Peace Corps Official
This manual has been designed as a reference and technical information tool for use by community development workers and others interested in forestry and reforestation projects in the islands of the South Pacific. It is an attempt to present - in clear, non-technical language - background and "how to" information necessary for Peace Corps Volunteers and other forestry workers to understand the basic issues surrounding problems of deforestation and to initiate and plan local-level reforestation projects.
Traditionally, transfer of information on forestry management techniques has relied heavily on application of temperate zone techniques to tropical areas. But such techniques do not always work well when applied under widely different environmental and social systems. This manual represents an attempt to provide an easy-to-use information resource especially geared toward forestry-related activities in the tropical Pacific islands.
No single manual can include all the information the forester may need or want to know. The community forester must be prepared to face a range of different situations and problems and to adapt to changing circumstances. Even within the South Pacific island area, conditions differ greatly. There are a variety of environmental issues, languages, and cultural differences between and within island groups. Time spent consulting host country experts may prove extremely useful to the novice forester.
Successful community forestry projects, like other development efforts, must take into account the needs and desires of community members, the physical and environmental factors affecting the locality, and the availability of materials, resources, and skills necessary to carry out each step of the project.
This manual provides basic information about things the forester should know. It should assist the forester in understanding:
- The causes and effects of deforestation.
- The potential of forestry projects for improving quality of life and the environment.
- Environmental, sociopolitical, and economic factors to consider in implementing forestry projects.
- Forestry systems applicable to the Pacific, especially agroforestry systems.
- Techniques and field methods for establishing and maintaining successful projects.