Land Use Practices

Participatory Monitoring in Tropical Forest Management: A Review of Tools, Concepts and Lessons Learned

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This report reviews the impacts, challenges, and shortcomings of well-documented cases of successful as well as unsuccessful participatory monitoring programs in tropical forests across the globe.

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Indigenous Fruit Trees of Madagascar: Potential Components of Agroforestry Systems to Improve Human Nutrition and Restore Biological Diversity

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This study focuses on three sites in the humid forest of Eastern Madagascar, namely Masoala, Andasibe and Ranomafana.

Research Goals & Methods

A total of 150 wild fruit tree species from 82 genera and 42 families were identified through interviews with the local populations, from which a further 26 indigenous and exotic fruit species were shortlisted based on taste, nutritional value, income generation potential, diversification from currently planted species and biodiversity protection. 

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Development of the Soil Macrofauna Community under Silvopastoral and Agrosilvicultural Systems in Amazonia

Background

This study seeks to analyze the effect that different agroforestry systems have on the recolonization of macrofauna in the soil of former pasture lands.

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Mapping Priority Areas for Forest Landscape Restoration and Improvement of Rural Community Livelihoods in Guatemala's San Marcos Highlands

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This study maps priority areas for forest landscape restoration in three watershades of south-western Guatemala. This rural region has received attention from local government and international socio-economic development projects.

Research Goals & Methods

This study used GIS and Multi-criteria decision analysis to generate maps. These tools enabled the integration of a wide variety of complex information to evaluate different contexts and dynamics of the landscape.

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The Political, Social, and Ecological Transformation of a Landscape

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In 1951 the Chinese Government issued the Decision on Cultivating Rubber Trees, which resulted in the establishment of large-scale rubber plantations in the tropical regions of China, including Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan. These rubber plantations, worked by relocated Han Chinese, were a manifestation of state power on the landscape.

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Understanding Forest Transition in the Philippines: Main Farm-Level Factors Influencing Smallholder’s Capacity and Intention to Plant Native Timber Trees

Background

Small-scale farmers' decisions on when, where, and how to plant trees in their use of natural, human, and capital resources is critical to understand as part of any forest transition trajectory. This paper studies these questions in the Philippines.  

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Agroforestry Adoption in Haiti: The Importance of Household and Farm Characteristics

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During the last century, the forest cover of Haiti has decreased from 8-10% of total land area to under 2%. This has serious implications for a nation with rapid population growth, 70% of the population living in rural areas, and 63% of the land is steeply sloping. Intensive agriculture on steeply sloping lands without tree cover could lead to topsoil and fertility losses. To combat this problem, the government implemented a USAID-funded agroforestry program to encourage reforestation strategies such as hedgerows, tree seedlings, and top grafting on smallholder farms. 

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Forest Cover and Deforestation Patterns in the Northern Andes (Lake Maracaibo Basin): A Synoptic Assessment using MODIS and Landsat Imagery

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South America has the highest deforestation rates in the tropics. Yet, the science is often questioned when determining these rates. For example, Venezuela, which has the second highest rate in the region, produces government reports on deforestation that are continually questioned by third parties. This paper stresses the need for more accurate and consistent data on forest cover and greenhouse gase emissions from deforestation. 

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Drug Policy as Conservation Policy: Narco-Deforestation

Background

Central America exploded into prominence as a drug trafficking corridor in the last decade. The authors document that an unprecedented flow of cocaine into Central America “coincided with a period of extensive forest loss”. The authors discuss the evidence that supports the idea that "trafficking of drugs (principally cocaine) has become a crucial—and overlooked—accelerant of forest loss” in Central America.

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The Savannization of Moist Forests in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

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This study in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta seeks to determine if savannas are natural or caused by anthropogenic factors. The authors use climate data from the past and present, the location of vegetation, and land use history to test their hypothesis.

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