Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Annex 3. Opening session

3.1. Mr Gideon Gathaara, Chief Conservator of Forests, Kenya

Mr Gathaara welcomed participants to the workshop. He stressed that the importance of secondary forests could not be underestimated, especially their central role in the lives of rural communities. A key issue in the workshop agenda was the need to have a harmonized definition of secondary forests and an understanding of their potential. He appreciated FAO's support towards realizing this objective by supporting the workshop.

He mentioned that all countries represented had forestry programmes designed to address the question of secondary forest management at various levels. In Kenya, a 25-year master plan was developed in 1994. It identified challenges and the way forward within the forestry sector. Of particular importance was policy, legislative and institutional reforms.

He added that although some progress had been achieved in the sustainable management of Kenya's forests, deficient legislative and policy arrangements remained a bottleneck in achieving full stakeholder participation. Notwithstanding that, some pilot programmes had been implemented and have yielded the following valuable lessons:

Role of protected area systems in relation to secondary forests

Mr Gathaara said that a management option for the conservation of secondary forest was the protected area system. In Kenya, the proposed Forest Policy 2002 recognizes the importance of these forests and proposes that they remain reserved for soil, water and biodiversity conservation.

Components of secondary forests also include plantations that have been established to provide an alternative source of forest products, thus relieving pressure on the remaining natural forests. The new policy further proposes efficient management through structural reforms to accommodate the private sector in the management of secondary forests.

He mentioned that, in Kenya, 82 percent of the population depended on fuelwood for energy, the bulk of which comes from farmlands. With a growing population, increasing demand must be matched with supply and there is an urgent need to entrench the fuelwood question with secondary forest management.

Mr Gathaara further said that as wood will remain an important source of energy in both rural and urban areas in the foreseeable future, the government was committed to promoting farm forestry as a strategy to ensure sustainable management of all forests, including secondary forests. According to the World Resources Centre, by 1987 agroforestry systems supplied 47 percent of all wood confirming that farm forests are an important source of tree products. The proposed Forest Policy 2002 envisages that the future of forestry in Kenya will be in the private domain, particularly farm forestry, and to this end, there was already in place a network of forest nurseries and forest extension officers countrywide.

The farm forestry programme had also been used to enhance biodiversity conservation where farmers have deliberately conserved rare or endangered species such as Prunus africana and Warbugia ugandensis.

Tree growing incentives

Mr Gathaara stressed that, to mainstream tree-growing, incentives such as marketing, processing and credit support were needed to initiate take-off and adoption of tree-growing as a cash crop. Experience had shown that micro-enterprises such as beekeeping, extraction of gums and resins, insect farming, seed production and ecotourism are important niches in sustainable forest management. To identify the appropriate niche, it is important to carry out valuation of forest products in light of utilization and market behaviour. To illustrate this, he noted that farmers in Kenya's arid and semi-arid lands had stopped burning Acacia senegal for charcoal and were instead using it to extract gum arabic.

Currently only the direct or tangible values from forests are taken into account during national accounting. Internalization of environmental costs should be undertaken and the resultant high value fed into GDP as a means of ranking the contribution of forests to the national economy. This would facilitate corresponding allocation of resources for their conservation and development.

Mr Gathaara added that poverty reduction strategies were emerging as a broad and valuable framework for development planning and implementation. In Kenya, the poverty reduction strategy programme recognizes forestry as having great potential. Objectives under this programme include:

The way forward

Finally, Mr Gathaara advised that there was a need to move from rhetoric to action. This would entail involving all stakeholders in the mobilization of resources and knowledge. To make progress, political goodwill is crucial for sustainable forest resource management. It is also imperative that all countries develop strategic forestry plans and programmes that reflect national vision by capturing the aspirations of local communities and public international concerns. Resources to systematically implement them should then be sourced.

In his concluding remarks he mentioned that to further motivate various players to engage in tree planting the Forestry Department was in dialogue with partners on how to design an award scheme that would recognize tree planting and forest conservation efforts.

He wished participants fruitful deliberations and a pleasant stay in Kenya.

