The ecology and management of the Miombo woodlands for sustainable livelihoods in southern Africa: the case for non-timber forest products
The greater part of Africa’s dry Savannas is made up of Miombo woodlands, which cover most of Southern and Eastern Africa. This type of woodland is characterized by species such as Brachystegia, Julbernadia and Isoberlinia. Extensive research has been done on the effects of fire on the woodlands and the contribution of NTFPs from the woodlands to livelihoods, in the form of food products, medicine, fuelwood, charcoal and wood carvings. Factors such as tenure and gender have affected the commercialization of these products. Little is known about the harvesting rates and designing sustainable harvesting management systems for NTFPs.
CONCLUSIONS AND TAKEAWAYS
According to the authors, the review shows that NTFPs significantly contribute to national economies through their collection, processing and marketing. Their increase in economic value can lead to other powerful actors controlling resource use and marketing resulting in negative impacts. Commercialization has been associated with environmental degradation. Hence, there is a need to form policies that are gender inclusive that will ensure sustainable resource management. Participatory approaches can also be used to increase the capacity of national institutions. Further research is needed on how to incorporate NTFPs’ harvesting in silvicultural systems.
The ecology and management of the Miombo woodlands for sustainable livelihoods in southern Africa: the case for non-timber forest products. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science. 2008;70(3):237 - 245. doi:10.2989/SF.2008.70.3.7.668..
- Department of Forest and Wood Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
- School of Natural Resources, Copperbelt University, Zambia