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Hey, my berber friend, draw me a rural forest! The functional shaping of rural forests in southern morocco


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Didier GENIN, Romain SIMENEL
IRD-LPED, Marseille

Presentation for the conference on
Taking stock of smallholders and community forestry
Montpellier France
March 24-26, 2010

Published in: Education
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Hey, my berber friend, draw me a rural forest! The functional shaping of rural forests in southern morocco

  1. 1. Hey, my Berber Friend, draw me a rural forest ! The functional shaping of rural forests in Southern Morocco Didier GENIN, Romain SIMENEL IRD-LPED, Marseille
  2. 2. Rural forests: another way of forest management approach <ul><li>Towards a definition… Those forests that are more or less formally appropriated, managed, shaped or rebuilt by rural communities </li></ul><ul><li>Stakes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understand better the intimate relationships between forest resources and rural livelihoods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A new lecture of landscapes and ecological impacts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Imagine others relationships between stakeholders linked to forest management and use </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives <ul><li>To show how Berber rural societies have shaped their forest landscapes into diversified patches in order to satisfy material, social, cultural and long-term needs </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Logics behind acts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To revisit foresters-peasants’ relationships and ways to reinforce them </li></ul>
  4. 4. Forest management in the Berber world The Berber word A gdal refers to a sylvopastoral territory in which access and uses are regulated by a customary authority (usually the village or tribal assembly) It mainly consists in a temporary exclosure of an area from grazing or harvesting (wood, tree foliage, fruits)… … but a high diversity of situations can be found
  5. 5. Two areas, two ecologies, but in both cases a highly shaped forest landscape
  6. 6. Forest agdals: an endogenous forest management <ul><li>Depending on the villages and their resources structure, rules are related to: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Period of exclosure, and from what ? (grazing, harvesting, cultivating) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Period of collect </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quantities of resources authorized per day </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agdal compartmentalization in sectors and rotations of cutting foliage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tree species or parts to be exploited </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A complex mosaïc of wooded areas whose functions are well defined for supplying specific resources in a given areas, and at a given period </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HA: Agdals and outside agdals areas, combining three species of Juniper and holm oak formations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Argan forest: fields, ourtis, agdals, mouchaas, reforested areas… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  7. 7. Rural forest of Southern Morocco: man-induced diversity <ul><li>At individual tree scale </li></ul>Adapted from Ba (2009) Operating at three scales
  8. 8. Rural forest of Southern Morocco: man-induced diversity <ul><li>At tree stand scale </li></ul>Differential footprints of Spanish juniper depending on forest management system Agdal Outside Agdal 0.139 0.634 0.002 0.047 0.468 0.001 0.814 Probability of Student's test 779 3.8 2995 14.7 13 3 26 Agdal (n=35) 549 4.7 1670 10.3 11 13 25 Outside agdal (n=22 ) Spanish juniper crown volume (m3/ha) Spanish juniper basal area (m3/ha) Holm oak Crown volume (m3/ha) Holm oak basal area (m²/ha) Cover of herbaceous strata (%) Cover of Holm oak matorral (%) Total cover (%)
  9. 9. <ul><li>At landscape scale </li></ul>!!! 2,8  2,9 4,3  1,9 4,5  0.8 6,1  1,7 Tree height (m) 170  52 167  39 127  89 56  21 Tree density/ha mouchaas Agdals Ourtis Fields
  10. 10. Peasants’ forester’s forest management systems: towards reconciliation? <ul><li>An obviously contrasting vision </li></ul>Continuous or seasonal Pluri-annual Cycles Individual trees to landscape Tree stand Scales of intervention « diversified resources source » Resource conservation and timber production Forest management objectives Peasants Foresters « Biodiversity of function » Each species and ecosystem must be protected in their own rights Biodiversity perception Diversified Vertical Relationships bet. stakeholders Opprtunistic manage. at desequilibrium Vegetation succession Ecological principles
  11. 11. Two examples <ul><li>Holm oak formations </li></ul><ul><li>Argan tree regeneration </li></ul>
  12. 12. Forest agdal, a possible basis for shared management? <ul><li>«… A new approach which combines strategic planning, and long-term, decentralized and participative processes… » (National Forest Program, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>The agdal system and classical forest management: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A common main objective Resource conservation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A shared condition A clear identification of users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A shared elementary action A temporary resting from use </li></ul></ul></ul>???
  13. 13. Conclusion <ul><li>Traditional forest management can contribute to </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A certain diversity (different scales) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High quality ecosystem perpetuation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>But often not enough to combate forest depletion due to socio economic and demographic constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity always related to functions it can play for rural livelihoods…and spatio temporal complementarities </li></ul><ul><li>The Agdal system as a basis for finding original solutions for better coordination and more efficient environmental governance </li></ul><ul><li>At first, major stakes : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different knowledge and forest objectives recognition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing competency and power in matter of forest management </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Thank you for your attention