Geology Reference
In-Depth Information
linkage within a forest community adds to that
value. Forest is valued for its compleity and
Forest conservaionists also see forests as
environmental buffers, playing some role in
regulaing climates and pollutants and in main-
taining water and soil systems. Conservaionists
requently publicise the enormous potenial
wealth of forest systems in their mass of unique
geneic resources: there are plants and products
for the chemical, food, pharmaceuical, cosmeic
and energy industries. Several topics and papers
illustrate this potenial resource (e.g. Myers,
1979, 1984; Guppy, 1984).
One of the crucial aspects of the species and
diversity value arguments is that these values can
rapidly be lost by excessive or ill-planned eploi-
taion. Strict biological conservaion and eploi-
taion are usually thought to be incompaible.
On the surface it may seem as if different inter-
est groups have radically different viewpoints on
the values of a forest, and that a forest cannot
coninue to saisy all resource requirements for
Successul conservaion, however, does consist
of rying to accommodate all resource require-
ments whilst maintaining the 'capital' balance of
the forest system. The last decade has shown that
conservaion must be more than puting up fences
and saying 'hands of. Effecive conservaion may
involve developing altenaives, the improvement
of land and land producivity and a sharing of
sustainable forest resources by a system of core
and bufer zonaion. We have yet to see this in
East Africa, although concepts are well developed
in India (Panwar, 1984) and have begun in
Rwanda (W.A.R., personal observaions; and
see papers in Proceedings Workshop on Afro-
montane forests; and in Brown, 1992). Ideas
relevant to the East African situaion are dis-
cussed later in this chapter (p. 309).
quarter of the 12% of he country that is arable
under eising climate and technologies. There is
a rapidly growing populaion (4. 1 % p.a.), of
which 88% are dependent on land for their liveli-
hood, and there is virtually no spare potenially
arable land. As forest land is already insufficient
for water and siltaion regulaion, a criical prob-
lem is inevitable (Mwagiru, 1982).
Similar problems eist in Tanzania. In the
West Usambara Mountains, human populaions
have increased from 15 000 in 1900 to 286 000 in
1978 (Lundgren, 1980). Odner (197 1) stated that
the human populaion on Mount Kilimanjaro
grew from 50 000 in 1899, to 125 000 in the
1920s, to 500 000 in 1967; a tenfold growth in 70
years. In the Uluguru Mountains, river flows have
dried up in the past 20 years as a result of defor-
estation and poor agricultural pracices (Rapp et
al., 1973). It is instrucive to examine some of
these pressures in more detail.
e human population explosion and forest
Populaion growth rates in East Africa are high,
but rates are heterogenous within each country.
An overview of populaion problems in Africa is
given by Goliber (1985). Rates in the agri-
culturally fe rile and producive mountain disricts
are higher than the naional average (Govenment
of Tanzania, 1979). Kurji (1980) analysed human
density changes around protected areas; he
showed that wards adjacent to Kilimanjaro
Naional Park averaged 3.1% p.a., whilst those
around the extensive Selous Game Reserve in
south coastal Tanzania averaged 0.4%. Mlay
(1982) looked at populaions around Mount Meru
in detail; despite increasing emigraion, the
populaion was sill growing by 3.3% p.a. Over
half the rural populaion was at densiies above
200 per m2 and one ward had a density of 357
per m2• Mlay considered that this populaion
growth had led to reduced plot size, land frag-
mentaion, eradicaion of fallow, overstocking, soil
erosion and a decline in agricultural producivity.
Lundgren & Lundgren (1982) discussed the
consequences of populaion size in the West
Usambaras, where human densiy is close to 100
The pressures on the natural forest
resources of easten Africa today
An immediate vision of the scale of pressures on
East Africa's forest resources comes from the
staisics that in Kenya, forests occupy over one
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