Editorial

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2012, 5(2):1-98

EDITOR'S NOTE

Dear readers, reviewers, editors as well as former and potential authors,

As you may have noticed, there has been a hiatus since our last issue, Volume 5, Number 1, and this present edition.

As often happens with many professional publications that are administered by well-meaning and serious volunteers, the time commitment to review, edit and revise submissions can take up an unexpectedly inordinate amount of time.

Aside from such issues, some typical growing pains have been related also to timeliness of submissions and difficulties by some authors with the English language.

Rather than giving up, however, our management board has decided to put in extra effort to keep this most useful publication alive. Accordingly, you will notice in this "catch-up" issue the following:
a) We have established clear Submission Guidelines that should assist authors in the improved preparation of proposed articles. These will soon be published online.
b) We wish to expand our technical reviewing and English editing roster; your suggestions for credible, experienced and trustworthy reviewers and editors who could join our team for 1 to 2 editions at a time would be appreciated. If indeed you are able to recommend some people, they ought to be from a different institution with their official work coordinates attached.
c) We are also seeking some outside funding support to enable certain work to be more efficiently handled. Please do let us know should you have other constructive ideas for improvement.

Thank you for staying with the IJSF and we look forward to your continuing involvement.

In this present issue, starting off with an interesting and often unrecognized focus is Agung Wibowo and Lukas Giessen’s “Identifying International Forest-Related Issues in Indonesia based on Actors’ Statements in Public and Expert Deliberations” in which they highlight the evident public and expert deliberations concerning seven forest-related international issues in Indonesia: timber legality; harmonisation of wood and forest certification schemes; oil palm plantation and its environmental aspects; land use change; climate change including REDD initiative; forest and species conservation; and deforestation and decentralised forest governance. Several relevant issues lacking adequate discussion are noted: indigenous peoples, desertification, Convention on Biological Diversity and Sustainable Forest Management are not discussed in Indonesian public and expert deliberations. Derived from their research is that the essential driver of forest-related issues and politics is the competition between public bureaucracies and their societal clientele. The authors advise readers that their conclusions are based on available public statements from the respective actors, whereas private “behind the scenes” manoeuvring remain an area to be further studied as to their influence on the issues.

Rujehan, Deddy Hadriyanto and Adi Supriadi’s contribution on “Economic Motivation of Farming Practices and Their Potential Impact on the Forest Ecosystem” researched the economic motivation of farming activity practiced by the local community and its impact on the adjoining forest ecosystem in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest of East Kalimantan. Their work shows that while local poverty motivates farmers to concentrate on farming, their plantation techniques may consequentially degrade the quality of the local ecosystem, particularly the soil quality. Accordingly, a well-planned agroforestry system is suggested to be the required balance in order to sustain the fragile ecosystem.

The necessity to drain waterlogged sites in Uttar Pradesh, India led to a “SWOT Analysis for the Application of Biodrainage Technology to Phytoremediate Water Logged Sites”, as conducted by Kumud Dubey. A large cross-section of farmers had been involved in a participatory assessment that contributed to their understanding of the issues and related remedies; this inclusive process contributed to their reasoned adoption of appropriate technological solutions and increased motivation to reclaim waterlogged areas.

As the reader may notice, the first four articles pertain, from different perspectives, to land use issues. “Impacts and Implications of the Forest Land Use Changes on the Customary Land Tenure and Livelihood Sources of the Local People” by Gaudentius Simon Devung is our fourth article, focusing on the Kutai Barat District, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. From different perspectives in the first three articles, we know that there is a correlation between changes in land use and the inhabitants’ livelihoods. This author’s interest was in the effect of customary land tenure, bringing attention to livelihood, rather than the more common, socio-economic impacts. It is brought to our attention that the many changes, subjects and actors which have arisen since 1955 under the guidance and directives of the government and various development programmes have increased complexity to the detriment of livelihoods. The resulting increased insecurity and problems warrant a comprehensive review of current policies, rules and regulations with a view to improve understanding of local practices and to mitigate and address emerging issues.

If any reader has had to rethink and review the implementation and impacts of training programmes, Ivan G. Somlai takes us through a step by step process of “Optimising Training Opportunities for Social Forestry Specialists”. His experience with training programme development in multisectoral disciplines has facilitated his evolving of a systematic guide to ensuring proper selection of staff, preparation for their training and effective use of their new knowledge and skills upon return to their home institutions.

