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Managing for high value timber and biodiversity in the Congo Basin


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This session of the 2014 IUFRO World Congress explored how biodiversity positively impacts management of high-value timber species, (e.g., protection from pests and pathogens) and, conversely, how management for high-value species helps conserve biodiversity (e.g., how planted forests can conserve biodiversity).

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Managing for high value timber and biodiversity in the Congo Basin

  1. 1. Managing for high value timber and biodiversity in the Congo Basin R.NASI,A.BILLAND,N.VANVLIET Technical Session: How does biodiversity help to manage high-value timber species, and vice-versa? October 9th, Salt Lake City, XXIV IUFRO World Congress
  2. 2. Selective logging in the Congo Basin  Timber remains the sole managed commodity  Highly selective, few individuals (less than 2) of few high value commercial species (less than 5) represent more than 75% of the volume harvested (less than 10m3/ha)  Rotation cycles of about 25-30 years; Minimum cutting diameter rules; No post-harvest silviculture  The area under management and certification is increasing  Some (rare) examples of wildlife management in/near logging concessions
  3. 3. Landuse km2 “Ordinary lands” 448,801 Loggingconcessions 595.381 Communityforests ≈ 11.000 Protectedareas 444,973 Source: Nasi et al, 2011 Biodiversity in the Congo Basin  Plant diversity (trees, NTFPs) • Directly impacted by logging activities and damage to residual stand • Indirectly impacted by defaunation  Animal diversity (“wildlife”) • Directly impacted by logging activities • Indirectly threatened by hunting
  4. 4. Main issues for compatibility  Many tropical tree species have both timber and non-timber values that accrue to different stakeholders; wildlife is yet another story  Current certification schemes diverge for timber and NTFPs; doesn’t fully address wildlife  Forestry education and training biased towards timber  Legal and regulatory frameworks dictated separately for timber, wildlife and NTFPs  Best harvesting practices/management protocols for NTFPs or wildlife have little validation
  5. 5. Typology of logging impacts Impacts Directs Derived Unavoidable •Damageto residual stand •Disturbances(noise, light) •Fragmentation •Changes in C stocks •Increasedhuman presence (both temporary and permanent) •Increased access to remote forests Avoidable •Soil erosion •Water course pollution •Reduced regeneration •… •Increaseddeforestation •Increased firerisks •Favor invasive species •Increased hunting
  6. 6. Impact of certification on harvest intensity Cerutti et al. 2011 Certified concessions have a significantly reduced harvesting intensity
  7. 7. Harvesting intensity and residual stands Nasi & Forni, 2006 5 4 3 2 1 0 Area impacted (%) 30 20 10 0 Rsq = 0.9427 Number of trees harvested/ha
  8. 8. GroupeIndépendantInternationalAménagement en coursAménagéCertifiéNon aménagé23456789101112131420212223261-1.5-1-0.500.511.5-1.5-1-0.500.511.5 F2 (10.12 %) - Actions concrètes + + Difficultés rencontrées -- Ni les méthodes- Ni les capacités actuellement- Malgré quelques actions- Vise la certification- Souhaite maintenir ses efforts- > 30 essences exploitéeesPas encore de résultatsMore Biodiversity activities++ More problems expressed ++ Sust. Mangt Plan under wayNo PlanWith PlanCertified No methods No capacities Limited activities Basic intentions, Limited results Activities limited to legal requirement Limited results MotivatedCEO and somestaff Long termefforts Effective fieldactivities Billand et al. 2009 Pro-biodiversity activities in logging concessions Only certified concessions show significant activities in favor of biodiversity
  9. 9. A landscape approach: why?  High mobility of wildlife (migration, dispersal, extensive territories…) an importatn biodiversity component  Conserving Protected areas alone, will not be enough to conserve large sized/highly mobile species with huge ranges (e.g. Elephants) or locally rare plant species  The contribution of production forests to biodiversity conservation is increasingly recognized (e.g. North Congo where gorilla densities are higher in logging concessions than in the neighbouring NP)
  10. 10. Protected areas and logging concessions : surprisingly close neighbors OFAC, State of Forest 2008
  11. 11. National Parks Logging Concessions Huntingareas Parks, Concessions, Hunting areas : where are flagship species ? Some surprising assessments Number of ape nests/km2 OFAC, State of Forest 2008
  12. 12. New land-use type Combine several land uses (e.g. logging concession, protected area, CBFM…) in one land-use management unit that would become an Integrated Production-Conservation Landscape
  13. 13. Environmentalservices Local incomes Taxes, fiscal revenues Sustainrural population Mixed area : protectedarea and conservation enterprise Protected Area Certified logging concession Community forest Municipal forest Agro- industry Hunting, Gathering, Informal sectors Urban, social space Billand & Nasi 2006
  14. 14.  Realize the economic potential of the conservation side  Manage informal sectors like hunting, fishing or NTFP extraction for local livelihoods so that part of these can be formalized (soft or hard)  Use part of the income generated by the industrial production side for the conservation area for reciprocal benefits  Foster certification (not limited to timber considerations) Basic rules
  15. 15. Enabling conditions  Starting funds are needed to cover initial transaction costs  The willingness of the production sector to engage into certification or other biodiversity friendly practices  The willingness of the conservation community to collaborate, share experiences and support the private sector in integrating conservation concerns in management practices  A proactive political support (creating specific land-use units with specific instances for decision making) or, at least, neutral (no undue interference from the State).
  16. 16. Management principles at the landscape scale  Maintain landscape heterogeneity  Maintain large structurally complex patches of natural vegetation  Create buffers around sensitive areas  Maintain or create corridors and stepping stones  Use appropriate disturbance regimes in management  Maintain functional diversity  Manage for keystone species  Consider endemic, rare and threatened species