The Miombo Woodlands of Southern Africa: Emerging Priorities and Common Themes for Dryland Forest Management
Commonwealth Forestry Review, Vol. 75, No. 2, pp. 130-135, 1996
6 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2008
Date Written: 1996
Dry woodlands occupy very large areas in many tropical countries. Particularly where population pressures are high, such woodland types constitute increasingly important elements in land uses which integrate woodland management with crop and livestock production. In southern Africa, colonial and post-colonial management objectives commonly failed to satisfy the end-use requirements of those most dependent on miombo. With ever-growing pressures on this vegetation type, the empowerment of local people is seen as the most promising means of satisfying wants and avoiding the alternative of woodland destruction. Past community controls are by no means necessarily the means of ensuring survival of miombo with its multifarious range of products, including environmmental protection. The necessary reorientation of miombo management calls for a deeper understanding of the impacts of past measures and practices, combined with the equitable devolution of responsibility for natural resources to locally-based management. These steps together with information on household requirements and improved operation of markets will help to assure the future of miombo which will otherwise continue to be degraded and destroyed.
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