This paper discusses the socioeconomic, policy and ecological opportunities and constraints to the regeneration and management of secondary forests (SF) on small scale colonist farms in three Latin American countries. So far there has been little recognition of SF as a forest resource. Survey data show that SF occupy around 20% of farm area and are the only forest resource accessible to the rural poor in older settlement areas. Most SF are secondary forest fallows. Although SF make an important contribution to agricultural productivity, their contribution to cash income is low relative to agriculture. Econometric analysis identifies threats to the existence of SF at different stages of the frontier development process. Multi-resource forest inventories interpreted in the context of frontier development identify potential management strategies for increasing their contribution to incomes. Results show that different strategies are required for different frontier development stages and that at each stage, management needs to be complemented by policies to reduce threats to the existence of SF. In early phases of frontier development, policies to prevent further conversion of residual forest to agriculture are required to maintain productivity of SF at later phases. Management for high timber productivity shows potential at early phases. At later phases, policies for reducing pressures for shorter fallows are indicated, while management focuses on multiple use management. Payments for carbon stock protection at both phases may induce farmers to maintain some areas of SF on a permanent basis.
Topic: regeneration,secondary forests,small farms,policy,socioeconomics,ecology
Geographic: Latin America
Series: Serie Tecnica. Informe Tecnico/CATIE no. 332
Publisher: CIFOR and CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Publication Year: 2002