Ivan Gyozo Somlai
Managing Editor,
International Journal of Social Forestry




International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2012, 5(1):1-98

EDITOR'S NOTE

Forests are home for forest dwellers. Forests are sources of livelihood, local knowledge, and cultural expressions of forest people. Forests are also sources of income for forest dependent people. Hence, human beings of different races, tribes, gender, religion and geographical location attempt to protect and manage the existing forests worldwide, while realizing that there exist greedy people who destroy remaining forests for their personal, selfish reasons. This edition of IJSF focuses on one of the most important forest stakeholders, i.e. forest related people: their characteristics, concerns, roles, participation, indigenous knowledge and practices, as well as their willingness to contribute economically for forest conservation are highlighted.

In the first article, John Schelhas et al. explore family forest landowner diversity from race and gender perspectives, aiming at understanding community forest management in counties of Alabama, a State in the United States. The study reveals that African-Americans and White landowners share some characteristics in term of age, education, and average household income. The differences were found in term of their awareness on cost sharing programs, forest management and conservation, and in valuing forest land for their next generation. The authors suggest that by understanding how forest landowner use, value, and manage the forests, the authorities could develop forestry programmes to increase the welfare of such forest users and for public benefit in general.

The second article, written by Sharmila Das and Md. Mohiuddi, explores gender role in home garden management in Bandarban Hill District, Bangladesh. The study shows that women play a significant role in the management of home gardens. Women prefer plant resources to meet household’s needs; while men prefer cash-based crops. The study also found that indigenous knowledge of women is higher than of men on multiple use of NTFPs. As well, women play a greater role than men in the domestication of wild species in their home gardens for the benefit of all family members. This means, the authors argue, women’s role is crucial in the conservation of genetic plant resources.

Dhali et al., the authors of the third article, examine the level and extent of people’s participation in the participatory forest management (PFM) in the Sal forests of Bangladesh. Six PFM groups were taken as samples, comprising the three groups most benefitting and three groups least benefitting from the PFM. Research findings show that group members have considerable involvement in program implementation (like in planting, tending, thinning and protection of plantations) as well as in benefit sharing of PFM activities (from the felling of such plantations). Having little or no involvement, however, in planning and decision making, they, find disadvantage in the PFM process. With these findings, hope for more successful forestry programs would be laid on the extension of people’s more involved and intensive participation in planning and decision making.

The author of the fourth article, Edinam K. Glover, raises the issue of indigenous knowledge of local people in tree species selection within existing land use practice in the agroforestry system. According to the author, this is crucial, as natural resources in Kenya have been seriously degraded, and continue to be under threat from overgrazing and forest clearance for various reasons. Research findings show that local people in the research site are very interested in growing and cultivating multipurpose exotic species in their agricultural fields. By incorporating people’s own preferences for multipurpose exotic species into the existing land use system, the author argues that it would restore the environment, conserve the forest, sustain land use practices, generate more income for household economy, and increase food security for the people.

In the last article of this edition, Mamat Rahmat et al. examine the recent condition of Bukit Suligi Protected Forest (BSPF) in Riau, Indonesia, and assess its economic value as well as people’s willingness to pay (WTP) for hydrological services they accrue from such protected forest. Research findings reveal that BSPF is currently in a critical condition due to illegal logging, land encroachment, forest fire, and flooding. If reforestation and forest rehabilitation were undertaken, BSPF would provide considerable hydrological services to the people situated in the risky areas. For such services they are willing to pay. The WTP value for every household is IDR 113,000 per year, referring to the indirect benefit received by people from such BSPF area. When forest size is included in the calculation, the economic value of BSF hydrological services is IDR 73,096 per hectare per year.

From those five articles, knowledge, skills, practices, interests, and commitments of forest related people varied considerably. But there is a common thread running throughout: out of sincere concern, they strive to conserve their forests and agroforestry areas, as well as would willingly plant resources for their survival and the sustenance of family’s economy. This would, in turn, provide countless benefits for the public in general due to the environmental protection thus gained. Disseminating this “mechanism” continuously and extensively would be vital in advocating forest conservation worldwide.

Ketut Gunawan
Vice Editor-in-Chief,
International Journal of Social Forestry




International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2011, 4(2):113-211

EDITOR'S NOTE

One of the crucial issues in social/community forestry is to ensure that any approach used for extensive development should be able to empower local inhabitants and to increase their quality of life, especially in terms of cash income. This need be carefully considered, since such resource management schemes cover a very large dimension, both new innovations and existing practices inside and outside forest areas, and from pure tree plantations to combined land use of forest trees with agricultural elements (i.e. agroforestry). Practically all of them have different socio-political challenges for being widely implemented at the local community level. Research results on these very topics are mentioned through different articles in this volume.

