Landscape rehabilitation of degraded tropical forest ecosystems: case study of the CIFOR/Japan project in Indonesia and Peru

Landscape rehabilitation of degraded tropical forest ecosystems: case study of the CIFOR/Japan project in Indonesia and Peru

Tropical forest area is disappearing at the rate of 13.5 million ha each year, due mainly to clearing for agriculture and shifting cultivation. Timber harvesting results in more than 5 million ha of tropical forest annually being transformed into degraded, poorly managed, logged-over forests. The reduction and degradation caused by anthropological activities affect not only the sustainable production of timber but also the global environment. Accurate scientific information will enable managers to devise silvicultural systems to enhance soil properties and forest resources important for sustainable production and to minimize deleterious impacts of harvesting and short rotation plantations. Ultimately, rehabilitation can increase the area of forest as well as conserve remaining primary forests and environmental quality. Rehabilitation aims to improve biological diversity, increase commercial value of timber and non-timber products, increase forest functions and improve soil fertility. Technical advances will reduce logging impacts, accelerate natural regeneration and improve species selection,
enrichment, sustainable site management, catalytic planting and site evaluation and
classification. Socio-economic reform should focus on local community participation
and acceptance. The CIFOR/Japan project has undertaken research in many countries
to evaluate impacts of harvesting and fires on forest ecosystems and to develop
methods to rehabilitate logged-over forests and degraded forestlands in ways that are
biologically successful as well as socio-economically acceptable. In Indonesia, CIFOR
collaborates with Universitas Mulawarman at the Bukit Soeharto Education Forest, a
mixed dipterocarp forest logged by INHUTANI I in 1976. The approach to rehabilitation
has been through the “taungya” system whereby farmers grow annual crops among
newly planted trees. With the Instituto Nacional de Investigacion Agraria (INIA), Peru,
the project is trialling revegetation of fallow fields abandoned after agricultural use in
the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon. There is specific interest in selecting tree
species with high economic value that grow rapidly in abandoned agricultural land and
on infertile soils. Early results point to promising species. The project also involves
small farmers in silvicultural activities and species selection.

Authors: Kobayashi, S.

Topic: land degradation,rehabilitation,research projects,degraded forests,degraded land,silviculture,choice of species,taungya,farmers,sustainability,forest management,CIFOR

Geographic: Indonesia,Peru,Japan

Publication Year: 2004

ISSN: 0378-1127

Source: Forest Ecology and Management 201(1): 13-22

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