Farhana Haque is a freelance journalist based in Rome. She is former editor of a national English daily newspaper and was also the former principal English-language newsreader and commentator for Bangladesh national radio and television.
1 - Debre Birhan, Ethiopia - Growing trees for fuelwood
Population (1984): 25750
· Debre Birhan is situated on the high plateau 140 km north of Addis Ababa. Its one paved road, the highway to Asmara, is travelled by an endless stream of men and women on foot, donkeys loaded with enormous piles of hay or eucalyptus branches, ancient buses, and jangling horse-drawn two-wheel carts which serve as taxis. The only trees in the town or surrounding countryside are eucalypts, first planted almost 100 years ago during the massive national forestation programme initiated by Emperor Menelik II.
The townspeople, as well as the 13000 farmers in the immediate area, live lives of poverty and perpetual crisis. One of the many problems they share with the bulk of their countrymen is an acute shortage of wood for cooking and heating. In Ethiopia, over 90 percent of all energy consumed is for domestic needs, and fuelwood supplies 40 percent of the total. The rest comes from animal dung, crop residues and kerosene. Three generations ago, forest covered close to one-half of the country; now it is less than 3 percent. The area around Debre Birhan is no exception to this alarming national trend.
The consequences of this rapid deforestation are severe, especially for urban centres, fuelwood when it is available at all, can cost as much or more than kerosene, the chief alternative for those who can afford it. Kerosene must be imported, a significant drain on the country's very limited foreign exchange. Those who can afford neither wood nor kerosene must rely increasingly on dung or crop residues.
A recent effort to meet the problem of urban fuelwood supply is the FAO Debre Birhan fuelwood Plantations Project, started in 1986. Financed by a US$2555690 grant from the Danish international Development Agency, the project's major goal is to increase the fuelwood supply on a long-term basis. It also aims to strengthen Ethiopia's capacity to plan and manage similar projects in some 50 urban areas already identified as facing critically low supplies of wood. The improvement of community social services, expansion of opportunities for local employment and development of water and soil conservation measures are all an integral part of the plan.
Studies indicated that an adequate, sustainable fuelwood supply for the city would require at least 3200 ha of plantations, mostly of fast-growing eucalyptus. However, such plantations would require 25 percent of all land in the area, land now used for crops and grazing. Since a sudden change in land use on this scale would have drastic economic and social consequences, only 1100 ha have been scheduled for planting over the next three years. In the meantime, research on the effects of extending the plantations will determine to what extent the plan can or should be carried out.
Within five years, the people of Debre Birhan will begin to benefit from the increase in fuelwood But they will gain more than that. The plantations have already provided work for both men and women, work which will become a permanent source of income. They should also profit from an anticipated side-effect: eucalyptus flowers should stimulate the production of honey, a much-prized element in the Ethiopian diet.
2 - Hong Kong - Maximizing the use of space
HONG KONG: forestation is progressing
Population (1983): 5313000
Area: 105154 ha
Forest area: 40000 + ha
· When the British first came to Hong Kong, they described it as a "barren" island with practically no trees. While the largest forest in a sense is now the city itself - a forest of concrete, glass and steel - almost 40 percent of the land area is "green space". And over one-half of all existing stands of trees and shrubs was planted in recent years.
The concern for urban forestry in Hong Kong is not new. A botanical garden was opened in 1864, and a decade later the forestation of Victoria Peak began. Before the 1950s, however, the city's only outdoor recreational facilities were one major park and a collection of private clubs. After the Second World War, a plan was commissioned which proposed the creation of 30 ha of green recreational space for every 100000 inhabitants. The proposal remained more or less on the drawing board until 1968, when a new recommendation halved that goal to 15 ha of green space per 100000 people in the city and 20 ha for towns in the New Territories. These targets have very nearly been met.
A Country Park Ordinance was passed in 1976, and within two years 21 country parks totalling over 400 km2 were established under the management of the Conservation Division of the Agriculture and Fishery Department.
These parks, which contain virtually all of Hong Kong's forests, consist of natural woodlands, a large number of plantations and some scrublands. Since the goals of the ordinance were to provide recreation, nature education and soil protection, no cutting or even thinning has been permitted. This means that all timber and fuelwood for local use has been imported. However, in parks in the New Territories, the traditional forest rights of villagers - cutting grass and collecting herbs - have been preserved; they pose no threat and in fact encourage a local sense of the parks' importance.