The first article, written by Fujiwara et al., focuses on the potentials of privately owned forests (POFs) in Gunung Kidul District (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) in stabilizing raw material supplies to fulfill demands from wood industries as well as to simultaneously conserve stability of the local resource function. Efforts to shift from individual to collective management through cooperative roles and to apply the Indonesian forest management certification scheme present great potentials to achieving both goals. Additionally, for sustainability, it was considered necessary to integrate POFs with other social forestry schemes in one joint forest planning as an integrated system for regional forest management at the watershed unit level. External support such as extending timber markets and other policies for better management of POFs are considered important.

Badri Kanal, in the second article, presents results of his research on the impacts of community forestry (CF) programs on income distribution in Nawalparasi District of Nepal. It was interesting to note that inequality among community forestry users increased after the implementation of a formal community forestry scheme, because more attention was given to the forest management aspects than to the livelihood aspects of the existing forest dependent population. CF implementation has led to a concentration of individual incomes, but unfortunately there still remain large individuals within low income groups from a population who have utilized the forest for many years as an important component of their family income. Therefore, a long term strategy of the community forestry program should focus on that underserved group as the main target of related income generating programs.

Concerning the policy aspects of social/community forestry development, Islam and his team analyzed the roles of power relations, exclusion and inclusion, policy making and institutional factors in people-oriented forestry program (PF) in Bangladesh. Based on their study, power and other social relations within and between the central governments, forest departments and other mid-level actors in PF programs have a key influence in determining who is excluded and included and whose knowledge will be acknowledged. In general, political leaders/elites and especially top officials are still dominant in the PF implementation process and, in many cases, this does not benefit the local poor community groups. Therefore it was suggested that strict actions should be taken to overcome the current institutional and power-based obstacles.

A study on eleven home-gardens classified as agroforest systems from Guinean Highland Savannah of Cameroon has been reported by Mapongmetsem et al. in the fourth article of this volume. The study shows that home gardens played a very important role in the farmers' life, by improving the daily diet, consolidating and creating relationships, generating income and using in treatment of various diseases. This study underlines theoretical basis that under specific sites agroforestry approach should be considered as a potential approach for development of social/community forestry.

The last article in this volume is written by Mohammed et al. and based on a case study among Garo ethnic people, who are living in the Madhupur Sal (Shorea robusta) forests of Bangladesh. Although in the past 90% to 95% of the Garo families had their own land, now only 10% to 12% of the families have some form of land ownership. They lost their lands and properties due to, among other reasons, illiteracy, unfavorable environmental conditions, political ignorance, carelessness, lack of awareness of good land management practices, ignorance about the Land Act and poor settlement surveys. In order to involve local landless people under a benefit sharing arrangement, a people oriented participatory forestry program (social forestry) had been started in the early 1980s. Overall, this program can be considered a financial success as a strategy for plantation development; However, it seriously failed to follow the original concept or model because local elite and groups with political support dominate the program’s beneficiary groups. In order to improve the Garos’ well being it was suggested that they should be recognized as indigenous people with legitimate rights to the land.

Those five articles, once again, underline that social/community forestry could be ideal in its concepts and program designs, but wherever and whatever forms of its implementations, they should be socio-politically embedded. Another aspect to be considered is that local poor people should be the main target of social/community forestry. If in the implementation they are not involved nor able to reap major benefits from the programs, social/community forestry then offers no difference to conventional forestry characters.


Mustofa Agung Sardjono
Editor in Chief,
International Journal of Social Forestry

 



International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2011, 4(1):1-112

EDITOR'S NOTE

Social/community forestry has already been promoted globally for more than four decades. However, the achievements of official and voluntary schemes even in tropical countries, where problems of community poverty alleviation versus conservation of forest resources are dominantly found, are considered very slow in coming vis a vis both mainstreaming in the political decisions and scale of implementation. It is acknowledged that issues, problems orchallenges faced by social/community forestry are very complex, dynamic and, indeed, site specific. This situation has resulted inpractically a half century of social/community foresters being still too busy to gather and learn different important cases from all over the world. Although they know very well that there is no standard recipe that can be used for accelerating social/community forestry development especially in the tropics, it is no question that learning from different cases is also very useful to gain useful lessons. Articles that have been presented in this IJSF volume are part of such phenomena and media for getting such benefits.

The first article is based on research results related to efforts for more involvement of women and poor people in Nepal’s community forestry through micro credit schemes. The researchers, Ridish and three colleagues, concluded that, in fact, women receive smaller value of loans, as compared to men. Moreover, poor women receive lesser value of loans than not-so--poor women. Women tend to invest a higher percentage of loaned money to income generating activities, and tend to be younger and less educated as compared to men, implying a need to increase efforts to educate women. Those situations reflect the fact that besides external factors, social structures within the community often play a significant role as a part of internal limiting factors for rapid development of social/community forestry.

