Description of plantation resources
Since the drought in the early 1970s, the establishment of plantations has been one of the effective ways to combat desertification and the government has carried it out with international assistance.
Fuelwood accounts for more than 60 percent of domestic energy consumption, mainly in the form of charcoal. Timber for construction is also an important forest product.
Linear plantations have been established mainly using Casuarina spp. for both land protection and production of fuelwood and timber (Gueye, 2000).
Development of forest plantations
Until 1950, efforts were essentially devoted to natural forests exploitation for timber and fuelwood production. Plantations were given priority to protect villages from sand (CONSERE, 1997).
Tectona grandis was introduced in 1933 (Gueye, 2000) and it is still used in forest plantations. In the late 1950s, forest plantations for the exploitation of industrial products were started on a large scale. The species used were Khaya senegalensis, Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea (Gueye, 2000).
Between 1949 and 1958, about 400 ha were planted with Casuarina equisetifolia. There have subsequently been several plantations established with this species in coastal areas to protect the land from sand.
From 1950 to 1970, several initiatives were launched. Their purposes were to establish shade using Azadirachta indica, to produce timber with Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea as well as to protect crops from sand, to protect soil from erosion and enhance soil productivity.
The drought in the early 1970s drew attention to the importance of combating desertification. This led to the launching of a programme aimed at establishing plantations and promoting the use of exotic species such as Eucalyptus spp. and Acacia spp. and aimed at the reforestation of areas where natural vegetation had been lost (CONSERE, 1997).
In 1981, l'Administration Forestière Sénégalaise (AFS) launched a plan to restore the old plantations of Tectona grandis to maintain their productivity into the future.
Since 1991, the rate of establishment of plantations on government land has decreased. In 1999, it was only 0.8 percent of the whole planted area. The rest have been established on communal lands close the villages (Gueye, 2000).
Tectona grandis, Eucalyptus spp., Acacia spp. and many indigenous species have been used for both industrial and non-industrial purposes. Eucalyptus spp. are predominant, comprising about 24 percent of the plantation area. Eucalyptus camaldulensis is also important. Casuarina equisetifolia is used for dune fixation in coastal areas (Gueye, 2000).
CONSERE. 1997. Experience Sénégalaise en matière de lutte contre la desertification. Dakar. Conseil Supérieur des Ressources Naturelles et de l´Environnement.
MDRH. 1990. Rapport national sur les activites forestières. In Tenth session of World Forest Congress. Paris, August, 1991. Dakar. Ministère du Développement rural et de l´Hydraulique.
FAO. 2000. Étude sur les ressources forestières du Sénégal. Période: 1992-1999. In Data Collection and Analysis for Suistainable Forest Management in ACP Countries. EC-FAO Partnership Programme(1998-2000), Project GCP/INT/679/EC. Rome.
MEPN. 1997. Statistiques des campagnes de reboisement. Dakar. Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Protection de la Nature.
FAO. 1998. Forest plantation areas 1995. November 1997, revised July, report to the FAO project GCP/INT/628/UK. By Pandey, D. (unpublished). Rome.
MDRH. 1993. Estimations par pays du Projet OAA d'évaluation des ressources forestières. By Sing, K.D. Dakar. Minist`re du Développement Rural et de l´Hydraulique.