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The making of resource frontier spaces in the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia: A critical analysis of narratives, actors and drivers in the scientific literature

XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022









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    Book (stand-alone)
    Sustainable management of Miombo woodlands
    Food security, nutrition and wood energy
    2018
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    The Miombo woodland is a vast African dryland forest ecosystem covering close to 2.7 million km2 across southern Africa (Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The woodlands are characterized by the dominance of Brachystegia species, either alone or in association with Julbernardia and Isoberlinia species. It is estimated that the woodlands – through their numerous goods and services which include various non-wood forest products (NWFPs) (e.g. insects, mushrooms, fruits, tubers, medicine, fodder, honey, seeds) and woodfuels, which, for simplicity, will be referred to as non-timber forest products, or NTFPs, throughout the publication – sustain the livelihoods of more than 100 million rural poor and 50 million urban people. The charcoal sector alone employs vast numbers of rural people and offers additional income to many poor rural families. Communities moreover rely directly on the woodlands for food and nutrition. NWFPs add vital micro- and macronutrients to local diets and contribute to diversified food systems, while woodfuel is essential for cooking and sterilizing, thus ensuring proper nutrient absorption and providing clean water for drinking. Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. Generally speaking, it is now accepted that forests managed for both timber and NTFPs retain more biodiversity and resilience than forests managed solely for one aspect, e.g. timber and exotic timber plantations. However, a growing population in high need of agricultural land and unsustainable use and overharvesting of natural resources in parts of the Miombo woodlands, combined with climate change impacts (e.g. drought, fires), leave insufficient time for many trees and associated species to regenerate naturally, posing a serious threat to the products and services of the woodlands, and to the livelihoods depending on them. Compounding the problem and hindering development of the Miombo ecosystem, are: i) lack of an enabling policy environment; ii) unsustainable management; iii) limited willingness and ability to pay for and access to energy-efficiency technologies; iv) inadequate awareness and information, including technical capacity; v) high poverty levels; and vi) limited access to microcredit facilities. With the Committee on World Food Security’s endorsement of the recommendations presented in the High Level Panel of Experts Report on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition in late 2017 – which include promoting multifunctional landscapes, integrated food-forestry systems, and research on associated linkages, among other things – forests and trees are expected to play a greater role in future land-use decisions and related policies. This paper provides an overview of these linkages in the context of the Miombo woodlands, in the hope that future land use, policy decisions and financial investments are shaped to support the contributions of forests and trees to the health and livelihoods of communities in the ecoregion. The following key messages were formulated: • Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. • Current data bases referring to the value of the Miombo must be analysed and used as evidence to improve policy-making. • Miombo woodlands may be dominant (spatially), but they have not been addressed as a single unit but as part of the region’s forests. They form part of the overall forestry strategies and no specific mention in the conventions does not suggest that their importance is underplayed. • The management of Miombo will require some changes in management structures, especially in providing benefits emerging from trade in forest products to local managers. • Local forest managers should play a greater role in allocating resources for feedstock for charcoal production.
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    Document
    Drones - A feasible way to revive forests
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    The role of forests in human survival is inevitable but the forest cover decreases by deforestation increased wildfires and unpredictable climate change. To regrow forest we need a lot of manpower and as per some estimates a human can plant about 1500 trees a day and there are many inaccessible places like mountains, river beds, which is not easy for human planters to go, carry, and plant trees. To combat this we need to find out effective mechanisms to plant a large volume of tree seeds in a stipulated period over a mass area. The feasible solution for this is the usage of drones in reviving forests. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), they are like small helicopters which can be flown by a person standing on the ground using a remote.

    Drones can fly and drop seeds at places that were difficult to reach earlier. They can map out the territory, carry the seeds, and drop the load at the identified spots, and go back to check the progress at frequent intervals and creating a large-scale green landscape. The built of the drone for planting trees are designed to be durable enough to lift the high quantity of seeds and they mark the areas suitable for dropping the seeds using machine learning technologies and 3D imaging. The seeds used in the drones are highly recommended to use a protected nutrient coating that acts as a safe shell to bury them in the ground, protect them from animals, and be flown away.

    Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but they are disappearing at an alarming rate. About 17 percent of the Amazonian rainforest has been destroyed over the past 50 years, and losses recently have been on the rise. Given the ferocity of the devastation, we need hundreds of companies, individuals, and groups to come forward, leverage the technology, take these aerial vehicles to the sky and make the planet green again. Keywords: Adaptive and integrated management, Biodiversity conservation, Climate change, Sustainable forest management ID: 3616686
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    Article
    “Fisherfolks eat from the sea, why should we not eat from the forest?”: farmer narratives of forest conversion in Ghana
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Beyond global efforts dedicated to halting deforestation, in recent times, governments and companies are also implementing several voluntary initiatives to end agro-commodities driven deforestation. These initiatives are built on the assumptions that tropical forest loss endangers biodiversity, climate stability and forest livelihoods. While many of the assumptions hold in many ways, discussions around them tend to be dominated by governments, companies, and international organisations, neglecting the voices of subsistence farmers and forest-fringe communities (FFCs). Given that subsistence farmers contribute to about 33% of global deforestation, and that the meanings these farmers assign to their landscapes can affect conversation program outcomes, understanding FFCs perspectives about deforestation might provide new insights for effective zero- deforestation policies. Drawing on Narrative Policy Analysis, this paper traces the narratives that FFCs use to justify encroaching into protected forests to cultivate cocoa and food crops in southwestern Ghana, where restrictive deforestation policies have failed persistently. The article shows that FFCs are aware of the narratives, e.g., biodiversity, climate action, forest regulators use to legitimise forest conservation. However, they believe that their food security and quest for survival outweigh these ‘western priorities’. Besides, “the forest is finished”. The incongruity between farmers’ needs and forest regulators’ expectations complicates forest conservation attempts. Drawing on the political ecology literature, the paper argues that forest policy in the region needs to prioritise job creation and food security to have a chance at success, especially since most farmers in the region are prepared to put their lives at stake, converting forests for their daily survival. Keywords: Deforestation and forest degradation, Agriculture, Governance, Social protection ID: 3485073

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