3.2. Michael Doeff, interim Resident Representative, FAO, Kenya

Mr Michael Doeff welcomed participants to the workshop and said it was indeed a great pleasure and honour for him to represent the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and to be at the opening ceremony of this extremely important workshop on the management of tropical secondary forests in Anglophone Africa. He felt honoured to convey this message on behalf of the Assistant Director-General of the Forestry Department, Mr. Hosny El-Lakany, and of the Director of the Forest Resources Division, Mr El Hadji Sène, whom many of the participants knew personally, to such a highly selected group of experts in forest management in the region.

He recognized the contribution of the governments of the Netherlands and Germany and the efficient collaboration of world-known organizations such as ICRAF and CIFOR. He stressed that the subject under discussion was very much part of the programme of the Forestry Department of FAO and consequently the reason why FAO, along with the donor governments and the collaborators mentioned above, decided to get together and organize this event-the first of its kind in Africa. Gathered, he added, were forest management specialists from 15 Anglophone tropical African countries, regional and international organizations and NGOs.

Mr Doeff said that the participants had been carefully selected and invited to this workshop in order to have a true representation of the region, but particularly as experts in forest management to exchange ideas, experiences, difficulties and successes on issues dealing with the management of such an important and emerging resource-secondary forests. This workshop came at a time when natural forests all around the world, and specifically in tropical Africa, were disappearing yet the demand for both national and international timber continues to rise.

FAO realized that the sustainable management of secondary forests, whatever their origin, is not easy and that little is known about this issue in the region. Mr Doeff highlighted what he expected from the workshop: the successes achieved by each country; the problems encountered that make the management and conservation of this resource `of the future' difficult; and experiences from each country that could be lessons to other countries.

Secondary forests now predominate the scene of tropical forests worldwide though in some instances it was hard to tell the difference between a natural and a secondary forest. In many countries, the wood harvested comes from secondary forests, yet their importance does not seem to be recognized. Furthermore there is in Africa, as in most other parts of the world, a lack of a clear understanding of the concept of and an agreed upon definition of secondary forests.

Mr Doeff said that results of previous meetings indicated that in many countries tropical natural forests have been and continue to be converted to other land uses, much of which eventually results in the establishment of secondary forests. This was also the case in Africa where according to reports by FAO (1996) and UNESCO (1978) there may be as many as 90 million ha of potential or already established secondary forests. However, depending on the definition of secondary forests, this figure could be as high as 313.3 million ha most of which is found in West and Central Africa. Other reports indicate that the `potentially productive' secondary tropical forest in Africa may be as large as 379.8 million ha, of which 57 percent would be the result of cut over forest and the rest of forested fallow.

Thus, interest in secondary forests and their management and research had become very evident and important in recent years. The subject had been evidenced by results of previous workshops and meetings in Latin America and Asia. For Latin America, this was well documented in various reports, publications and proceedings from workshops on this subject. The same holds true for Asia as was demonstrated by the CIFOR/CIRAD/USAID international workshop held in Bogor, Indonesia (17-19 November 1997) and later on by the CIFOR/GTZ/EC-LNV workshop on tropical secondary forests in Asia (10-14 April 2000, Samarinda, Indonesia). The focus of the meetings was more on local management of secondary forests and related issues than on the ecological, socio-economic and political and institutional issues of secondary forest management that would be discussed in this workshop.

Mr Doeff reiterated that the workshop was the proper forum to talk about the management of secondary forests. However, he hoped that participants would discuss the holistic management of this resource. That is to say, management not just for timber production only, but also for other products, goods and services important to the local, national and international economies. Therefore, it was important to discuss improved management and conservation methods that may prove vital ecologically, economically, socially and, maybe, even culturally.

In summary, he asked participants to reflect on the following. As experts in forestry matters the management of secondary forests poses a great challenge, because of the ambiguity about the different aspects of the resource, including its formation to start with, which makes it very difficult to manage sustainably. It was essential to identify the nature and types of the secondary forests to establish clear policies, integrate them into land use plans and guide their management and development along sustainable pathways. The challenge, he stressed, was to define strategies on how to integrate socio-economic, ecological, policy and institutional issues into effective forest management.

Mr Doeff said he had no doubt that the deliberations and individual contributions during the workshop would enrich the discussions and that at the end the represented countries would have an even better understanding of issues affecting the management of secondary forests. More important would be a commitment to improve management practices for the sustainability of the resource in the region. He hoped that after the workshop participants would have a better understanding of the nature and dynamics of tropical secondary forest, as well as issues, opportunities and constraints on the management of this resource of the future.

