Community forestry: Herders' decision-making in natural resources management in arid and semi-arid Africa

TitleCommunity forestry: Herders' decision-making in natural resources management in arid and semi-arid Africa
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsNiamir, M
Secondary TitleCommunity Forestry Note no. 4
Number of Pagesviii, 126 pp.
Date Published1990
PublisherFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Call NumberSD664.A357N45 1990
Keywordsafforestation; agroforestry; agropastoral systems; citizen participation; climate; community forestry; deforestation; Ethiopia; ethnoveterinary medicine; forest management; Fulani; geomorphology; grazing; herders; India; land tenure; livestock; Madagascar; Mali; natural resources; Niger; Nigeria; North Africa; plants; reforestation; soils; Somalia; Sub-Saharan Africa; Sudan; Uganda; vegetation; water; wildlife; Wodaabe; Zambia

This report fits into an overall objective of helping the FAO analyze the role that local knowlege and management systems (LKMS) of natural resources can play in FAO's development projects and programs. The approach of this report centers on a literature review of existing information on arid and semi-arid Africa. This includes North Africa, the Sahara, the Sahel, the semi-arid parts of the Sudan zone, and the arid zones of southern Africa. A few pertinent examples from other areas are also provided.

The main emphasis is placed on the use and management of natural resources, primarily vegetation, but also water and wildlife. The majority of production systems in these arid zones in one way or another rely on livestock (ranging from settled agropastoralists to continuously mobile nomads). Thus, pastoral systems, defined as any production system that relies for more than 10% of its output on livestock, is the main focus of the report, but other production systems that rely on resources in their natural state, such as hunting, gathering, fishing and wood collecting, will also be considered. (author)

In 1986, within its Forestry for Community Development Programme, the FAO Forestry Department published a Forestry Paper entitled Tree Growing by Rural People. It presented various facets of the state of knowledge about tree-growing as it relates to community forestry, i.e. forestry designed to benefit the rural tree growers/managers. However, although some of the most interesting future opportunities for community forestry lie in improving management of existing trees rather than in creating new resources, this document covered only partially the topic of tree and woodland management by rural people. It did not fully explore how rural people manage single trees or communal woodlands and how they manage their other resources in relation to trees and woodlands. Further effort was necessary to broaden and deepen the knowledge base on local management issues. In order to improve the success of management projects, more complete data and analysis was also needed on what knowledge rural people have already developed and the dynamics of their tree resource management strategies in response to changing policies, pressures and opportunities. Finally, more thorough understanding was to be developed of the results and impacts of various attempts to support rural people in the efforts to manage these resources. Dr. Maryam Niamir, a range management specialist, has undertaken the first step in the process of filling this information gap as it relates to arid and semi-arid areas of Africa. (author)


See also:

Short TitleCommunity forestry