Hong Kong's commitment to urban forestry and to making the fullest use of limited space is impressive: a country park staff of over 1900, 20 of whom are professionals; ten nurseries which annually supply 25000 trees, 200000 flowering shrubs and 200000 ground-covering plants for planting in urban areas. And visitors to the parks? In 1983 alone there were over nine million.
3 - Tashkent, USSR - An international array of trees
Population (1981): 1858000
Area: 250 km2
Elevation: 450480 m
· Tashkent, lying at the western end of the Tien-Shan mountain range in Soviet Central Asia, is the capital of Uzbekistan and the site of a large textile industry. While its history goes back over 2000 years, its centre is new, having been rebuilt after earthquakes in 1966 destroyed most of its buildings. The present centre's open plan combines decorative modern buildings with attractive landscaped areas. Tree canopies shade many of the streets from the intense summer sun. Gardens and parks filled with blossoming fruit trees add seasonal colour. The winters are short and cold, but summers are dry and hot, making the extensive network of aryks or irrigation ditches essential to tree growth.
One is struck not only by the amount of greenery in the city, but also by the variety of trees from all over the world which grow there. While the trees in the centre are new, those remaining in the rest of the city are the result of a long tradition of selection, both from local and imported stock. This variety is not confined to the Tashkent Botanical Garden, which is laid out by geographical areas and includes, in the North American section, a planting of bald cypress together with the creation of a swamp.
The most common street species by far is the western variety of maple (Acer negundo var. californicum), with its bold and very hairy foliage. Other frequently seen North American species are white ash, honey locust and Osage orange. The latter, with its fragrant spring blossoms, is the only tree along some streets. Other introduced blossoming trees used extensively in the new city centre are catalpa, black locust and young specimens of the tulip tree. English oak, with its luxuriant foliage, provides excellent shade.
Tree shapes are put to good use. The slow growing mulberry from Asia is planted under street telephone wires, while the narrow conical crowns of juniper and arbor vitae are used to give formal contrast to the soft-textured foliage of deciduous trees, particularly along confined spaces separating pedestrian and road traffic.
4 - Colima, Mexico - Citizen action in urban forestry
Area: c. 28 km2
Elevation: 472 m
· Urban forestry need not be the sole responsibility of formal governmental agencies. Citizen groups at times can play a decisive role both in heightening public awareness of the value of trees in the urban environment and teaching people how to care for them. One example is the recent work of the Pro-Ecologia de Colima, a non-governmental organization based in Colima, a town near the Pacific Coast directly west of Mexico City.
Since it was founded in 1963, Pro-Ecologia de Colima has dedicated itself to addressing the problem of deteriorating rural and urban environments on a variety of fronts. One of the most successful was the publication in July 1985 of a special tree-planting guide designed specifically for local conditions. This was then supplemented by articles in a regional magazine and the production of a television programme. The impact has been notable: local politicians are now pushing for a "green Colima"; government reforestation activities have been stepped up; and ecological education in the schools has intensified. Today, all the major city avenues are lined with trees, and the total tree cover in the urban area is between 15 and 20 percent.
The guide, issued in collaboration with the town council, emphasizes the importance of trees for the community. A number of practical advantages are cited: trees provide welcome shade against the fierce sun; they help to absorb the noise of ever-increasing traffic; they serve as breaks against the high winds that sweep the area; they help to purify the air; and they control erosion. The guide also stresses the more intangible aesthetic and psychological benefits gained from the shapes, colours and textures of trees.
To encourage citizens to take the initiative in planting and tending trees, the guide gives illustrated instructions as to where and when to plant trees, how to prepare the soil, how to plant to ensure maximum chances of survival and the care needed for good growth. It also includes tables indicating which species are best suited for various climatic and soil conditions, their different rates of growth and the spacing required for each type.
5 - Milton Keynes, UK - Trees as investment
Area: 9000 ha
· In most cities where urban forestry programmes exist, financing them is regarded solely as a necessity, as one of the services the municipal authorities provide for residents - and must therefore also pay for. In Milton Keynes, however, urban forestry is seen not just as a social investment but as a commercial one as well.
