United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

15 June 1998 WORKING DRAFT 

                           INFORMATION NOTE


          Assessing, Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Forest Cover in
                        Environmentally Critical Areas

New York, June 1998

This is a non-official document, for information only, prepared by the IFF
Secretariat based on inputs received from the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO). It provides additional background information to delegations
attending the second session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (Geneva,
24 August - 4 September 1998). 

Published in English only.

                                TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Summary.................................................2
I.    Introduction and Objectives.................................3
II.   General Overview on IPF Conclusions and Proposals for
III.  Major Issues................................................5
IV.   Proposed Process of Preparation for Substantive
V.    References.................................................15


The aim of this information note is to clarify for the international
community, and in particular the policy makers engaged in the IFF process,
the theme: Assessing, Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Forest Cover in
Environmentally Critical Areas.  Critical areas are understood to include
dry zones, mountain areas, coastal areas, freshwater swamps and land
degraded through unsustainable agriculture.

The note discusses: the causes and extent of forest decline, degradation
and deforestation; the special considerations needed for mountain Forests,
including aspects of protection of water catchments and biological
diversity; dry zones, with particular emphasis on desertification and
sylvo-pastoral management; coastal zones, especially mangrove forests; and
degraded sites, in particular arising from unsustainable agriculture.

Other topics discussed include: assessment of extent of deforestation and
degradation; causes of deforestation and degradation; objectives for the
restoration and rehabilitation of forest cover; some pre-requisites for
successful rehabilitation; supportive policies and facilitation by
governments; international and national policy aspects and perceptions of
rehabilitation of forest cover; technical factors, in particular concerning
the recovery of natural vegetation; and assessment and monitoring, noting
that degradation processes are more difficult to assess than land cover. 

The note finally makes proposals concerning a process of preparation for
substantive discussion at IFF III.

Introduction and Objectives

1.The aim of this information note is to clarify for the international community,
and in particular the policy makers engaged in the IFF process, the theme:
Assessing, Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Forest Cover in Environmentally
Critical Areas.  Critical areas are understood to include dry zones, mountain
areas, coastal areas, freshwater swamps and land degraded through unsustainable
agriculture. The criteria for the selection of critical areas include those
landscapes where the site conditions and external factors acting on the site,
make the growth, regrowth or development of forest cover difficult or impossible.
Trees and forests are, however, highly resilient and adaptable renewable
resources and, given protection from damage, some kind of woody plants will
re-grow on most types of disturbed land once occupied by trees and scrubs.  This
information note is intended to identify, and further elaborate on, issues
relating to assessment, monitoring and rehabilitation of forest cover of degraded
land or under critical threats, thus complementing the document prepared by UNEP
on -Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation■ (IFF programme
element II.d.(1))

2.Forest cover is defined by FAO as: "Land with tree crown cover (or equivalent
stocking level) of 10 percent and area of more than 0.5 ha. The trees should be
able to reach a minimum height of 5 m at maturity in situ. (It) may consist
either of closed forest formations where trees of various storeys and undergrowth
cover a high proportion of the ground, or of open forest formations with a
continuous vegetation cover in which tree crown cover exceeds 10 percent. ...(It)
Excludes Land predominantly used for agricultural practices".  

3.Thus, shelterbelts and plantations are classified as forest, but scattered
trees on farms or in hedgerows are  not.  Such trees may, however, constitute
agroforestry systems and contribute to "tree cover" as opposed to forest cover. 
They are both important to sustainable land use management.

4.Environmentally critical areas: Areas in which the tree or forest cover has
particular importance and value for one or many products and/or environmental
services, but which are often ecologically fragile since they pose problems for
human interventions which seek to rehabilitate them. Many sites, for example,
rain forests on inherently infertile sandy soils lose their fertility quickly
once the trees have gone, and may change markedly, so that re-creating a
sustainable ecosystem or even reintroducing the same species presents enormous
problems similar or as important as those encountered in areas of limited water

5.Identification of ecologically fragile areas: the following areas under
specific conditions of terrain, slope, rainfall, geographical location,
composition and structure are generally identified as fragile areas
considering in particular the ecological aspects.  They are:        