Relating to the importance of empowerment, a further lesson is mentioned in the next article written by Manyise et al. from Mufindi District (Tanzania). Communication, education and public awareness programs are used to involve the community in implemented participatory forest management. It was concluded that, although those three aspects have shown important roles in encouraging active roles of local communities, there were still other external factors influencing their performance, such as clarity of land tenure as well as roles of field extension workers. Intensive direct communication with target groups was even more effective in involving communities than were mass media channels. In addition to some recommendations proposed by the authors, we learn also that intensive interactions (contact and communication) are playing primarily roles in social/community development.

Not only capacity and process, but accommodation of local existing institutions and aspirations are becoming an important approach to involving local communities in social/community forestry development. These lessons can be learned from results of the research conducted by Amani Abdel Rahim Kobbail in two forest reserve sites at Kordofan and Elgedaref States of Sudan. In other words, respect to local identity in all aspects of forest management is most essential for the success of both participation of the community as well as better achievements of the programs.

Since in many cases Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) are promoted mainly as an incentive to local communities' participation in forestry management, it has been agreed to present results of research conducted by Ngome-Tata et al, as a fourth article in this volume of IJSF. The research aimed to construct a rudimentary image of non timber forest products (NTFP) in national, regional and international policy processes, especially with the focused areas of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It was concluded that although some advantages can be gained from NTFPs and different intersector policies directly and indirectly address them, each policy is based on different interests.

The last article of this volume is still related to the important roles of NTFPs in alleviating poverty and adapting climate change which has been derived from the research of Hasan, et al. in Northeastern Kenya. The result of the study emphasises the potential for using the aromatic resin producing species of Boswellia and Commiphora species, as a component of a silvo-pastoral system, not only for fulfilling subsistence requirement, but also for increasing land productivity, improving the economic condition of farmers and helping to achieve policy impact at the government level, the private sector and civil society on this subject of climatic change and adaptation.
Based on some relevant points of these articles for social/community forestry development, it can be said that different approaches are needed for involving communities actively in resource management; moreover, commensurate benefits include improved performance of the programs in order to increase the local community's welfare and to mitigate and adapt climate changes. However, since social systems are generally complex but diverse in their elements, structures and their interactions, local community participation should consider carefully the implementation of social management in order to avoid counterproductive impacts.


Mustofa Agung Sardjono
Editor in Chief,
International Journal of Social Forestry

 



International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2010, 3(2):81-190


EDITOR'S NOTE

Four years ago, in June of 2008, UNMUL’s Center for Social Forestry launched an ambitious effort to reduce the gap of knowledge for improved practice in social forestry. We are pleased that our continuation through the medium of this Journal has been keenly supported by not only the initiators, but as well by you: readers and contributors, theorists and field practitioners from the world of science, development and academe. We try to compile articles from authors with considerable applied experience so as to give credence to insights from practical involvements. We sincerely hope that you would pass on and adapt many of the interesting findings.

Starting this issue is a case study on the “Status of Joint Forest Management in India: Socio-economic Determinants of Forest Participation in Dynamic Optimization Setting”. The authors, Datta and Sarkar, use a “dynamic optimization model” to seek a clearer view of the socio-economic determinants of participation in forest management, noting that the litany of historical obstacles to effective and ethical management hamper effectiveness and point to the increasing need for policy interventions. In this article (like in Kobbail’s), “trust” arises as a factor which could lead to improved cooperation between forest dwellers and government authorities, with the additional intervention of non-government agents. Clarification is also made regarding Joint Forest Management and Community-based Forest Management.

The following article is “Collaborative Management for Sustainable Development of Natural Forests in Sundan: Case Study of Elrawashda and Elain Natural Forests Reserves” by Amani Abdel Rahim Kobbail. His paper touches on two immensely important elements in conflict reduction—even though that is not the prime focus of this piece—namely, “collaborative management” and the “concept of trust”. By throwing light on the benefits of interdependence in Sudanese communities using forests for subsistence and livelihood needs, the author makes a good case for linking benefits of permitted use and sustainable development. An oft neglected aspect which is also brought to our attention is the application of that nation’s 1989 Forest Act: as we all realise too well, many fine policies around the world are neglected; to have demonstrations of an Act being successfully used is, indeed, gratifying!

An essential underscoring aspect of all social forestry efforts is the integration and mainstreaming of gender. Thus it is heart-warming to see two articles investigating enhancement of women’s involvement.

