for the end-users is lacking.

Methods are available for determining extent, etc.

There is information that needs to be analyzed and synthesized.

Management systems for primary forests can be modified for secondary forests.

Local knowledge is available but needs to be documented.

Techniques are available that can be used.

Methods are available for synthesizing and disseminating.

Networks exist that can disseminate information.

Modern technology is available for collaboration and networking (Knowledge and Information Management).

Inventions are necessary but there are inadequate resources.

Recognition of local knowledge promotes collaboration.

There should be collaboration and networking among African countries.

Availability of communication facilities and services (ISPs) will improve networking and collaboration.

Lack of valuation of resources of secondary forests has led to underestimation of the importance of secondary forests

Capacity building

Lack of relevant skills at respective levels.

On-the-job training is lacking.

Training in ecological issues lacking.

There is a shortage of funding.

Tap on existing skills (inter-institutional).

International skills development/exchange can be used.

Funds are available (donors, domestic) to be used efficiently for secondary forest management.

Local knowledge/expertise available that can be tapped.

On-the-job training (coaching) is most efficient.

`Inbreeding' in research and training institutions has to be prevented.

Applicable ecological knowledge is desired (consumer-driven. knowledge gathering)

Capacity develops if knowledge acquired is disseminated and used.

Land use and land use planning

Lack of land use plans - national and local

Lack of integration of land uses (landscape approach).

Integration of land use plans results in optimal use of resources.

Better understanding and clear-cut demarcation of boundaries and authority (land conflicts resolved).

Available information on Land use planning from GIS systems

Increase of mutual benefits from the available information to different sectors.

Chances of success from integrated uses are higher. Failure of one use is made up for in another use.

Technical management systems

Lack of efficient methods for participatory planning and management.

Monitoring management performance/sustainability is lacking.

Management planning and implementation lacks balanced resource allocation.

Lack of adequate resources including trained manpower

Lack of management guidelines for secondary forest.

Lack of appropriate framework for harvesting (sustainable) timber.

Lack of appropriate technologies for processing products and identifying markets.

Matching of resource use needs with resource availability in SF not done (demand exceeds carrying capacity).

Complexity of secondary forests complicates management.

Participatory methods are available but need to be tailored for country/local conditions.

Potential of SF is enormous and if harvested well can provide financial resources for management.

Guidelines for primary forests (PF) are available and can be adapted.

Harvesting, processing and marketing of PF products can be adapted.

Monitoring performance of PF can be adapted for SF

Local skills can be adapted for SF management.

SF has high potential to alleviate poverty.

Development and application of sustainable management strategies will maximize flow of goods and services from SF to local communities.

Devolution of management powers to local communities should be gradual.

Rapid implementation helps to build trust with communities for collaboration.

Technology needs to be designed in view of affordability and technical skills of users.

Typology and definitions

Definition of secondary forest does not describe potential of the forest types.

Concept of secondary forests is too broad to be operational.

Stratification of secondary forests into different groups is lacking.

Standardization of definitions/ typologies improves communication.

Existing local knowledge on the classification of secondary forests can be used to stratify secondary forests.

New definitions/typologies improves collaboration among stakeholders (end users).

`New' definition typology attracts resources (e.g. agroforestry and ICRAF).

Ecology: species system; local and global aspects; dynamics and processes

Lack of information and understanding of the ecological processes.

Lack of knowledge on rate of change of the ecosystem components.

How do animals impact on the ecosystem components?

Lack of understanding of fires on the ecosystem

Lack of knowledge on target species (economical and ecological).

Collaborative research approaches are available.

Training can improve understanding of ecological processes.

Networking will also help to improve the gaps.

Enhance biodiversity and productivity.

Availability of networks and instruments for networking.

Integrating efforts of different expertise in different disciplines in the management of secondary forest will result in providing solutions for that goal.

Adaptive management approach helps to speed up participatory process.

Appropriate sampling design, data collection and analysis helps to understand resource stages in status and ecological processes.

7.2 Socio-economic issues




Lessons learned


Insecurity of land and tree ownership.

Competing land uses (land scarcity).


Inheritance arrangements

(-> smaller plots).

Resettlement programmes (in some cases).

Local level land use planning approaches available.

Ongoing decentralization of forest management to districts and local people.

Legal provisions supporting users/community access and control over resources.

Empowerment and access to resources.

Secure tenure promotes effective forest protection and management.

Resource management is improved by local level land use planning approaches.

There is a lot of encouraging experience in the conservation and management of resources by local communities.

Community involvement is a prerequisite for proper forest management.

Secure land tenure reduces forest degradation, encroachment and deforestation.

In some cases privatization of land ownership leads to improved land use.



Some local customs/traditions do not recognize role of women and children in SF management and use.

Poor coordination/ collaboration among stakeholders/actors (stakeholders are very diverse and often not clearly stratified for the promotion of effective participation).

There is no clear and equitable division of roles and responsibilities of the actors at and between different levels.

Lack of clarity on overall functions on managing forest resources.

Existence of promising pilot projects in support of different roles of gender equality in society and in resource management.

Institutional recognition of gender roles in national development plans.

Improved awareness about gender aspects and involvement of various stakeholders in secondary forest management.

All stakeholders must be recognized and their roles and responsibilities clarified and ensured.

Legal backing required for the functioning of participatory mechanisms.

Secondary forest management programmes should recognize gender roles at the local level.

Government accepts all identified stakeholders.