-  Mountain forests
-  Catchments and watersheds, both forested and non forested
-  Dry zones, especially those covered by the United Nations Convention to
   Combat Desertification (CCD).
-  Coastal areas, notably mangroves
-  Lands degraded by agriculture, mining, etc.
-  Forests of high biological diversity, especially of limited extent and on
   threatened sites

II.  General Overview of IPF conclusions and proposed actions

6.The chapters of agenda 21 relating to the land cluster (chapters 11 to
15) and those relating to certain methodological aspects (Chapter 10 on
Integrated Approach to the Planning and Management of Land Resources) are
all relevant to the present studies and issues discussed.  The -Forest
Principles■ and the Conventions originating from the UNCED process, in
particular the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention
to Combat Desertification (CCD), are also central to issues discussed.

7.The report of the second session of the IPF called for a diagnostic approach
to the subject of deforestation and rehabilitation in the context of national
forest programmes. Further analysis and subsequent discussions (CSD, 1996; IPF,
1996; Anon, 1996b) suggested, however, that there was a need to consider a number
of other additional issues including:

-  The need to look beyond the forest sector, especially as deforestation is
   often caused by factors out of the sector■s responsibility and capability;
-  The need to address the causes of deforestation by focusing on and
   reversing damaging processes and promoting beneficial ones;
-  Policies for trees, other wooded lands and forests, consistent with all
   other national policies for sustainable development, including overall land
   use, economics and the environment;
-  The importance (and difficulty ) of national policies jointly and
   consistently making the best possible judgements about -optimum■ forest
   cover to meet diverse needs for goods and services.

8.The report of the fourth session of the IPF outlined priority items for
consideration, including  i) the need to determine the underlying causes of
deforestation;  ii) giving further consideration to the currently neglected
Traditional Forest Related Knowledge (TFRK);  iii) the need for regular
monitoring of forest cover and its rehabilitation, including assessments of
trans-boundary studies;  iv) better assessing forest area under conservation
under any status of protected areas;  v) clear setting of research priorities; 
vi) better valuation of forest goods and services and the provision of economic
instruments, tax policies and land tenure;  and vii) better outlook studies of
supply and demand for wood, non-wood products and forest services.  

9.The report made a number of other important observations, notably that:
-  Effective assessment, monitoring and evaluation are a major policy issue;   
-  Poverty and demographic pressures are the root causes of
   deforestation;(although it also follows that deforestation delivers the
   global benefit of increased food security through expanding agriculture.)
-  Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be used as a basis for action
   against uncontrolled conversion of forest land for other purposes

III.  Major Issues

Causes and extent of forest decline, degradation and deforestation  

10.The causes of forest destruction and degradation are well known and their
extent is regularly documented in FAO statistics (FAO, 1993).  Nevertheless it
is dangerous to generalise, since, in individual countries, different factors may
hold differing degrees of importance in their effect on trees, wooded lands and
forests.  In many tropical developing countries, forests are lost (deforestation)
to other land use forms such as agriculture, mining, urban development and other
types of human settlements and that unmanaged or ill conceived forest and
rangeland uses cause forest degradation.  However, many variations in degree and
extent of the processes prevail within this overall scenario.

Mountain Forests: catchments and biodiversity

11.The relevant parts of the international agenda include Chapter 13 of
Agenda 21 (managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development),
Chapter 15 ( conservation of biodiversity) as well as Chapters 10-12, the "Forest
Principles" and the Convention on Biological Diversity.  Mountains are
particularly fragile for a number of reasons (Mountain Agenda, 1997) They are
generally:  high energy environments; they are frequently regions of active
geomorphological change; and are characterised (compared with hills) by having
distinct altitudinal climatic belts.  These belts are of particular significance
for the migration of plant communities in periods of climatic change and are
governed in part by the temperature gradient of 0.6 degrees per 100 m altitude,
but often more significantly by precipitation patterns in relation to prevailing
winds. Thus the natural vegetation on mountains also provides good indicators of
global climate change, particularly near the tree line.  Unfortunately,
altitudinal climatic zones become narrower with increasing altitude, making
mountain areas especially vulnerable to climate changes. (Hamilton, et al, 1997). 

