Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


Arid rangeland trees and shrubs
Appropriate technology handbook
Forest plantations: A new economic resource in Côte d'Ivoire
Asian swiddeners
The trees of Spain
Controlling elephant damage

Arid rangeland trees and shrubs

Notes on trees and shrubs in arid and semi-arid regions. M. Baumer. Rome. FAO. 1983. 270 pp.

This book is a collection of data sheets, each summarizing general and technical information on a species or genus of tree or shrub of economic importance in arid and semi-arid rangelands. It was written under the auspices of the joint FAO/UNEP programme, "Ecological Management of Arid and Semi-Arid Rangelands in Africa, Near and Middle East" (EMASAR Phase II), by Michel Baumer an FAO consultant, in collaboration with Ratisimba-Rahorm, A. Naegele and Takafumi Tahara.

The list of species does not, of course, cover all useful species in the rangelands concerned or include all present knowledge on the subject. There are 76 data sheets covering 38 genera. Seventy-four data sheets concern selected species; two deal with the genera Atriplex and Prosopis and include a discussion of the relevant useful species. The species listed have been chosen on the basis of their value as forage and/or wood production. Many of them can be used for other purposes too, for example, gum, latex, resin, fibre or food and medicines.

The list of selected species includes some plants, e.g. Phaseolus acutifolius and Crotalaria arenaria, that may or may not be described as "understorey" although they are more or less woody perennials of economic importance. The authors would like to know readers' opinions on whether these plants and other useful perennials such as Artemisia herba-alba, Cajanus cajan and several Thymus spp. should be included. The data sheets cover:

(i) denomination: scientific name, with Latin nomenclature and the vernacular name in various languages or dialects, which in some cases are numerous;

(ii) description: taking into consideration the development and height reached by an adult specimen, the shape of the crown and the characteristics of the bark. It also describes the peculiarities of the root. Leaves are usually described minutely. In some cases the description of the flower is accompanied by details of pollination;

(iii) seasons and production: referring to the periods when the leaves, flowers and fruit appear: in some cases it considers the production of tannin, viability of the seeds, etc.;

(iv) area of distribution;

(v) ecological requirements;

(vi) utilization: whether these trees or shrubs can be used as wind-breaks, or for their fibre, or in some cases as livestock fodder, or the basis for human food, etc.

The book is intended as a working document and it is hoped that readers will send detailed comments, corrections and additional information to: EMASAR Programme. FAO Plant Production and Protection Division, Via delle Terme di Caracalla. 00100 Rome. Italy.

FUELWOOD AND CATTLE IN BURKINA FASO evaluating trees and shrubs for both

Appropriate technology handbook

Handbook on appropriate technology for forestry operations in developing countries. Part 1. M. Kantola & K Virtanen. Helsinki. National Board of Vocational Education, Forestry Training Programme (FTP). 1986. 200 pp., 350 illustrations. Price: US 540 + handling charges.

This new book on appropriate technology in forestry operations in developing countries is intended to be used in classrooms and field exercises. Its main purpose is to teach the methods of manual timber harvesting. The book can provide forest foremen and instructors with material to show forestry workers ways of working safely and efficiently.

The authors, Mikko Kantola and Klaus Virtanen, divide their presentation into six chapters: an overview of forest work; grass cutting and brush clearing; hand-tools for basic logging: timber cutting; tool maintenance; and occupational safety and first aid.

In late 1987 or early 1988, Part 2 of the book will appear, this time with Kantola appearing as co-author with Pertti Harstela. This volume will be intended to reach foremen, foresters and forest engineers planning and managing logging and wood harvesting operations. It will include chapters on: methods and systems of logging and harvesting; choice of technology; planning: building of forest roads; manual and animal terrain transport; mechanized winching and yarding; skidding by tractors; forwarding by tractors: extended terrain transport by tractor and truck: road transport by animals and road transport by truck.

Orders can be placed with: Forestry Training Programme, Asemamiehenkatu 4 A, 00520 Helsinki, Finland.

Forest plantations: A new economic resource in Côte d'Ivoire

L'économie de plantation en Côte d'Ivoire forestière. D. Boni. Doctoral thesis. Abidjan. Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines. 1985. 458 pp.

Since the end of the nineteenth century, tropical Africa has become the favourite site for a new form of agriculture: forest plantations. This is the central theme of Dian Boni's thesis which demonstrates how, in a country which has barely touched its mineral resources and where food crops constitute only a small fraction of the marketable output, plantation crops have become, in the space of a few decades, the driving force of economic development". Thanks to the financial resources that this new form of agriculture will release, it will gradually be possible to implement the economic and social projects planned by Côte d'Ivoire since the first years of its independence.