Poverty and demography

Relationship between population growth and forest degradation often over-simplified/generalized (relation not always linear).

Poverty trap (the vicious cycle).

Secondary forest management is not well recognized in PRSPs.

Short-term needs of local people are often in conflict with long- term secondary forest management goals (long-term sustainability.

Urban development gets priority over the rural one.

Well-managed secondary forests contribute to poverty alleviation.

CBFRM can contribute to sustainable forest management and poverty alleviation.

Secondary forest management should be part of an integrated approach to poverty alleviation.

Local resource mobilization would positively impact on the management of secondary forests.

The strategy for poverty alleviation and resource mobilization must focus on creating favourable socio-economic and institutional conditions (an enabling environment).

Stakeholders at the local level can escape from the poverty trap if they:

Feel the need/responsibility.

Have some influence.

Be treated as equal

See that it pay off.

Have the time available.

Marketing and enterprise development

Lack of market information

No/poor value adding to SF products.

Lack of organized marketing facilities.

Lack of transport from resource base to the consumer/market.

Most of the products not considered as economically valuable.

Poor recognition of market value.

Poor pricing of products.

Poor recognition of market value.

Inadequate investment capital/seed money/credit facilities.

Weak negotiating power of sellers (farmers/local communities).

Some market options exist.

Provide income and employment).

Public awareness initiatives on the role of SF already in place.

Rural credit schemes already exist in some cases.

Available demand for products at local and international levels.

Funding organizations recognize the value of SF products.

Local entrepreneurs willingness to invest in SF products (pioneers).

More effort on exploiting existing market options.

Empowerment includes capacity building in technical, organizational and marketing aspects.

Foresters are weak in enterprise development/marketing issues

Market information is required in marketing.

Cost-benefit issues (national, local)

Costs and benefits from secondary forests inequitably distributed (access to resources is unequal).

Government controlled forest products prices too low.

Good practices may need too much farm labour.

True value of the forest resource not known (inadequate valuation; not easy; lack of methodology).

Middlemen control the market.

Sharing roles and responsibilities.

Proper valuation reflects true benefits from SF and draws support for management.

Natural resource accounting to determine the value of forest resources.

True value of secondary forest products and services should be reflected in national accounting (GNP).

Improved social organisation contributes to the market position of local communities (increase negotiating power).

Equitable sharing of roles and responsibilities favours sustainable resource management.

Empowering local organization facilitates support e.g. access to credit.

7.3 Political and institutional issues




Lessons learned

Institutional framework. Institutional reforms

Sectoral policies not sufficiently integrated.

Lack of political will.

Unawareness of the need to reform.

Insufficient capacity.

Secondary forests not appropriately recognized.

Resistance to change.

Top-down approach.

Institutional reform not country driven.

Acknowledgement of existing institutions.

Improvement of existing institutions.

Formulation/review of policies.

Increasing advocacy of local needs, empowerment and democratisation.


Capacity building

Lack of funding.

Insufficient numbers of trained staff.

Low literacy and numeracy levels at the local community level.

Train the trainers (extension).

Regional collaborative training programmes.

Can build on existing local institutions and knowledge.


Multi-stakeholder approach

Different capacities of stakeholders.

Time-consuming exercise.

Needs a sustaining champion for long-term success.

Lack of communication.

Weak linkages between stakeholders.

Insufficient power for local communities to participate due to lack of approved rules and regulations.

Process is dominated by more powerful actors/stakeholders.

Empowerment of communities.

By-laws for local communities.

Increased experience in participatory approaches, e.g. joint forest management, community-based forest management.

Recognition of local authorities.


Policy implementation

Cross-sectoral policies

Differential economic importance of the different national sectors, and global and local demands.

Absence of conflict management.

Lack of institutionalised communication.

Institutional reform needed.

Participatory approach needed.

Building an information platform, harmonization.

Landscape approach.

Integrated natural resources management.



Customary rules.

Customary rules not recognized by formal laws.

Lack of political will.

No policy and legal instruments.

Lack of implementation and enforcement of existing regulations.

Legal instruments to conserve secondary forests.


Land tenure and tree ownership

Inappropriate land tenure laws leading to conflicting situations.

Traditional constraints, tribalism.

Empowerment of women, landless, tenants, immigrants (land allocation).

Land reforms.

Mapping boundaries-GIS/RS tools.


Good governance


Lack of cooperation between government and other stakeholders.

No conflict management.

Lack of political will.

Unnecessary bureaucracy.


No priority is given to secondary forests.

Transparency of rules and regulations.

Democratization processes.



International policies on secondary forests

Donors have their own priorities.

Inadequate outreach programmes (central-local levels).

Lack of awareness at the international level.

Concerns raised by the international community on forest management.

Existing regional forestry institutions.

Increasing acknowledgement of the importance of environmental services.


Gender and disadvantaged groups

Human rights issues not respected.

Existence of local norms against gender.

Promotion of gender and the disadvantaged.

Empowerment of women and the disadvantaged through legal recognition.


Land use planning

Shortage of trained staff.

Lack/inadequate land use management plans.

Unclear terms of reference amongst the different land users.

Lack pf political will.

Mapping/technology development-GIS.

Trends towards landscape approaches/integrated natural resources management.


7.4 Plenary discussion

Policy and institutional issues


The social and economic value of products, goods and services of secondary forests is not known. Valuation methods are too complex or completely lacking for secondary forest appraisal.

Definition and typology of secondary forests

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