MILTON KEYNES: planning with trees
Established and financed by the national government, Milton Keynes is intended to be one of several model communities which will repay the initial investment by enhancing rental income from housing and industrial sites.
The city is a collection of three existing small towns and 13 villages halfway between London and Birmingham. It is one of the "New Towns" designated in the 1960s to absorb the population spillover from large cities and to encourage industrial activity in economically depressed areas. Behind these pragmatic reasons lies an idealism which goes back to England's nineteenth century industrial philanthropists: a vision of well-planned, attractive cities with abundant green space instead of the usual squalid sprawl of urban growth.
Urban forestry plays a major role in the realization of this vision. Trees are central to the New Town plan, not simply the usual roadside plantings and widely spaced trees in grassy parks, but also well-tended woodland plantations carefully dispersed among the housing estates. In Milton Keynes, these woodlands include: three natural "parks", the largest of which is 40 ha and the smallest 20 ha: 1200 ha of "linear parks", or major green belts which run across the city; and some 22 small spinneys and coppices. All of these have been developed from existing tree stands augmented by selected planting of exotics and regeneration planting of native oak, ash, field maple, cherry and hazel.
The three natural parks are like beads strung on the necklace "string" of linear parks, all connected by a network of footpaths, cycleways and bridle paths, and incorporating several large lakes. The original planting scheme called for random mixtures of native trees and shrubs, but this has since been modified, for maintenance and aesthetic reasons, toward a higher impact style which segregates plants into small blocks, each varying in texture and stem and leaf colour. Coloured stem Salix and Cornus varieties and shrub roses are widely used.
In order to sell the city to potential employers and residents, "instant effects" have been stressed. This generally means that planting is done with fast-growing species such as poplar, willow and alder, initially with close spacing. Effective management solves the problems caused by mixing these varieties with the slower-growing, climax species. Ideally, the former act at first as nurseries and then, after coppicing, they form a valuable understorey.
All street and park planting and maintenance is carried out by the Landscape and Forestry Division of the town's Recreation Unit. It is headed by a forest manager and, as of 1983, it had a permanent staff of 25 and a part-time work force of another 25. Detailed and complex planting plans, the use of large-size planting stock, and intensive management - which includes widespread application of fertilizer - make the overall forestry expenditure per caput nearly double the national average. However, foresters, residents and the government investors feel that it is money very well spent.
6 - Yokohama, Japan - A plan for the twenty-first century
Area: 421.5 km2
· Overlooking Tokyo Bay south of the capital, Yokohama has been an international port since Commodore Perry "opened" Japan to the West some 130 years ago. Although its history goes back much further, it is physically a new city. Devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 which destroyed over 60000 houses, it was rebuilt as a prosperous industrial centre only to be laid waste again by massive bombing toward the end of the Second World War. Rebuilt a second time, it is now Japan's second largest city, serving as a port, a major industrial area and a "bedroom community" for people who commute to Tokyo for work.
Although it is a city of bustling docks, factories, traffic snarls and modern buildings, Yokohama also has 1209 parks covering almost 600 ha, with an additional 4500 ha of suburban woodlands. Trees line many of the centre's major streets.
This greenery, one of the striking features of Yokohama's river-fed delta plain and the surrounding hills, has been the result of conscious policy, careful planning and hard work. For years the municipal government has been buying land in the suburbs in order to preserve it as "greenery conservation districts" or "citizens' forests". In 1980, a master plan for greenery activities was drawn up and incorporated into the "21st Century Plan for Yokohama", a comprehensive scheme to ensure an attractive and comfortable urban environment for present and future inhabitants. The plan calls for the protection and expansion of green zones in the city outskirts, the management of urban parks, the development of urban agriculture and forestry, and special protection of over 1000 individual famous trees, it also sets a target of 10 million planted trees by the year 2000, three times the present number.
The heart of the central city greenery is the parks. Some parks such as Yamata Park, a traditional Japanese garden opened to the public in 1871, are among the oldest in the country; others are very recent. Some, such as Yokohama Park with its enormous baseball stadium, are very large; others are small neighbourhood playgrounds for children. These parks give city residents an opportunity for relaxation, recreation and the appreciation of beauty, but they have another special function: they are vital open spaces where people can take refuge in the event of another earthquake.
