Problem Solving

Having identified, conceptualized and described the problem, or problems, the next step is to solve it. To find a solution it is necessary to utilize knowledge of the forest, the environment, the forest stakeholders and forest services and conceptually model their functions and relationships, with reference to the problem, and to formulate a solution. This process is an extension of the problem identification task and will probably involve a series of steps, or methods, which work towards the solution and which, when all in place, solve it. The collective set of methods constitutes the project methodology. A well understood and formulated solution leads to a clear project implementation plan. 

However, what may be perceived to be a problem to one stakeholder may not be perceived to be a problem to another - and may even be seen as a benefit. Solutions to problems may therefore involve compromise on the part of one stakeholder or another.

For the example of gulley erosion within a forest, the ITTO indicators on Extent of Protection for Soil and Water can help to scope the solution. For example:

6.6 Existence and implementation of procedures to identify and demarcate sensitive areas for the protection of soil and water.

Have the areas sensitive to gulley erosion, and other sensitive areas, been demarcated? If they had then the problem could perhaps have been avoided and problems in other similar areas can perhaps still be avoided through their identification. 

6.7 Availability and implementation of guidelines for forest road lay-out, including drainage requirement and conservation of buffer strips along streams and rivers.

The initial problem may have been caused by inadequate drainage associated with a mining road. Drafting of guidelines for road building and their implementation, together with the demarcation of sensitive areas, should therefore be part of the solution.