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Annex 9: Conclusions and Recommendations

9.1 Political-institutional issues




Institutional framework

Institutional reform

There is no policy of SF at national and international levels.

Existing institutions and their capacity on secondary forest management are not adequate.

Top-down approach and resistance to change in decision-making.

Include secondary forests in national and international policies.

Improve existing institutions and enhance their capacity in secondary forest management.

Enlarge the participation of various stakeholders in secondary forest management.

Capacity building

There is existing capacity at all levels which needs to be strengthened

Provide adequate funding to strengthen existing capacity

Promote collaborative research on secondary forests within regional expert institutions.

Create awareness at the community level of the importance of secondary forests.

Multi-stakeholder participation

MSHP is not specific to secondary forests.

Broad range of stakeholders, rural communities-ministers this makes communication difficult

In the multi-stakeholder process local communities are less privileged, even when they directly depend on secondary forests.

Decision-makers at policy level are not always interested in joining the process because they do not consider secondary forests as a valuable resource.

Decentralisation to break down the line of communication

Creation of by-laws to incorporate community user rights in secondary forests.

Bottom-up approach. Start with the needs of the rural community first.

Better valuation of secondary forest products/services in environmental budgeting

Policy implementation

Cross-sectoral policies

Not much exchange of information and experience among different institutions and stakeholders.

Policies do not address existing conflicts between stakeholders.

Establishment of a platform where the stakeholders can share their experiences.

Institutional reform.

Establishment of platform and mechanisms for conflict management.


Politicians are not sensitized to the value of secondary forests, therefore they are not able to act properly.

Management of secondary forests fails because of lack of implementation of existing regulations.

Formal rules do not respect customary rules.

Secondary forests should be incorporated into the forest policy and forest act.

Implementation of existing regulations.

Written laws should take into account and respect customary rules and by laws.

Land tenure and tree ownership

Inappropriate land tenure in place that has conflicting consequences for resource management.

Conflicting traditional vs formal land allocation and land use.

There is increasing empowerment of women, landless and minority groups.

There is no participatory process for land tenure determination

Review and streamline land tenure laws such that they promote the conservation of secondary forests.

Harmonize and take into account traditional rights in the formal land tenure laws.

Support the formation and networking of local groups to enhance their negotiating power.

Push for land reform that takes the needs of women and such groups into account.

Map existing tenure claims and identify conflict areas as a negotiation tool.

Land tenure reform by building a negotiation platform and bringing together all stakeholders.

Good governance

Unnecessary bureaucracy leads to corruption tendencies.

Secondary forests receive low priority in national ranking.

Weak cooperation among stakeholders leading to conflicts management.

Combat corruption (law enforcement).

Sensitise decision makers of the contribution/importance/value of secondary forests to national development.

Develop mechanisms to resolve conflicts management. i.e. by creating integrated standing committees, etc.

International policies on secondary forests

Lack of awareness of secondary forests at international level.

Secondary forests have the potential to meet the criteria and join in the various international conventions, protocols, etc.

Secondary forests should have their own place in NFP, national development and international policies.

Working group on how secondary forests can address issues in international conventions, protocols, etc.


Gender and disadvantaged groups

Existing local norms/laws do not take into account gender aspects

Identify and analyze existing local laws/norms hindering sustainable resource management and use by women and other disadvantaged groups.

Promoting the awareness and acceptance of the roles and rights of women and disadvantaged groups through education.

Support the formation and networking of local women and disadvantaged groups to voice their needs and rights.

Land use planning

Inadequate training staff in land use planning.

Lack of integrated land use management plans

Train staff in integrated land use planning.

Increase awareness on importance of integrated land-use planning in secondary forest management.

Preparation and implementation of integrated land use management plans

9.2 Technical-ecological issues




Knowledge and information gaps, dissemination

Synthesizing existing data and identifying gaps will provide a background for developing management strategies.

Information and communication technology is essential for networking and collaboration.

Improper evaluation of secondary forests has led to the underestimation of their importance.

Networking among national institutions, NGOs and individual experts is essential for sustainable management of secondary forests.

Adequate resources should be provided for inventories that cover all forest types.

National and international institutions should synthesize existing knowledge and identify gaps.

Holistic evaluation should be made by national governments using appropriate techniques adapted from economic valuation methods.

