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Other Projects: India, Brazil and Other Dry Tropical Forest Management Projects

The initial idea was to compare case studies carried out in different continents. This was not able to be done satisfactorily, particularly with regard to Latin America and Asia. However, the reader is given here an overview of the information gathered for the occasion.

In India, the choice was the Ainurmarigudi Reserve Forest (ARF) and the Marakkanam Reserve Forest, because it was decided to exclude the old degraded forests and those for which there was not sufficient data or background knowledge. In fact, since 1993, the status of the ARF has changed and it has now become a tiger reserve. The ARF forms part of the dry deciduous tropical forests dominated by teak according to Champion’s description (1936) or the Anogeissus-Terminalia-Tectona series (according to Gaussen et al., 1965). It lies to the south-west of Mysore, 900 m in altitude between the isohyets 1 000 and 1 250 mm. The dry season lasts four months, from December to March. This forest was logged until 1973. In 1981, the basal area (for all trees with a circumference equal to or greater than 10 cm) was 23.2 m2/ha. Wood productivity is roughly estimated to lie between 9 and 12 m3/ha/year while the production of herbaceous biomass ranges from 0.5 and 2 t/ha (in February-March and September-October, respectively). The present management of this reserve relies mainly on early prescribed burning.

The second forest, proposed by Meher-Homji (1995) for the case studies is the Marakkanam Reserve Forest which is 70 km south of Madras. Rainfall varies between 600 and 2 000 mm/year with a six-month dry season from December to May. Since 1976, this thorny open woodland has almost entirely been converted into a Eucalyptus plantation. This is why it is only mentioned in this paper without further comment.

In Brazil, the study proposed (Campello, 1995) is the caatinga. The SIMAS company, situated in Natal (in the state of Rio Grande do Norte), uses wood to produce the steam needed to run its machines. It has therefore partially inventoried the caatinga in order to draw up a summary management plan. The objectives of the initial inventory were:

- to estimate the volume of wood available per hectare;

- to describe the distribution of the species in order to identify the useful and the undesirable species;

- to adopt the most economically and ecologically sustainable management system;

- to know the distribution of diameters by class and by species.

This inventory has been drawn up on two sites: Bela Vista and Lagoa de Zé Maria (see table below).

Diameter class

Bela Vista

Lagoa de Zé Maria






3 749


2 767

















> 14.5






4 195


3 225


Of the 19 species inventoried, the main ones are: Piptadenia moniliformis, Croton sp., Caesalpinia pyramidalis, Bursera leptophloeos, Pithecolobium dumosum, and Mimosa acustipula.

In the absence of any other data the management plan has been deliberately kept simple and basic. No rotation or mean annual increment rate is known. For the latter, some data put it between 1.2 and 8.3 steres/ha/year. With regard to silviculture and wood extraction, the following standards have been approved in 1994:

- selective cutting based on a basal diameter of 7 cm for all non-fodder species;
- maintaining the species used as sawnwood;
- a ten-year rotation;
- regeneration by seed and sprouts;
- annual production and harvesting:

The factory requires 24 000 steres of wood per year. The first two sites only produce 8 500 steres per year. New woodlands will therefore have to be inventoried (Campello, 1995).

In Bolivia, with the support of the Swiss co-operation, the silvo-pastoral management of the Chaco under the PLAFOR project combined with agro-forestry practices, began at the end of 1990. In the first years, priority was given mainly to plantation and drawing up an inventory of the species.

In East Africa, a European Union project began in Zambia in May 1995. Its main objectives being the management and marketing of non-wood forest products from the miombo, and to a lesser degree, the integrated management of the non-degraded miombos in three pilot zones.

In Kenya, the Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme (BISP) began its many activities in 1979. This project was situated in the River Tana basin in eastern Kenya in a semi-arid zone. Following population increase, thorny formations - with Acacia tortilis, Tamarindus indica, Salvadora persica, etc., which had formerly been the emergents - have disappeared. Prosopis juliflora plantations then provided firewood to the local people (Laxen, 1993).

Elsewhere in Africa, outside Burkina Faso which is implementing a management policy in many forests (Nazinon, Toumousséni, Tiogo, Laba, etc.) one might mention projects which are now taking off (the ‘Domestic Energy’ projects in Chad and Mali) or projects which have now been wound up following the abandonment of the management plans for various reasons. This is the case with the former projects of Guesselbodi in Niger, Dabo, Tambacounda and Koumpentoum (Project PARCE - Montagne, 1988) in Senegal.

In Chad, the Assalé Forest (Acacia nilotica) and the Ngam Forest (Borassus aethiopum) have been part of a management project since 1992.

In Mali, one could mention a number of initiatives such as the Food Security and Forestry project and the Farako forest management scheme. The same applies to the Kita project, which plans the management of reserved forests with the participation of the local people, as well as the development for the reserved forests in the vicinity of Bamako.

In Cameroon, there is also the research at Laf-Badjava (Peltier and Ntoupka, 1995) in the extreme northern province, some 40 km south of Maroua - the most obvious results so far being as follows:

- In the Sudano-Sahelian zone it is essential to protect the forests against fire in order to regenerate pastures, colonize bare soils and increase wood production. Semi-early burning cannot be envisaged[4] because it is very difficult to ignite fires before all the vegetation is dry (October or November). Then the fires are as destructive as the late April fires. Lastly, in this region, the fires do not enable grass regrowth in the dry season and therefore they cannot be justified because they destroy the straw and reduce the presence of shrub leaves which make the straw digestible.

- In the same zone, protection from livestock is not useful for the regeneration of woody plants. On the contrary, grazing (with a moderate livestock density) is economically advisable not only because it makes it possible to produce meat but because it improves wood production as well. It is However, advisable not to use the land for grazing during a year on the compartments that have just been logged in order to protect the young sprouts and to make the recolonization of the bare areas by grass more rapid.

- Careful cutting is necessary[5] in order to limit the encroaching species (Dichrostachys) and to maintain the productivity of wood and grass. The type of felling and rotation to be used for the different species are not yet well-known.

Lastly, mention should be made of a research project (Vincenti, 1987; CIRAD-Forêt and ISRA-DRPF, 1993) for the growth of forests in southern Senegal (Vélor, Bayottes, Séfa) which is unfortunately disturbed by annual fires.

Steppe vegetation on sandy soils and sandstone hills, near Zinder, Niger (Sarlin)

Sahelian steppe near Ayourou, Niger (Gschladt)

Flooded Sahelian steppe near Tahoua, Niger (Gschladt)

Rill erosion and partial stabilization by natural graminacaea, Dapango region, Togo (Sarlin)

Pennisetum subangustum savanna in Northern Togo

Andropogon gayanus, sprouting after bush fires (Sarlin)

Andropogon gayanus tufts cropped for thatching, Burkina Faso

Woodlands in Northern Benin (Sarlin)

Tree savanna in Chad

Bush fire in tree savanna in the Adamaoua, Cameroon

Inventorying, numbering and marking in Koumpentoum forest, Senegal (Arbonnier)

(Arbonnier) Koumpentoum forest in Senegal: exploitation by foreign charcoal makers

Koumpentoum forest, Senegal: what foreign charcoal makers leave behind (Arbonnier)

Fuelwood trade by populations close to forests, Senegal (Arbonnier)

Grazing livestock in Koumpentoum forest (Arbonnier)

[4] It should be known that these results do not relate to the Sudano- Guinean zones. They only apply to the forests which a village community wishes to manage intensively.
[5] In the same ecological zone several compartments of the Mindif pastoral project, for which the need for cutting had not been envisaged, are currently invaded by thorny vegetation and are impenetrable by livestock..

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