The forest plantations arc replacing the ombrophilous and mesophilous forests, which have practically disappeared as a result of clearance for crop-growing, now accounting for 95 percent of Côte d'Ivoire's agricultural production. It consists of village coffee and cocoa plantations, industrial oil-palm, coffee and rubber plantations and pineapples and bananas grown in garden plantations. In analysing the coffee and cocoa, the author emphasizes the role of villagers initiatives in passing from a subsistence to a market economy and that of the state in establishing and developing industrial plantations.

In defining the role of plantations in the country's economic growth, Boni analyses the direct economic effects (production, employment, wages), the induced effects (pre- and post-plantation activities, transfer of labour), and their contribution to the GNP. He devotes particular attention to the problems and behaviour of the actors in the economic scene.

Finally, the author investigates the social repercussions of plantation agriculture and the distribution of the benefits. How will the planters use their share of income, and will this improve their standard of living? This study goes well beyond the university thesis framework and discusses some of Côte d'Ivoire's most crucial economic problems.

Asian swiddeners

Swidden cultivation in Asia: empirical studies in selected swidden communities: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand. Vol. 3. Unesco Regional Office for Education in Asia and the Pacific, PO Box 1425, GPO, Bangkok 10500. Thailand. 1985. 373 pp.

This is the third and final volume of the five-country comparative study initiated in 1979. Volumes I and 2 reviewed the literature on swidden cultivation, identified major research trends and assembled typological profiles of swidden practice. The present volume introduces case-studies of five swidden communities: the Wancho and Digaru Mishmi in India, the Buginese and Keniah in Indonesia, the Iban in Malaysia, the Dumagat in the Philippines and the Monya in Thailand. The authors, who use a combination of anthropological and sociological techniques in conducting field-work and research, were supported by both MAB and UNEP.

The trees of Spain

Arboles y arbustos de España. Dr J. Ruiz de la Torre. (Illustrations by Dr E. Cerra.) Barcelona, Savat Editores. 1984.

In a clear and very simple style, the author describes the morphological characteristics of the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds of trees and shrubs. This work covers virtually all the wild species of the Spanish peninsula as well as most of those introduced in forest repopulations and ornamental plantations.

The description of each species is headed by its vernacular name in Castilian, Catalan, Basque and Galician, by its scientific denomination in Latin, and by the name of the family to which it belongs. As well as the botanical characteristics, there are notes on the habitat, ecological requirements and area of distribution, generally and in Spain. For exotic species, the place of origin, the period and, where possible, the means of introduction are also given. Another interesting feature is the description of timber and its uses. Mention is made of the medicinal properties of some species.

The book is divided into two major chapters. The first deals with Gymnospermae, woody plants whose seeds are exposed on carpels. This is the oldest group, which includes pines, cedars, cypresses, junipers and yews. The second chapter deals with Angiospermae, whose seeds are covered over and protected by carpels. Many of them are herbaceae, also trees and shrubs.

Controlling elephant damage

Managing elephant depredation in agricultural and forestry projects. J. Seidensticker. World Bank Technical Paper. ISSN 0153-7494. Washington, D.C., The World Bank. 1984 Price: US$30.

Agricultural and forestry projects established in traditional habitats of African and Asian elephants force animals living there to modify their movements and behaviour. Damage resulting in major financial losses has occurred when elephants live in or enter and feed in project areas. In this book, procedures sensitive to the conservation status of elephants (Asian are endangered, African are threatened) are described. These procedures can be used to plan for and manage elephants in and near project areas in conjunction with overall project design and operations.

A pre-project design assessment, conducted with local wildlife authorities, can predict the response of elephants to the project and provide the basis for incorporating into the project measures to avoid major conflicts. Final project design should include features that keep elephants out of production areas as well as ensuring local elephants access to critical resources, or otherwise providing these through habitat enrichment. Emphasis in the project design should be placed on passive elephant-management features. These can include minor modifications in infrastructure either to facilitate or block elephant movements. The creation of buffer zones to separate production activities and elephants is required to ensure that groups of elephants are not isolated or "pocketed" in production areas. Such elephants can be very dangerous and destructive.

A successful elephant management programme requires strong local institutional support. Technical and financial assistance measures which may be required by local wildlife management authorities are outlined.

For information, write to: World Bank Publications, PO Box 37525, Washington, D.C. 20013. USA.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page