Developing partners and national governments should provide facilities for institutional capacity training

Networking among institutions and experts.

Capacity building

Capacity develops if acquired knowledge is disseminated and used.

Forest institutions need to develop staff development programmes that include on-the-job training.

Staff recruitment in training and research should consider candidates with relevant outside experience.

External knowledge should be made available at training and research institutes.

Training exchange between forestry staff and participating community members necessary.

Monitoring mechanism on acquired knowledge should be institutionalized and followed up.

On-the-job training should be incorporated in staff development programmes.

Staff recruitment policies in training and research institutions should be revised.

Technical management systems

Secondary forests when managed in a sustainable and technically sound manner can contribute to poverty reduction.

Development and application of sustainable management strategies enhances benefits provided by secondary forests.

Development partners and national governments should provide resources for regular inventories of secondary forests.

Management powers to communities need to be gradually devolved to allow for building-up of management capacities.

Sustainable management strategies for secondary forests should be developed and applied by national institutions.

Potential of secondary forests to reduce poverty should be incorporated in poverty reduction strategies by national governments.

For effective management national institutions should devolve powers to local communities but at a gradual pace.

Affordable and appropriate sustainable management strategies for secondary forests should be developed and applied by local and national institutions

Typology and definitions

Impact of secondary forest definition on national policies is unclear and is a demanding national consultative process.

Definition and typology requires national adaptation process.

National workshops to assess impact of secondary forest definition on other policies.

National workshops to adapt definitions (secondary forests) to local conditions.

Follow-up workshop (regional/continental Africa) on progress made at country level.

Sub-regional level workshops on exchange of experience on definitions.

Land use and land use planning

Integrated land use plans to accommodate the relevant interest groups is a viable option for the management of secondary forests.

A wide and diversified range of inputs is required to do integrated land-use planning.

Implement integrated land-use planning and plans which are to be backed up by policy and legislation (land tenure).


- species

- system;

- local and global aspects;

- dynamics and processes

Capacity building and inputs are currently inadequate for the sustainable management of tropical secondary forests.

Adequate/useful information is needed for the management of tropical secondary forest ecosystems.

Implementation of an `adaptive management and research' approach is recommended for the sustainable management of tropical secondary forests.

Holistic management approach of all the components and processes in the ecosystem by the relevant disciplines is recommended.

9.3 Socio-economic issues





Secondary forest management is improved by security of land/tree tenure.

Secondary forest management is improved by local-level land use planning approaches.

Decentralization of forest management is a necessary step to better protect secondary forests.

Tenure regimes that support secondary forest management should be recognized and supported by policy and legislation.

Participatory local-level land use plans should be developed and implemented.

Stakeholder/ actors/ (Gender)

Effective participation of all stakeholders promotes better secondary forest management.

Involvement, roles and responsibilities of all relevant stakeholders should be defined and recognized.

Legal mechanisms that facilitate (ensure) coordination among stakeholders (taking into account gender aspects) should be introduced.

Marketing and enterprise development

Market information and value adding to secondary forest products is inadequate.

Foresters are weak in enterprise development and marketing aspects of secondary forest products.

Market information system should be improved for secondary forest products.

Diversification is needed in secondary forest products marketing and enterprise development.

Local farmers' and communities' organizations should be strengthened to enhance their quality, to increase access to credit and increase their market effectiveness

Cost-benefit issues

Secondary forest products are undervalued; their true value is not reflected in the GNP.

The development and application of management systems for equitable sharing of roles, responsibilities, costs and benefits can improve management of secondary forests.

Methods and mechanisms to assess and capture the true value of secondary forests should be developed.

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

Environmental functions provided by secondary forests should be recognized and resource allocation for their capture improved (human, financial).

Mechanisms or frameworks for equitable sharing of roles, responsibilities, costs and benefits should be developed.

Poverty and demography

Local resource mobilization can positively impact on secondary forest management.

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

Secondary forest management should be part of an integrated approach to poverty eradication in poverty reduction strategy programmes (PRSPs).

Long-term secondary forest management should be harmonized and linked to strategies that meet local needs.

Resource use activities of one user group should not impact negatively on activities of another group (big company harvesting versus NTFP use of communities; harvesting of palm wine (men) impacts negatively on palm leaf production for basket making (women).

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