7 - Canberra, Australia - A city within a landscape
Population (1981): 220000
Area: 2356 km2
· Eighty years ago, when the site for the future federal capital of Australia was being chosen, one of the primary criteria was that the capital be "a beautiful city, occupying a commanding position, with extensive views, and embracing distinctive features which will lend themselves to a design worthy of me object, not only for the present, but for all time" - in short, a city within a landscape. Canberra, situated about 100 km inland from the southeastern coast between Sydney and Melbourne, was an ideal choice. It had lakes, waterways and rolling hills as a foreground to the spectacular mountains of the Great Dividing Range to the south.
Eighty years later, Canberra has managed, despite ever-increasing pressures of population growth, to remain a city where the natural setting has become the primary monument. In a world in which most cities suffer from urban fringe problems, how has Canberra managed to avoid them?
CANBERRA aesthetics are important
Perhaps the basic reason is that the Australian government has kept to its original vision by passing legislation consistent with that purpose and has overtly encouraged the Imaginative use of the existing natural environment. This effort has been simplified by the fact that the federal government, in 1970, approved the acquisition of all remaining private land in the Australian Capital Territory. Thus, all land is now publicly owned and is available for either urban or rural use only by lease.
Urban development has been allowed chiefly in the valleys, preserving the naturally forested hills and ridges which screen it off from most vantage points. River corridors are maintained as green space. Where peripheral land is relatively flat and open, it is zoned for "broad acre" uses such as horse pastures and golf courses.
In 1975, the concept of "essential landscape foreground areas" was introduced. Half a dozen of these landscapes, examples of typical Australian countryside, have been established along major highways on the south and western urban fringes where they provide a foreground to the seasonally snowcapped mountains in the distance. Although the space occupied by these areas is in fact quite small, their strategic locations and visual effectiveness create the illusion of vast pastoral space.
Although Canberra is blessed by an unusually beautiful natural setting, much of that beauty could easily have been destroyed without firm and persistent administrative efforts and imaginative forestry planning. Most long-term Canberra residents are aware that they live in a city that is much more beautiful than the urban environment available to most Australians, and they seem to accept the degree of regulation as a fair price to pay for that privilege.
8 - Singapore, Republic of Singapore - Aerating a concrete jungle
Population (1978): 2322000
Area: 92 km2
· The early 1960s saw Singapore's population mushroom; they also brought a firm commitment to make this world trade and tourist centre a garden city, a green metropolis. Since there were then relatively few trees within the city proper, the Singapore Parks and Recreation Department had to undertake a massive effort to achieve this goal. Two keys to its success are its massive "aeration" and "screening" programmes.
Plants and trees in urban environments, where there is an abundance of concrete and asphalt surface, suffer from a poor distribution of rain-water and an inadequate air supply to their root systems. The "aeration programme" is designed to alleviate these problems. The previous standard of 1.3 m2 open areas at the base for trees in plazas has been increased, wherever possible, to at least 16 m2, and a 30-40 percent green area is generally required for all plazas. Major new roads must now have a 4 m-wide centre divider and 2 m-wide side planting verges flanked by a 1.5 m semi-paved footpath and a similar loose paved service road. Minor roads must have at least 1.5 m planting verges.
These requirements not only provide growing space for trees and shrubs but also minimize the disturbance to root systems during the laying or repairing of cables, water mains and sewers. Car parks, both old and new, are planted with trees to reduce asphalt surfaces and many have been paved with perforated slabs to allow better air flow and water drainage.
The "screening programme" is an intensive effort to use vegetation to camouflage concrete buildings, flyovers, overhead bridges, retaining wails and other urban structures. Creepers such as Ficus pumila, climbers, shrubs and trees are planted immediately after construction. Extensive use is made of such "instant tree" species as Pterocarpus indicus (Angsana) and Erythrina spp. Those planted in the dense shade under bridges or flyovers are chosen for their ability to survive in a sunless environment; in places where they are sheltered from natural precipitation, they are watered artificially. Climbers are planted to grow up street lamps, especially in areas where there is not enough space for tree planting, and buildings are provided with flower troughs so that flowering plants can add their colour to the balconies.