12.Cloud forests are especially vulnerable on some isolated mountains,
since they depend almost entirely on occult precipitation through aerial
condensation from fog and mist.  Once the trees have been removed these
areas may receive virtually no rainfall at all.  It is noteworthy that some
of the world's longest-lived organisms (e.g., the Huon pine in Tasmania) as
well as some of its most threatened animal species (e.g., the Gorilla and
many bird species) occur in cloud forests. They are also refuges for relict
populations of rare plants.

13.FAO (FAO, 1993) estimates that upland forests are being lost at an
annual rate of 1.1%, greater than elsewhere in the tropics. A major feature
of many mountain forests is slash and burn agriculture, often due to the
economic and political marginalisation of the cultivators.  Yet these same
farmers often have rich stores of knowledge, "folk agronomy", "ethno ecology" or
TFRK and do not need to be taught sustainable farming (Hamilton et al, 1997). The
promotion of agroforestry on individually held land is often  regarded as more
effective than setting up communal forestry schemes.   In the natural upland
forests, women are often the de facto managers, receiving little recognition and
no management authority. 

14.The quantity and variety of resources coming from mountain forests are often
unsustainable, yet their value often accrues to downstream beneficiaries rather
than to the mountain communities.  (Preston, 1997).  A survey from western China,
for instance, found that 170 naturally occurring products from mountains were
found in markets, the value of which was considerably greater than that of any
timber harvested.  The most important forest product of many mountains is water,
which is often reflected in government forest reserves of former times being
classified as "protection" forests.  The downstream beneficiaries who receive the
water, such as owners of irrigated farmlands, make little or no reinvestment
either in the resources themselves or in the mountain communities.

15.For the rehabilitation by tree planting of mountain forests there is a
dilemma in the choice of species. A shift from concern with biomass
production only to more socio-ecological objectives, broader based
management systems, better harvesting practices and an enabling political
environment will be the avenues for mountain and mountain forest ecosystems
rehabilitation.  The essential prerequisite and facilitating framework will
include the recognition of services rendered by mountain ecosystems and
their dwellers to lowland community and systems and the necessity for
compensation in a comprehensive consideration of local and national economies.

Dry zones: desertification and silvo-pastoralism.

16.The important parts of the international agenda for dry zones are
particularly the United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification
(CCD) and Chapter 12 of Agenda 21. FAO (1997b).

17.The Secretary General■s Report to IPF III on Fragile Ecosystems Affected by
Desertification  (E/CN.17/IF/1996/17) noted that information on rates and causes
of desertification are still needed, especially for Africa and proposed a target
of the year 2001 for each country to have a policy for dry lands. It also
emphasised capacity building, partnerships between civil society and NGOs and the
empowerment of people along with the assessment of trees, woodlands and forests
and the processes leading to degradation - the fore-runner to desertification. 
Recent studies in miombo woodland by CIFOR and others are concentrating on
extension to traditional forest users to reverse degradation trends and encourage
natural regeneration. The CCD itself emphasises the need for peoples■
participation in decision making and management, decentralisation and the value
of a mix of local, national and international partnerships at all levels. 

18.The important expert meeting held in 1996 in Portugal under the auspices
of the governments of Senegal, Cape Verde and Portugal (Anon, 1996a) listed
many constraints on development  in dry zones, noting particularly that the
issues were the use of trees for the support of sustainable livelihoods,
and the need for a holistic approach.

19.Rehabilitation is expensive no matter which method is chosen.  It may be
undertaken by encouraging natural regrowth, but this will require complete
protection from grazing and fire which may be socially unacceptable, and it
takes time.  It may also be accomplished through planting trees which may
be slightly quicker but which still needs protection and is usually at a
higher cost. When planting, therefore, it is important to take care to
match the site and the species, whether the latter are exotic or
indigenous. The choice of species must be made in line with social needs,
however, and fast growth is not the only criterion. Some recent advances in
techniques, such as water harvesting, may speed up the process of tree
establishment. The low potential biomass yield in dry zones means that tree
products should ideally be of high value and low biomass content (such as
honey, silkworms  or medicinal plants). Low value crops such as fuelwood
usually give low benefit/cost ratios which are not likely to encourage
outside investment.  However, the services provided by trees in dry zones
are likely to be of much higher socio-ecological value, including benefits
such as shade, forage, food products as well as soil and water conservation. 

