Introduction

Mangroves, coastal forests, community plantings, home gardens, agroforestry, fruit and amenity trees, shelterbelts and urban plantings were severely damaged by the tsunami with resulting negative impacts upon people and their livelihoods. In addition, wooden boats, piers, houses, civic buildings and infrastructure were destroyed by the tsunami. Many affected communities will rely on salvage of wood, wood products and fuelwood in the short term, until alternatives are available.

The demand for wood and wood products (to reconstruct homes, civil service and other buildings) has soared, thus assessments of needs and evaluations of scenarios for supply are needed. There is also a need to evaluate the degree of damage to forests and trees in both urban and rural environs. An assessment of potential to immediately salvage damaged or destroyed forests or trees is necessary for reconstruction on the one hand, whilst an assessment of rehabilitation of forests and trees in restoring the coastal zone is necessary for longer term planning on the other.

Emergency response to meet peoples¿ immediate needs was paramount. However, in the medium to long term a successful reconstruction strategy requires restoring people¿s lives; the economy and people¿s livelihoods; local governance that represent people; and rehabilitation and restoration of coastal zones. This calls for an integrated approach to ensure that the needs of communities and environmental protection are balanced. Many agencies, NGOs, volunteers and Government departments are responding to the emergency, and to short and longer term needs. However, there is a need for collaboration between players in multidisciplinary approaches, adopting decentralized and participatory methods to ensure that priority issues in priority areas are addressed in a logical rehabilitation and restoration framework.