Managing dryland forests
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CTA. 1999. Managing dryland forests. Spore 81. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48444
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore81.pdf
international symposium on the integrated management of natural forests in the arid areas of western Africa, held in November 1998 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
In the Sahel, the increasing use of dryland forests for fuelwood, fodder, wildlife, and game adds more pressure to this diminishing resource. Yet the forests play a vital role in fragile local ecologies, a fact recognised by local communities, for whom the forests are sacred. The issue of managing dryland forests offers models of partnership between local people and government (see Spore 79, Viewpoint), but it can sometimes be a point of conflict between different interests. How to resolve-or, better still, avoid-these conflicts was the theme of an international symposium on the integrated management of natural forests in the arid areas of western Africa, held in November 1998 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It was jointly organised by CTA; the national centre for scientific and technical research CNRST; SIDA, SUAS and the University of Uppsala (Sweden); and CIRAD (France). The 60 participants, from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote-d Ivoire, France, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sweden, Tanzania, and Togo recommended the development of better tools for analysing and managing dryland forests, based on a better understanding of ecological and socioeconomic factors. The tendency of foresters and researchers to prescribe solutions and protective measures without consultation was disapproved. The final recommendations urged a change of mentality, which, however, is evolving as new notions entering the everyday language of the dryland forester: taxation measures, participation, social dimension, mediation, and negotiation, to name but a few.