20.The recommendations of the Lisbon expert meeting (Anon, 1996a) and those of
the Second Expert Consultation on the Role of Forestry in Combating
Desertification, held as a satellite meeting to the 11th World Forestry Congress,
point strongly to the same critical policy issues including, inter alia:

-  the existence of National Forest Policies for dry lands, drawn up with      
   peoples' involvement and incorporating sound ecological management principles;
-  clearer tenure arrangements to promote higher security in resource use,
   management and conservation;
-  prioritisation of preventive measures for action;
-  the need for guidelines to help decision making for choice of species and
   techniques for plantations and doing this on a truly participatory basis;
-  improvement of training and education at all levels together with revision
   of teaching curricula and a new approach to extension;
-  basing action on environmental safety, social acceptability and economic

Coastal zones, especially Mangrove forests

21.Mangroves represent the single most important coastal forest formation in the
world.  Deforestation in mangrove forests can cause coastal erosion and interrupt
important ecological succession in the stabilisation of deposited materials at
the mouth of rivers. The areas are also important suppliers of wood products and
provide habitats for rare species of avifauna (FAO, 1994).  Some acid sulphate
soils are especially susceptible when cleared for agriculture and should be
avoided for this purpose. In view of the aquatic environment, aerial sprays of
agricultural chemicals should also be avoided; and mining operations also present
special hazards. What is most needed if mangroves are to be saved are strong
policy options: that address the need for integrated approaches to the use and
conservation of mangroves;  that take account of the multiple services they
provide; that raise awareness of and evaluate continuously the environmental
impacts of development initiatives on mangroves;  and that envisage social
promotion of societies dependent on mangroves.

Degraded sites arising from unsustainable agriculture

22.Soils, exhausted or made otherwise unproductive, from exploitative agriculture
may often be restored by the planting of suitable woody species.  Recent work by
ICRAF on planted fallows shows what can be done on some tropical sites and that
tree species may produce highly priced products. The need to address the
restoration of alkaline and saline soils, which are no longer productive as a
result of land clearance and improper irrigation techniques, is an important
special case found world wide. Large areas of such soils exist, although they are
not regarded as key for the restoration of forest cover. The need for sustainable
agriculture is of great concern to the forest sector in this respect. 

Other special situations including forests of high biological diversity

23.Rehabilitation of special sites, including the reclamation of mining spoils
and land fill sites, and the restoration of such lands to agricultural, forestry
or agroforestry productivity, could substantially reduce the impacts of demands
on existing natural forests. A recent report on saline land planting in Pakistan,
Thailand and Australia by ACIAR (1998) emphasises the practicality of tree
planting on these lands, but points out that the choice of tree species and of
seed provenances and of planting technique is critical for success. Restoring
such lands for agriculture could also reduce pressures on existing forests. 
Isolated forests of high endemism, such as those in eastern Nigeria, are often
under intense pressure.  If people are to continue to use such forests it is
imperative that the threatened plants are identified and that clear objectives
for their future established in a joint management plan. 

Assessment of extent of deforestation and degradation

24.Losses of forest cover are regularly monitored through the FAO Forest
Resources Assessment exercises .  The need will be, among others, to fine tune
methods to better assess tree and forest formations which are susceptible to
degradation, and tree resources outside forests which play extremely important
ecological, social and economic functions.

