Geology Reference
In-Depth Information
ied, such as clean water. In addiion there are
undoubted potenial economic values in forest
systems, such as chemicals, foodstuffs, etc. which
have yet to be developed and so again are difficult
to quaniy. Experience suggests that where such
products are developed commercially, they rarely
benefit the local people or the developing nation
(Prescott-Allen, 1984).
This secion discusses each set of forest values
provide benefit to local people. This is discussed in
detail in IIED/IRA (1992) for a proposed CDC
(Commonwealth Development Corporaion) teak
plantaion in Kilombero Region, Tanzania.
Forests offer fuelwood and building poles for
tradiional houses, both products which are not
yet in abundant supply from agro-forestry or vil-
lage woodlot schemes. Evidence is given below to
illustrate the scale of wood demands on forest
areas. Details for an Usambara community are
given in Fleuret & Fleuret (1978).
Few people hunt, but forests offer the possi-
bility of huning. Vegetables, honey and beeswax,
and medicinal values are of greater importance,
and are harvested by larger numbers of people,
(e.g. Fleuret, 1979, 1980; Mtotomwema, 1982).
The increasing scarcity of drugs in Tanzania led
to renewed interest in traditional, usually forest
based, medicines (W.A.R., personal observaions,
1985). A review of medicinal plants is given by
Kokwaro (1976). Some natural products could
form a base for small-scale village industries, e.g.
oil from Al/anblackia fruits (Lovett, 1983).
Forests ofer refuge for religious or tradiional
rites, and shade, rest and relaxaion for local
people. These are resource values which are
intangible and difficult to quaniy; they are not
necessarily disinct from the intangibles valued by
'Westen' society, but as their use is not regulated,
they are often thought of as non-compaible with
our ideas of conservaion. It is a sad reflecion of
our understanding of local people's use of forests
that there has been no quanitaive study of forest
resource use by village communiies anywhere in
easten Africa. Studies on kayas in coastal Kenya
(Oxford University, 1981; Robertson, 1984) are a
parial excepion. Growing evidence from other
tropical forested regions suggests that 'minor' for-
est products can have a resource value equal to or
greater than that of major imber values, and
minor product use is more sustainable and more
likely to maintain biodiversity (e.g. De Beer &
McDermott, 1989).
Finally, urban centres, by demands for fuel-
wood, etc., can impose considerable indirea
demand on resources, where people are cuting
for sale to distant locaions.
Resources of value to people
Some cultural groups in Africa derive their total
livelihood from forests (see, for example, Turn-
bull, 1961) but there are no such people in
eastern Africa. Agriculturalists, either purely or as
agro-pastoralists, depend on cleared land for most
of their income and subsistence. Pastoralists may
use forest glades or edges for grazing, but this is
not important for forest areas considered here.
The great majority of East Africa's people live
away from forests; it is probably only those living
within a 10 km radius of forest who make direct
emands on forest land and its products. Some
products exploited by local people may eventually
be marketed over a much larger distance, e.g.
dug-out canoes, honey, medicines, fruits and
alcohol. To such forest edge villagers the forest
represents potenial values as well as real
resources. The biggest potenial is land, and land
of iniial high ferility. Forest land if not reserved
may be cleared or, if reserved, encroached on
illegally or obtained by successul poliical lobby-
ing. Public land in well-watered mountain areas is
in short supply, pressures on forest land are high.
Most of the natural forests do not offer a great
deal of formal employment opportunity. Pit-saw-
ing is usually done by specialists (Wahehe people
from lringa Region), not by locals. Regular for-
estry pracice does not require much labour in
non-plantaion areas (especially with inadequate
inputs to protecion and silviculture), and forest
industries are largely centred in urban zones away
from the producing areas. Plantaion development
will require considerable labour input, but this
may well necessitate migrant workers and not
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