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Forestry in Asia: U.S. AID’s experience

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:10 AM
Contributors: Cynthia Mackie

This USAID critical review examines early AID rural development and forestry programs in Asian countries, including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. Institutional, technical, community participation, and design issues are highlighted for each country. USAID-sponsored forestry programs have resulted in significant improvement of forestry and natural resource management institutions. Policy reforms have hindered the establishment of community woodlots and managed forests, however, and often field objectives were not met, partly due to high expectations. The author notes that institutional problems persist, notably: agriculture and forestry agencies showed little cooperation and forestry institutions have not adequately managed funds and field activities. The author suggests giving more attention to early phases of projects and decentralizing project management. Technical problems are also common: inadequate attention has been paid to people's needs or site conditions when choosing incentive programs, woodlot locations, and tree species. Accessible markets for tree products are needed, as are new supplies of seeds and seedlings. Monocultures of exotic species are often introduced, bringing biological and economic risks. The author suggests that project goals should be streamlined, realistic, and in tune with community needs. Project evaluation needs improvement to be effective sources of information. Although not foolproof, land use certification and tenure can improve sustainable management efforts as exemplified by Thailand and the Philippines. The author recommends an analysis of forestry extensions in Asia, more investment in applied research, greater interagency cooperation, further natural resource policy development within governments, a phased approach to project implementation, greater input from ecologists and social scientists, and more emphasis on tree product marketing.

Author(s): Cynthia Mackie

Publication Date: 1986

Location: Asia

Download File from Portal: PNAAW334 Asia.pdf — PDF document, 3,174 kB (3,250,487 bytes)

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