Causes of deforestation and degradation

25.The assessment of the state of forest cover from remote sensing or
ground  truthing is time consuming.  Although the parameters of crown
canopy cover are clear to characterize deforestation, it is more difficult
to quantify forest degradation, since there are few forests in the world
that have not been affected by human influences over the last few thousand
years.  Among underlying causes, Carpenter (1998)  notes in particular:

-  international causes, including transboundary economic forces of deforestation 
   and degradation, taking into account a historical perspective; and 
-  the pressures exerted on forest by other sectors, notably agriculture in
   the quest for food security; 

26.Transboundary causes of deforestation have often been associated with the
movements of refugees. Historical factors are important for interpreting the
reasons for today■s state of the world■s forests; the main historical factor for
deforestation in almost all countries before the Industrial Revolution having
been land clearance for agriculture. In drier countries, such as those of the
Mediterranean basin, uncontrolled grazing has also been a major factor of both
deforestation and forest degradation.  These factors  still apply today in
causing deforestation in many developing countries. 

27.With increasing numbers of population and the growing need for food, the
forests and woodlands remain the first and most evident option for solutions
seeking to alleviate rural food security and poverty.  The gradual collapse of
the fallow systems, which maintained secondary forests and secured periodical
regeneration of woodlands, has accelerated deforestation and degradation. It is
now realized that the participation of local communities and rural people in any
rehabilitation work is of vital importance for it to be successful and

Objectives for the restoration and rehabilitation of forest cover

28.Degradation and deforestation entail loss of ecosystem productivity,
elimination of natural buffer systems, reduced biological diversity, impairment
of all the physical and biological services and functions provided by forest,
woodlands and tree resources.  Rehabilitation will aim at restoring and
maintaining the balance of natural processes in forest ecosystems.

29.The process of effective rehabilitation can only take place with clearly
defined objectives, against which progress can be monitored.  Some examples
of objectives are:

-  Establish nurse crops to restore, eventually, a previous ecosystem;
-  Establish ground cover to protect soils from erosion;
-  Protection of watersheds and catchments feeding rivers and hydro-electric   
-  Management of a single species with a view to promote understorey diversity;
-  Creation of a wood resource to take the pressure off natural forest

30.It must be emphasised that setting objectives must be done with the
involvement of, at least, the primary stakeholders and have their full agreement.

Some pre-requisites for successful rehabilitation

31.One of the most important pre-requisites for successful rehabilitation is
clear definition of control over the land in question. In most cases there will
be several parties or stakeholders interested in the future use of even heavily
degraded or deforested land.  It is convenient to recognise Primary Stakeholders
who have a direct stake in a land/ forest resource and Secondary Stakeholders who
are not directly involved, but who may have important influence on the outcomes. 
A recent preliminary study carried out in six African countries has tested a
concept of  four "Rs" for stakeholder analysis and for resolving conflict between
stakeholders.  These are: the Rights;  the Responsibilities; the
Revenues/Returns; and Relationships. 

32.The process is still in course of development but the clarification of all
four Rs would seem to be an essential pre-requisite for successful rehabilitation
of forest cover.

Supportive policies and facilitation by governments

33.A further important consideration is land competition.  It has often been
observed that there can be no sustainable forestry without sustainable
agriculture.  Yet it has also been estimated that some 14 million ha of
agricultural land annually will become unproductive through poor agricultural
practices.  Even degraded forest land is usually of higher fertility than
degraded or unproductive agricultural land.  Since the main cause of forest land
conversion is agricultural expansion it follows that the main solution to
deforestation is also to be found in the agricultural sector.  Similarly,
resources invested in forest land rehabilitation will be wasted if this activity
conflicts with other more powerful interest in land use changes, such as urban
development or military installations .

International and national policy aspects and perceptions of rehabilitation
of forest cover

34.Current international perceptions on the burning of fossil fuels and the
greenhouse effect put considerable and quantified value on the
sequestration and storage of carbon  in growing trees. The Protocol of the 
Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
in Kyoto in  December 1997 (United nations, 1997b) requires that human
induced land use change and forestry activities be reported, although it
does not specifically identify land clearance for farming. The Clean
Development Mechanism is set up to assist in funding certified project
activities, which may be a way of funding some rehabilitation programmes.
Ford-Robertson,(1997) indicates that mature forests may contain 200-500
tonnes/ha of stored carbon, though young replanted or regenerated areas
would take a long time to reach these levels. 