Although flowering trees grow well in Singapore, many have disappointing floral displays because there is no pronounced dry season; they frequently do not flower often enough or in unison to produce a colourful impact. In recent years the search for species which will flower well under Singapore's climatic conditions has been intensified.
9 - Brussels, Belgium - The forest of the sun
Population (1981): 1008715
· The Belgian Gauls believed it to be a sacred place and named it after the sun. Charlemagne walked here in 804 with Leo III, the Pope who four years earlier had crowned him emperor. Over a thousand years later, residents and visitors can still stroll along any one of 20 different walks through the Soignes Forest on the outskirts of Brussels. Whether they realize it or not, they are the beneficiaries of urban forest management which goes back not decades, but centuries.
The Soignes Forest may well be the oldest public park in Europe. During the Middle Ages, it was a wildlife preserve; unlike many feudal woods, it was not forbidden to the people who used it, among other purposes, as a refuge in times of invasion. Its first "manager" was perhaps Emperor Charles V, who decreed in 1543 that the 10383 ha of the "Carbonaria Silva" - as the forest was then called because of the large quantities of charcoal made there for local ironworks - had to be selectively cut. Each year, trees could be felled only on 126 ha (100 bonniers) over a rotation cycle of 80 years to allow for natural regeneration, while some 323 ha were reserved for the Emperor's "hunting and leisure".
BRUSSELS: the Soignes Forest
But it is primarily to the farsighted Burgundian dukes of Brabant, whose hereditary fief the forest had been since the twelfth century, that Brussels should be thankful. However, by the beginning of the eighteenth century, the ducal forest domain had been devastated by illegal cutting and successive hordes of occupying soldiers. Over the next century, Brabantian foresters were instructed to under-take a massive plantation programme, and by 1830 the forest was restored to its present fine condition.
The Belgians' desire to conserve their forestry heritage found formal expression in 1822 with the founding of the Society for the Promotion of National Industry, which was charged with managing 40000 ha of forests, including the Soignes Forest. While the company had "the greatest possible latitude for managing its domain", it was required to set aside one-third of the Soignes Forest as a reserve. The society sold part of its holdings in 1843, but the government insisted that half of the Forest of the Sun be retained. Its 4369 ha remain intact to this day.
The twentieth century witnessed an increased effort to make the best use of this resource. In 1902, the 100 ha Capucin Woods, which border the forest, were added to the park. Soon thereafter formal gardening began, resulting in an even more beautiful and varied natural landscape. Walking trails, 20 km of bicycle ways and 40 km of bridle paths were laid out, as were more than 200 km of roads. As use of the forest has increased, however, measures to limit circulation have been required and now only 52 km of roads are open to cars. In 1954, the first pedestrian reserve was created around the historic "Red Cloister", and in 1958 the Tervueren Arboretum was opened in the Capucin Woods. In 1959, the national Administration of Water and Forests added picnic tables, benches and other amenities for hikers. The dukes of Brabant would be pleased to know that their heritage has not been forgotten.
10 - Windsor, Ontario, Canada - The difference management makes
Population (1971): 258643
Area: 13200 ha
· The city of Windsor, just across the river border from Detroit, Michigan, incorporates seven smaller communities interspersed with the remnants of market gardens and abandoned farmlands. Before the municipality hired its first urban forester in 1970, the area's tree cover, predominantly elm and maple, was poorly managed and vulnerable to disease and insect attack. Now, however, Windsor has a carefully planned, well-managed urban forestry system with 600 ha of municipal parks and a closed canopy of mature trees along 1000 km of streets. Trees occupy almost 20 percent of the total space.
While the Windsor urban forestry programme is primarily designed to enhance the city's microclimate and attractiveness, trees also provide a limited income. Since 1976, logs from removed trees have been auctioned for firewood instead of being disposed of in the municipal landfill. All chips produced by trimming operations are used to cover nature trails, tree areas and some shrub beds in the 44 ha Ojibway Park.
