Provisional methodology for the assessment of trees outside forests (TOF) in Uganda.
Abwoli, Y. Banana
Byabashaija, Denis Mujuni
MetadataShow full item record
Trees outside forest reserves are characterized by relatively small sizes, multiplicity of ownership and by diverse character of individual woodlots scattered over the country. Little data currently exist on forests outside forest reserves. Until very recently, only some preliminary case studies have been made on this aspect. This is partly due to the methodological difficulties involved, as almost all trees outside forests consist of a mixture of many different species of which no volume or yield tables are available and of which very little is known about their age. Also, very few private owners would be willing to allow destructive sampling methodologies to be used to obtain data on tree volumes in their woodlots. Despite their contribution to third world economies, trees outside forests(TOF) have been and continue to be grossly underestimated. This is reflected in the value attached to them in the current National Forestry statistics. It has long been assumed that local demands are sustained by products from forest estates. However, in the recent past, data are becoming available which indicate that the majority of wood used in rural areas is obtained locally outside forest reserves. Planners, administrators, and politicians seem to lack meaningful and reliable information on key issues of TOF (increment, recruitment, regeneration, standing stock~harvesting, and extraction). In the context of the ongoing efforts in Uganda to improve forest management, it is important to understand the key issues relating to the role, current and potential, of TOF and to identify measures to enhance their contribution. This paper presents an overview of the importance of TOF, the current availability of information on TOF, available methodologies of data collection, past efforts of data collection and suggests a suitable methodology for data collection on TOP. Advances in contemporary forest management require data and information on a new dimension, namely the socio-economic factors. By focusing on this aspect, the proposed methodology, we hope will fill the important information gaps that have been neglected by previous methodologies.