35.At the local level priorities are likely to be for restoring production
of forest products and services; thus in the forests of the Himalaya the
main desired outputs might be for leaf biomass for compost, forage for
domestic animals, fuelwood, medicinal plants and timber, in that order. 
International concerns are more likely to include unspecified biodiversity
conservation among the benefits of forest rehabilitation whilst national
concerns would be more likely to put control of flood and avalanches higher
on the list.  Such different priorities in the objects of forest and land
management make it vital that they are defined and agreed before the
rehabilitation starts.  However, careful planning could result in multiple
benefits from rehabilitation activities, with one or more functions
receiving priority attention.

36.The restoration of local microclimate will normally be best dealt with
using different agroforestry arrangements of trees in cropping and pastoral
environments.  These will include Shelterbelts and windbreaks, 

37.The restoration of water catchments for the protection of  water supplies and
soil conservation may or may not demand the establishment of forests.  East
African experience is that protected grassland is often as effective as forest
in controlling water run-off and yield.  On balance, however, tree cover is less
vulnerable and preferable and tree planting may take many forms from the planting
of hedgerows of exotic species along the contour to mixed plantations of
indigenous species. The key to the process is its potential for meeting the
objectives of planting and the benefit/cost ratio of the programme.

Technical factors

38.Technical packages do exist for most rehabilitation situations, depending on
the objectives of the process.  They fall naturally into two major divisions, the
use and encouragement of natural regeneration,  and the introduction of germplasm
through planting.  There are many options combining the two approaches.  In
almost all situations protection from grazing, fires and exploitation,  sometimes
in conjunction with soil conservation work, will ensure the recovery of some
vegetative cover.  This is usually the lowest financial cost option, but it may
entail serious loss of benefits by poorer stakeholders.

39.Plantations may be of single species or mixtures, indigenous or exotic. 
Introduced species may have a rehabilitation capacity that indigenous
species do not have, such as an ability for deep rooting in degraded or
lateritic soils, building soil nutrient status, or the capability of
withstanding drought and high winds on sand dunes. Introduced species of
cash crops, forage or domestic  animals may meet the aspirations of farmers
better than local ones.  An exchange of information, giving full weight and
appreciation to TFRK, between technical foresters and local people could
provide a better choice of species than either acting alone.

Assessment and Monitoring

40.The assessment of deforestation is being carried out by FAO, its
national correspondents and other partners. As noted already, the
assessment of degradation is more difficult to identify and quantify;  this
issue needs to be further documented with practical information and tools.

IV.  Proposed Process of Preparation for Substantive Discussion

41.(1) A review of the assessment, monitoring and rehabilitation of forest cover
must start with the understanding that forests, woodlands and trees are renewable
resources.  Then it should consider the nature of deforestation and degradation.
What are the causes  (including underlying causes) and under what conditions may
tree cover be restored.  The four basic questions will relate to i) shared
understanding and definition of concepts and definitions used including forest
cover, degradation, environmentally critical areas, areas under potential or
actual threat;  ii) identification of the location of the critical areas and
respective opportunity for carrying out rehabilitation work;  iii) elaboration
on the importance of deforested and degraded areas; iv) the means available to
rehabilitate and to monitor progress on the basis of generally recognized
criteria for assessment.  

42.The preceding pages of this information note have attempted to provide
answers to some of the questions noted by the Forum, but the issue is
complex, and it is important to prioritise the factors concerned at all stages. 

43.(2)  The Diagnostic Framework to analyse the underlying causes of
deforestation and forest degradation, produced by the second session of the
IPF, is a valuable starting point. An adaptation of the management tool
known as Force Field Analysis could then be used to examine the problem. 
This analytical business management process is based upon clear
understanding of the problem to be solved, clear definition of the desired
future situation and prioritising the influences hindering and those
helping the achievement of the desired goal. This would lead to an action
plan. The technique is very valuable for focusing attention on key issues
and would help shed more light on clear and agreed definitions of the
problem, on policy goals and options to address constraints and priorities.
44.(3)  The IPF was successful in getting a broad range of high level politically
important interest groups into the forest policy debate. The preparation of this
information note is aimed at maintaining this momentum. Deforestation and
degradation of forests are only partially related to and often only remotely
under the control of the forestry sector. If possible, therefore,  the
participation of influential policy makers in agriculture/land use planning and
national and economic planning should be ensured.  Much has been written about
the issues of dry lands (See e.g. FAO, 1993b, which, however, has only a limited
reference to forestry) and the viewpoint of other relevant sectors is essential
to a realistic position by the IFF.  In addition to the major political sectors,
in most cases the key primary interest groups or stakeholders are small farmers;
and in forests associated with wider ecosystems the key stakeholder/managers are
frequently women.  Getting a valid viewpoint from these key stakeholders into the
debate and defending their interests is a major challenge.