In concluding, Mr Doeff said that the critical portion was what happens after the meeting once participants had returned to their countries. A workshop is not an end in itself. It is a step in a process. The crux of workshops is the implementation phase that must follow. This was the hard part since much depends on what governments want and can do. He asked them not to forget and back away from reminding policy, planning and executing bodies of the importance of being alert and to carry out the necessary measures on which they had deliberated.

3.3. Bashir Jama, ICRAF representative

Dr Jama first apologized on behalf of the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre who unfortunately could not attend this important meeting as he had travelled to Brazil for a meeting of the Board of Trustees.

He thanked the FAO Representative, the Chief Conservator of Forests, the representatives of CIFOR and participants for taking time off their busy schedules to participate in this meeting. He said the World Agroforestry Centre was pleased to co-host this workshop, and the East and Central Africa region particularly welcomed the opportunity to host the workshop because of its relevance to their agenda.

He mentioned that the four main themes and activities of ICRAF deal with:

In relation to the workshop, Dr Jama mentioned that the area of work in the East and Central Africa region covers Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and there were opportunities for moving into the Democratic Republic of Congo. He mentioned that the Centre hosts other sister organizations like IPGRI, CIMMYT, ICRISAT, RELMA of SIDA, ACTS and GTZ's integration of trees into farming systems programme.

Dr Jama concluded by wishing the participants a productive workshop.

3.4. Herman Savenije, Organizing Committee

On behalf of the organizing committee, Herman Savenije thanked Mr Gideon Gathaara, Mr Michael Deoff and Dr Bashir Jama for their presentations. He welcomed participants to the workshop. He stressed that the workshop was part of a series of workshops and events started in 1997. The purpose of these workshops was to assess the status and importance of secondary forests, to identify priority actions for their development and management and to put secondary forests on policy, research and implementation agendas.

In his intervention, Mr Savenije outlined the sequence of activities and workshops that had taken place in relation to the further development of secondary forests around the world, which have been supported by agencies and organizations such as EC LNV (Netherlands), GTZ (Germany) and FAO, CIFOR, ICRAF, ITTO, IUCN and other donor countries.

The most important of these activities include the following:

June 1997

Pucallpa, Peru

International workshop on the current and potential state of management and development of secondary tropical forests in Latin America, by Amazon Cooperation Treaty (TCA), the Central American Commission on Forests (CCAB), GTZ, FAO and EC-LNV

October 1997

Antalya, Turkey

Eleventh World Forestry Congress. Side meeting. Recommendations from participants at the side meeting on tropical secondary forests

April 2000

Samarinda, Indonesia

International workshop on tropical secondary forests in Asia-reality and perspectives, by CIFOR, GTZ and EC-LNV

March 2002

New York, USA

UNFF-2. Importance of secondary forests and their management highlighted

December 2002

Nairobi, Kenya

International workshop on Tropical Secondary Forest Management in Anglophone Africa: reality and perspectives, by FAO, GTZ and EC-LNV in collaboration with ICRAF and CIFOR.

September 2003

Quebec, Canada

World Forestry Congress, side event on tropical secondary forests to be organized by EC-LNV in collaboration with FAO, GTZ, ICRAF, CIFOR and ITTO

November 2003

Douala, Cameroon

International workshop on Tropical Secondary Forest Management in Francophone Africa: reality and perspectives, by FAO, GTZ and EC-LNV in collaboration with ICRAF, CIFOR and ITTO.

Beginning of 2004

(venue unknown)

Preparation of an overall synthesis and international action plan on Secondary Forest Management in the tropical areas to be organized by FAO, GTZ, EC-LNV, ICRAF, CIFOR and others

Mr Savenije said he was confident that the workshop would be a success, considering the high level and broad range of expertise gathered in it. He emphasized the importance of the discussion on secondary forests not being confined just to technical and ecological aspects, but should especially tackle the socio-economic and political-institutional aspects. He also emphasized that a workshop like this would be most beneficial if participants temporarily put side aside their institutional roles and acted as expert colleagues with a common cause-the better management of secondary forests for the benefit of all people.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page