A SIMPLE, inexpensive, easily transported and adaptable forestry exhibit was evolved by an FAO Technical Assistance officer, for display on the occasion of a national Tree Festival in Ethiopia, with the ulterior objective of widespread use among the youth of the country, ranging from children in primary schools to students of University level.
The aim of the exhibit was to create public awareness of forest destruction by fire, by uncontrolled cutting and by nomadic agriculture, of the consequences in terms of soil erosion by water and wind, spread of and conditions, shortages of timber, irregularity in water supply and the danger of floods (panels 1-12). The remaining panels (13-24) emphasized the stages necessary for forest development, and notably professional training at all levels, research, protection of existing resources and extension of the forest cover by afforestation, improved utilization and management, and the cooperation of the general public in assisting in the practical application of a national forest policy.
The 24 fibreboard panels were mounted on U-section metal frames and tubular iron supports. The whole exhibit is easily packed in two crates weighing a total of 400 kilos and can easily be accommodated on a Jeep trailer.
After it had been seen by schools, the children were asked to write essays on the subject of the disappearance of their national forests and the consequences of forest destruction. A direct result of the exhibit was that the Ministry of Public Instruction decided that the school curriculum for children of 12 years and over should include classroom teaching on the principles of conservation, and practical training in nursery work and tree planting.
FIGURE 1. - The first two panels of the exhibit showing how it was erected. The first panel features the portrait of the Emperor and his statement: " We shall plant a tree and set an example, to you in planting it ".
FIGURE 2. - Panel 2 spotlights the disappearance of Ethiopia's forest cover by contrasting, on adjacent maps, the original natural distribution of forest, some 500,000 square kilometers or 48 percent of the land surface, with its present area of 72,000 square kilometers or 6 percent of the total area of Ethiopia.
FIGURE 3. - Panel 3 illustrates, both by photographs and by the use of color background, the destructive effect of fire on forest resources. The second of the destructive agencies is uncontrolled telling.
FIGURE 4. - Panel 5 is a good example of the use of photographs on a grey background (symbolizing bare, and ground) in illustrating the third factor in forest destruction, that of unsound and extensive agricultural practices often followed by overgrazing.
FIGURE 5. - Panel 6 illustrates the stages in intensity of erosion by color gradation and a combination of actual photographic evidence with graphic representation of the degree of severity of each stage, from an aerial photograph of forest land and the sketch of a fertile soil profile to total erosion down to bare rock.
FIGURE 6. - Panel 8 shows, in graphic form, the effect of windbreaks in reducing evaporation and desiccation, and in increasing crop yields and farm incomes.
FIGURE 7. - The fact that indigenous timber can replace imported material, and that it is cheaper, is illustrated in Panel 9 by photographs, line drawing and local currency. The title, " Deforestation leads to timber shortage," summarizes the lesson to be drawn from this panel.
FIGURE 8. - The background of Panel 10 is another good example of the use of design in drawing immediate attention to the, theme it illustrates, namely that of the irregularity of moisture availability. A similar backcloth would be effective in showing the destructive effect of water erosion, and the fact that deforestation leads to flooding, which is the subject of Panel 11.
FIGURE 9. - Panel 12 is a schematic summary of the causes and effects of deforestation and concluded the first half of the exhibit. The next 12 panels, beginning with a summary, similarly presented, of the steps in forest development, goes on to illustrate then individually.
FIGURE 10. - After dealing with aspects of professional training and research, Panel 16 here shown illustrates protection and conservation, before passing on to others that deal with optimum afforestation and what this involves, to sound utilization and its benefits to the nation, and to the phases necessary in the formulation of management plans.
FIGURE 11. - Panel 20 is the, " text book " illustration of good and bad felling practice where natural regeneration is relied upon to reforest the area.
FIGURE 12. - On the question of soil conservation, the two diagrams illustrate the same topographical area in its present eroded condition in Ethiopia, and the way it would look under proper land usage.
FIGURE 13. - Panel 22 is an important one in connection with the objectives of the exhibit, in that it shows the role that youth, through school activities, must play in helping the nation achieve the necessary forest development and extension envisaged.
FIGURE 14. - Panels 23 and 24, one in Amharic and the other in English, summarize the warnings contained in the first part of the exhibit and make an appeal to the individual and the nation for cooperation in halting forest destruction and making good the deficit so far incurred.