Perhaps the major problem faced initially by the municipal Parks Department was tree disease control. Like most of North America, Canada was hard hit by the Dutch elm disease. Since the outbreak of the disease in 1957, Windsor has lost over 10000 elms. Injections of M.B.C. phosphate, supplemented by trunk spraying with methoxchlor, has now slowed the mortality rate of the 900 remaining elms to about 2 percent per year. However, insects and diseases still periodically threaten other species. Since a preventive spray programme for all trees in the city is both financially prohibitive and environmentally unsound, minor infestations are left untreated; serious ones of a local nature are sprayed with a portable sprayer mounted on an aerial tower. But the best defence has proved to be planting a wide variety of species.
In fact, one of the notable features of Windsor's green cover today is the diversity of trees, some local, others exotic. They include, in addition to the fine remaining white elms, a variety of maples (silver, sugar, red, Manitoba and Norway), black locust and cultivars of honey locust, red and green ash, tree, of heaven, horse-chestnut, white mulberry, cottonwood, crab apple, blue spruce, a number of varieties of oak (pine, swamp, white, red, black and bur), and shellbark and shagbark hickory.
Tree planting has been a major activity. Since 1968 over 20000 street trees alone have been established. Most municipalities in Ontario use the common "bareroot" planting of trees 2 or 3 m in height. Although this method allows a large number of street trees to be introduced inexpensively, Windsor found that poor establishment and vandalism caused an estimated 30 percent loss. The alternative of balled and bur-lapped trees or tree-spade planting is used only in special areas because of the expense of balled stock and the slow process of locating underground utility lines before tree-spade planting can be done. A novel approach has been to buy trees 1-2 m high which are then set out in temporary nurseries on vacant city lots. In two to four years, their value doubles or quadruples. Careful tending allows damaged roots to recover before transplanting on streets, and a ready supply of trees is always available for spring planting.
The Parks Department has made a concerted effort in public relations and forestry education, and it has paid off. Arbor Day has been expanded into Arbor Month, both as a response to and a vehicle for heightened citizen awareness of the value of trees for an urban environment.
11 - Kampala, Uganda - Fuelwood and ornamentals
Population (1980): 458423
Altitude: 1190 m
· Urban forest management in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, focuses primarily on the expansion and maintenance of fuelwood plantations to meet the increasing demand for firewood and charcoal as the urban population grows and imported kerosene becomes more expensive. An important but secondary activity is the establishment of ornamental trees.
The bulk of the trees used in the city's fuelwood plantations are species of eucalyptus introduced from Australia and New Zealand, although the slower-growing Cassia siamea Lam is also used. Scattered throughout the city and on the periphery, these plantations or wood-lots supply not only fuelwood but also building poles and fence posts. All plantations are established and maintained by the Forest Department, which acts on behalf of the central government. Department nurseries raise seedlings for the plantations and for free distribution to farmers for home wood-lots. Hedge plants, particularly cypress spp., are also grown for public sale. The Forest Department is responsible for the sale of all firewood and poles from these plantations.
The introduction and maintenance of fruit and ornamental trees is the responsibility of the Kampala Municipal Council, which has formed a Department of Parks headed by a park superintendent. Some of the exotic species planted for their fruit as well as their ornamental value include mango, papaya, avocado, guava and cashew nut. Over a hundred species of ornamentals are being used, including several kinds of cypress and pine, Grevillea robusta, Callistemon citrinus (bottle brush tree), Sterculia acerifolia (flame tree), jacaranda, Delonix regia (flamboyant tree) and Araucaria.
Private citizens, generally retired foresters, are also involved in urban forestry in Kampala. Four private nurseries in and around the city, together employing over 50 people, supply the Department of Parks as well as individual citizens with a variety of hedge plants and ornamentals for amenity planting.
12 - Dunedin, New Zealand - Logs and loans
Elevation: sea level
· Few cities in New Zealand have large forest tracts within or close to their boundaries, and those that do have generally left them unmanaged. A notable exception is Dunedin, on the southeast coast of South Island. Dunedin has over 8300 ha of forest preserve inside the city limits. One tract of 200 ha is unique in that it almost encircles the city only 1 km from the centre. Forest management has been so successful from both an environmental and a financial point of view that the city council recently decided to increase the forest area to 12000 ha.
