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Plantation activities and ecosystem conservation: criteria and indicators for biodiversity conservation

Plantation activities and ecosystem conservation: criteria and indicators for biodiversity conservation

The paper is based on CIFOR’s research achievements contained in the following two
publications, “Fast wood forestry: myths and realities” by Cossalter and Pye-Smith
and “Linking C&I to a code of practice for industrial tropical tree plantations” by
Poulsen, Applegate and Raymond. One should consider all aspects of plantation
when trying to measure their impacts on biodiversity. The two above-mentioned
publications contain key information in this respect. “Fast Wood Forestry; Myth
and Realities” discusses the main points of controverse related to forest plantations
and sort out fact from fiction, truth from misinformation. The discussion on the links
between fast wood plantations and biodiversity is summarized as follows: Plantation
activities could do much to conserve biodiversity if they abided by a set of guiding
principles. Impacts of plantation on biodiversity will be a function of what they
replace. If a large swathe of natural forest is cleared to make way for a plantation,
there will be a loss of biodiversity. The same applies when a natural savanna
ecosystem is replaced by a plantation of alien species. Yet a similar plantation,
established on degraded land, might bring about an increase in biodiversity. Other
factors of importance include the location of the plantation, its size, length of
rotation and species composition. The issue of contiguity is also important. If new
plantations are sited close to existing natural forests, they may benefit from their
biodiversity: animals, birds and insects will be readily available to invade the new
plantations. However, if no such reservoir of biodiversity exists, then the chance of
the plantations being invaded by wildlife from outside, and providing a new habitat,
becomes more remote. It is worth bearing in mind that generalizations about the
impact of plantations on the biodiversity, are often misleading. The problems related
to plantations are often site-specific, and the way in which they are planned and
managed is of paramount importance.”Linking C&I to a Code of Practice for
Industrial Tropical Tree Plantations” is a useful tool to improve plantation planning
and managing. CIFOR’s Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for Sustainable Development of
Industrial Tropical Tree Plantations provides the benchmark for a plantation owner to
assess progress towards sustainable forest management within their forest estate.
The Code provides details on principles and minimum standards relating to improved
plantation development and establishment. The CIFOR C&I and Code for Industrial
Tropical Tree Plantations in relation to biodiversity conservation are formulated as
follows: 1) Criteria: impact on structure and ecosystem function is minimized; 2)
Indicators: exclusion and conservation zones are developed according to best
practice; habitat trees are retained in plantation production areas where appropriate
for wildlife; endangered flora and fauna on international (CITES) and country lists are
protected; endangered endangered flora and fauna on local and regional lists are
protected; 3)Code of practice: a) setting aside natural forest reserves within
production areas large enough to maintain viable population of plants and animals
particularly where rare and endangered; retaining areas of unlogged forest to
maintain habitat diversity. b) These areas should connect patches of forest as
corridors which will not be logged. c) retaining habitat trees in production areas
where appropriate for wildlife; d) representation of forest types to be adequate
reserved in conservation forests.

Authors: Toma, T.

Topic: biodiversity,criteria,indicators,code of practice,forest plantations,conservation,conferences

Publisher: Organizing Comittee of the International Symposium/Workshop on the Kyoto Mechanism and the Conservation of Tropical Forest Ecosystem, Tokyo, Japan

Publication Year: 2004

ISBN: 4-990-1797-3-0

Source: Okuda, T. and Matsumoto, Y.(eds.) Kyoto mechanism and the conservation of tropical forest ecosystem: proceedings of the International Symposium/Workshop on the Kyoto Mechanism and the Conservation of Tropical Forest Ecosystem, 29-30 January, 2004, Waseda

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