45.(4) An analysis of interest groups at a political level is not easy
since many of the parties have to be represented by others. Nevertheless, a
start can be made both to identify potential stakeholders in a general way
and to assess their power and status. There are many ways in which this can
be done but attention is drawn to the above mentioned -Four Rs■ process
currently under development at the International Institute for Environment
and Development (IIED).

Preparing for Substantive Discussion

46.Deliberations by the IFF may follow the geographical division of the
subject into major environmentally critical zones, as well as some general

Mountain Zones and Highlands 

47.Sectors of Importance in addition to Forestry and National Economic
Planning: Mountain Institutions, agriculture, hydrology, tourism,
environmental and social development NGOs, public works, defence, mining.

48.Proposed issues for discussion:  Water yields from mountain forests;
potential for and damage from tourism; land stability; hazard protection
(floods, avalanches); dependence of farmers on forest biomass; management
of isolated mountain massifs; integrated management of catchment areas;
Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) production; and rare, endemic and
threatened organisms. 

Dry Zones

49.Sectors of importance in addition to Forestry and National Economic
Planning: Agriculture, livestock and animal husbandry, range management;
land use planning, national parks and wildlife; environmental NGOs, social
development NGOs, mining.

50.Proposed issues for discussion:  Stakeholder analysis; rates and causes
of deforestation and degradation in Africa; range management , (FAO,
1993b); wood production; Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) production;
migrant graziers; wildlife conservation; agroforestry, silvo-arable and
silvo-pastoral systems; water supplies; irrigation; potential for high
value sales; and rare, endemic and threatened organisms.

Mangrove Forests 

51.Sectors of Importance in addition to Forestry and National Economic
Planning: Fisheries, agriculture, mining, tourism.

52.Proposed issues for discussion: Unsustainable agriculture; valuation of
forest products; rare, endemic and threatened organisms.

Former Farmlands and Derelict Lands

53.Sectors of Importance in addition to Forestry and National Economic
Planning: Agriculture, land use planners, environmental and social
development NGOs, saline soil specialists, and  livestock.

54.Proposed issues for discussion: Unsustainable agriculture, valuation of forest
products, restoration of saline and alkaline soils, and areas involved.

Forest Areas of Special Importance for Biological Diversity

55.Sectors of Importance in addition to Forestry and National Economic Planning:
Agriculture, tourism, environmental and social development NGOs, and mining.

56.Proposed issues for discussion: Assessment of degradation, valuation of
forest products, and compensation issues.

Government Pricing of Forest Products

57.Governments regularly sell the forest products from nationally-owned forests
at low prices (royalty rates, economic rent, forest fees, etc.) almost always at
below the cost of production or replacement. The resulting economic
undervaluation  of  forest products is a major factor in the destruction of
forest cover and low attractiveness for investment. This needs political action
at the highest level. Raising prices to harvesters is only one way of funding the
restoration of forest cover without direct subsidies, provided that a substantial
part of forest revenues is channelled back into forest management.. At the same
time the economic valuation of forest and tree service functions needs to better
understood at all levels.

Use of ODA

58.Official Development Assistance (ODA) needs to be directed particularly
towards capacity building at the national and local levels, following 
regular national assessments of personnel capacity.  This will ensure that
transfer of technology is channelled through to the field level.

V     References

Assessing, Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Forest Cover in Environmentally
Critical Areas

Not all these references are referred to directly in the text but all have
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Date last posted: 5 December 1999 15:45:34
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