Concerted forestry management began in Dunedin in 1906 when a major plantation was established upon water catchment land purchased by the city. The first efforts to introduce 22 deciduous species native to the United Kingdom did not succeed in suppressing weed growth, so other trees were planted, especially radiate pine, Austrian pine, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Larix spp. and Picea spp. Returning servicemen from two world wars and unemployment relief schemes during the Depression provided much of the labour for planting over the years; by 1969 there was a large, overmature, untended forest estate.
Fortunately, the Japanese and later the South Korean demand for logs, combined with the easy access to Dunedin's deep-water harbour at Port Chalmers, allowed the city to realize the forest's potential for income. Intensive management and forestation began in earnest, and in 1979 a net income of US$1.6 million was realized, two-thirds of which went into future forest development. This retained revenue, together with loans under New Zealand's Forestry Encouragement Act, has enabled Dunedin to expand and manage its urban forest tracts without undue tax burdens on its residents. The Parks and Recreation Department nursery supplies 1800 saplings annually for planting within the city; 25 percent of these are native species.
A crucial element in the success of Dunedin's efforts has been the Forestry Encouragement Act passed in 1962 and since 1970 restricted to local authorities. Under the act, municipalities can get loans of up to US$450/ha (now far less than half the cost) to help to develop both urban and rural forestry projects. The loans are for 30 years or until significant returns from timber can be obtained, whichever is sooner. (Typical rotations for radiate pine are between 25 and 30 years.) interest is set by the Local Authorities Loan Board and is compounded forward until payment begins, at which time, if all terms and conditions have been met, the full debt (principal plus interest) is reduced by 50 percent. The remaining debt becomes a first charge on any income until the loan is repaid, although up to 20 percent of net income may-be held to finance the new crop. These Forestry Encouragement Schemes are administered by the extension branch of the New Zealand Forest Service.
13 - Beijing, People's Republic of China - Continuing an ancient tradition
Population (1980): 8860000
Area: 16807 km2
· Driving the 25 km from the airport to the city of Beijing, one is immediately struck by the trees - pines, willows and poplars three or more rows deep - which completely shade the entire route. Once in the city, trees continue to strike the eye, for they line virtually every street, flourish in every residential area, surround most public buildings and fill the many public gardens and parks.
Looking more closely, one notices that except for those In temple compounds, palace gardens and other historic sites, most of me trees are young, less than 30 years old. The Second World War took a heavy toll, and by 1949 Beijing wee left with fewer than 80000 trees. By 1981, it had over 8 million, and more than one million continue to be planted every year, a rate which is matched by several other major Chinese cities. Although chosen primarily for their shade and aesthetic value, the trees in Beijing have served as valuable timber at leant once, for they provided materials for temporary shelters following the disastrous earthquakes in 1976.
The Chinese have been called the most tree-conscious people in the world, and their actions, both past and present, bear testimony to the justice of the statement. The Qin (Ch'in) Emperor, who is best known for building the Great Wall over two thousand years ago, also laid out over 1600 km (1000 miles) of highways lined, like the airport road to Beijing, with three rows of closely spaced trees of many kinds.
He was neither the first tree-conscious ruler nor the last. In the 13th century, the great Kublai Khan impressed the young Marco Polo by his decree that "at both sides of the public road... trees are to be planted, of a kind that become large and tall... This is done all along the high roads, where the nature of the soil admits of plantation." Books on landscape design were printed by the early 1600s, and an extensive park system had been developed before the eighteenth century.
Traditional landscape gardening has not disappeared. Many of Beijing's ancient temple and palace gardens remain, most of them transformed into nurseries, tea gardens and public parks. In 1958, the Beijing University Forest College established a Landscape Gardening Department, which by 1963 had over 400 students, over one-third of them women.
This tradition has continued. In modern China, tree planting is everyone's business. The national goal of "Five Ones" includes, as one of its "Ones", one hundred trees planted by each person. The national slogan of "Four Around Plantation" calls upon people to plant trees around houses (1), villages (2), along roads (3), rivers and canals (4) for production, protection and aesthetics. Urban forestry is taught in schools as part of labour education and the national health movement. However, responsibility for urban forestry is decentralized, and trees in Beijing and other urban centres are maintained by the people, not "tree experts".