In the first one, Abugre et al have examined equity issues in their study of “Gender Equity Under the Modified Taungya System (MTS): A Case of the Bechem Forest District of Ghana”. Looking into three gender role aspects, namely in seedling nurseries, access to resources and services and, lastly, in the division of labour, rights and control over land, products and income by MTS farmers, the authors conclude that while gender roles are not optimized, there were not any glaring, deliberate inequities; nonetheless some recommendations are proffered for facilitating women’s increased involvement in decision-making and communicative abilities.

Following this is a very practical oriented, longer term investigation on how to enhance women’s effectiveness in the marketplace. In Awono et al, their “Empowering Women’s Capacity for Improved Livelihoods in Non-Timber Forest Product Trade in Cameroon” not only pinpoints impediments to women’s advancement in trading, but through linkages between research and recommendations provides follow-up concrete strengthening strategies for women and then illustrates the effectiveness of that follow-up capacity building. This programme’s obvious success has been noticed internationally and expanded to other parts of Cameroon.

Our final selection for this issue is by Azeez et al, who in their detailed “Land Use Activities among Forest Environments’ Dwellers in Edo State, Nigeria: Implications for Livelihood and Sustainable Forest Management” provide backup for the importance of rural dwellers becoming aware of and properly exploiting of forest reserves as well as willing to plant trees, as these practices would influence their participation in the management of forest reserves. Basically, farming, tree cropping, NTFPs gathering and establishing tree plantations by planting and tending tree seedlings together with food crops are the land use activities which sustain the population and influence participation in sustainable forest management. It follows, therefore, that increased knowledge of land-use patterns of forest edge communities will provide a basis for seeking their participation in forest and woodland management. Considering that over 75% of Nigerians are still living in rural areas, insights to more effective management of forest reserves shall inevitably help influence the way and the extent of the rural dwellers’ involvement in management.
Retrospectively in this issue, in the first two articles the same entity that is seen to be cause of many deficiencies—i.e. the government—is touted as the organ which need institutionalise required changes in order to improve participatory management. In a way this is natural: governments in many instances need to become more flexible, more updated, less bureaucratic, increasingly reaching out and listening. And certainly, government need remain involved and proactive whenever feasible. However, this cannot be a one-sided affair, as forest dwellers also need more cohesiveness, coordination and advocacy to hold governments accountable. Looking at the gender issues of the subsequent two articles, we see that several aspects of facilitating women’s involvement could be done by non-government facilitators as well. If we can then consider the salient points in all of our articles as a whole, we can discern a pattern showing a strong need for more consistent, planned cooperation between government and non-government entities so that recommendations implied or described by research could be immediately pursued for the upliftment of forest-dependent communities.


Ivan G. Somlai
Managing Editor,
International Journal of Social Forestry


 



International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2010, 3(1):1-80


EDITOR'S NOTE

Although started in the 70s, the global development of community forestry systems is very dynamic and varies from place to place. One point that should be underlined, however, is that political decisions in many countries are significantly influencing forestry development, which of course impacts community managed forests. In the first article, based on their assessment in Akure, Ondo State of Nigeria, a research team of the Federal University of Technology identified 4 ways by which forestry can benefit more from democratic rule, such as more realistic budget and prompt release of fund to the forestry, encouraging forestry staff to go for more training, enacting legislation for more investment in timber plantation development and giving tax relief to those who plant trees.
Over and above political aspects, correct technical approaches will also influence sustainable development of community forestry, as it has been observed by Sharma in Nepal and reported in the second article. According to Sharma, inequality in the distribution of community forestry increased because there was no threshold used. The provision of Initial Environmental Examination has acted positively as a solution to determine fixed minimum and maximum limits to the size of community forestry as well as to facilitate monitoring of its development.
Sustainability of community forestry development does not only depend of equality of area distribution, but as well on diversification of its products, especially so as to avoid focusing strictly on timber utilization. Research on non-timber forest products or even more on services that can be derived from the natural or artificial forests will contribute primarily to the development. The three last articles in this volume of the International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF) have tried to address the topic.

Acharya and Acharya mentioned a long list (including local name, habitat and geographical distribution) of wild edible plants found in Rupandehi District of Central Nepal, based on indigenous knowledge of local communities. However, the knowledge tends to decline since the younger generation is not anymore interested in utilizing wild edible plants. It can threaten not only existing valuable empirical knowledge of communities for further scientific endevours, but also the potential use of wild edible plants.

Besides diversification in terms of different products of various species, there is also possibility for optimum, multi-purpose uses of just one specie. Erakhrumen, Ogunsawo and Ajewole have assessed some fuelwood species found in Akinyele an