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OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
As noted in the introduction to the present Guidelines, routine methods of environmental protection should be set out in separate Operational Guidelines or Handbooks. EIRs should refer to these Operational Guidelines or Handbooks under the rubric of "Mitigation" or "Remedial Measures", and thus avoid lengthy descriptions of routine environmental protection. EIRs should focus on site-specific issues and on the choices open to decision - makers and omit materials that are of a routine nature. Remedial measures also gain in credibility in the eyes of reviewers if these measures are described in handbooks that reflect past experience and periodic updating in the light of field experience. Finally, it stands to reason that well tried field remedies of universal application should be set down in separate manuals that can be used for more than one project.
The following is a brief review of operational guidelines that are a) available, though in some cases not fully suited to tropical or subtropical conditions; b) required as a matter of high priority.
1. EXISTING OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES
Soil Erosion and Watershed Management. This broad subject, weather erosion, flooding and water-quality degradation caused by forest removal or controlled by moans of re- or afforestation, has probably received the most attention (Australian Senate, 1976; Bols, 1978; FAO, 1976a, b, 1977a, b, c, 1978, 1979; Webb, 1977; Weidelt, 1975; Wiersum, 1979). There is also a vast U.S. literature (see FAO, 1977a), issued mainly by the U.S. Forest Service and the Soil Conservation Service, but most of it is applicable only to the mountainous and semi arid subtropics rather than to the humid tropics. Some of the US methods are also not pertinent because of the profound differences in land use, demography and land tenure between the western United States and the developing countries (Kunkle, 1978). The European operational literature (see FAO 1979) pertains primarily to mountainous areas and T. Singh, FAO Consultant, prepared operational guidelines specifically for such areas (FAO, 1980).
Forest Roads. Since forest roads (as well as landings and yarding areas) are among the main sources of sediment, specifications concerning their construction and maintenance are often found in guidelines regarding erosion control (Australian Senate, 1976; FAO, 1977a; Weidelt, 1975). Guidelines devoted specifically to forest roads are available FAO, 1977c, 1979), but are not necessarily pertinent to all the conditions found in the tropics and subtropics. There is probably a need to produce regional guidelines that take regional peculiarities of climate, geology, soils and availability of machinery, materials and man-power skills into account for the design and maintenance of logging roads.
Logging. Operational guidelines for logging are usually designed to ensure not only the efficiency of the logging operation but also to minimize erosion and damage to residual vegetation and to drainageways (Australian Senate, 1976; FAO, 1977c, 1979). However, detailed logging specifications from the point of view of conserving soils (preventing detrimental biophysical changes and not just mechanical erosion), the flora (including the genetic integrity of timber species and the forest fauna (see Webb, 1977) are not get available for most biogeographic provinces of the tropics and subtropics.
2. OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES REQUIRED
Conservation of Soils, Flora and Fauna. The greatest immediate need is for detailed handbooks for protecting and restoring soils, conserving plant resources including the genetic viability of the species being harvested (cf. FAO, UNEP, 1975) and for safeguarding the forest fauna during and after logging operations. These guidelines or handbooks need to be prepared for each major biogeographic province or forest type being exploited (eg., "Indian Teak Forest"? "Zairian Miombo", or "East Kalimantan Southern Lowland Dipterocarp Forest").
The soils section of such handbooks should advise on the sensitivity of major soil groups to disturbance, procedures for preventing excessive losses of organic matter and nutrients, methods for minimizing detrimental changes in the microflora and fauna and on ways of restoring soil structure, mycorrhizae and balanced nutrient status. It would be useful if the guidelines attempted to estimate the remaining "biological life" of a region's main soils along the lines suggested by Stark (1978).
Guidelines for the conservation of the flora would cover such items as the relative scientific value and sensitivity to disturbance of various floral assemblages (see IUCN/UNEP/WWF, 1980; Specht, Roe and Boughton, 1974; Whitmore, 1975/76), methods of rapid field surveys of species diversity and population size, methods for detecting the presence of new species, criteria for defining plant assemblages and habitats worth preserving and procedures for preventing genetic erosion in selective logging. Procedures for collecting, preserving and shipping herbarium specimens would also be summarized.
Forest regeneration is a complex subject that should be dealt with in separate handbooks devoted specifically to that subject. There is a need for systematic regional guidelines (see Wyatt-Smith, 1963), and constantly updated ones, for promoting regeneration given various types of original forest, exploitation and environment and given various management objectives. The handbooks would include such items as the protection of residual stands, selection of seed trees, enrichment plantings, conditions for ensuring germination and seedling survival, control of woody and non-woody weeds, and follow-up treatments given various forestry objectives.
The conservation of the fauna is, of course, inseparable from national conservation plans, especially in the case of migratory or ether wide-ranging species. However, operational handbooks especially designed for forestry officers could describe procedures for inventorying, removing or otherwise managing the forest fauna in preparation for logging, forest-road construction or other forestry activity, for protecting the fauna during logging, log-hauling or floating, and for post-logging clean up and road abandonment of benefit to wildlife management. These procedures should be seen as contingency plans for those caves where the competent wildlife authorities cannot intervene directly because of remoteness or lack of manpower. The handbooks should also advise forestry officers en the possible mutual influences between re- and afforestation and the fauna, and on measures for safeguarding aquatic life.
Evaluation and Management of Socio-Economic Impact. Because of the political sensitivity of many aspects of socio-economic impact, each relevant jurisdiction (whether province, state or nation) should issue guidelines for evaluating the economic and social costs of various impacts (see Muthoo, 1976), and for regulating certain activities associated directly or indirectly with forestry. Among these activities are access to forest roads, contacts with local cultures, shifting cultivation, settlements along forest roads, poaching and illegal felling, construction and abandonment of logging camps, employment and dismissal of local labour in forestry projects, and management of land-use and land-tenure conflicts. The protection of new forest plantings or shelterbelts from vandalism, illegal felling or grazing is another item on which forestry officers should be given guidance.
Epidemiology. Existing public health guidelines should be expanded to include a section on the potential epidemiological repercussions of forestry projects and on the procedures for their control. As noted, malaria, arboviruses, scrub typhus, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis and V.D. are among the diseases the incidence of which can be affected by forestry activities. Particularly in the case of public health, EIRs should be able to refer to existing guidelines in any discussion of mitigation of potential impacts.
Waste Disposal. Forestry projects, generate wastes, the disposal of which is described in many existing handbooks on pollution control. These wastes include slash, sawdust, other organic debris, hydrocarbons, domestic liquid and solid waste, biocides, wood preservatives, dust and other particulate emissions. The environmental problems created by these wastes are well known: eutrophication, toxic end bacteriological contamination of soils and waters, destruction of aquatic habitats and aesthetic degradation. It would be convenient, however, if the methods for controlling these wastes were assembled in guidelines designed specifically for managers of forestry projects, As some jurisdictions already have legal prescriptions for the disposal of various wastes (eg., sewage, sawdust near streams), these prescriptions should also be assembled for rapid reference by forestry personnel.
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