Bois de Villages (Niger): Report of an Investigation Concerning Socio-Cultural and Political-Economic Aspects of the Forest Phase of the Project and Design Recommendations for a Possible Second Phase

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"Two weeks' field investigation of IDRC village woodlots in the '3M' Arrondissements of Zinder Department supports throe conclusions. First, villagers express substantial and sharpening interest in reforestation. But thus far, IDRC project 3-P-72-0093 has barely tapped it. Second, this failure flows partially from poor performance in the project's research component. Technically feasible reforestation packages - species and planting techniques adapted to facilitate rapid wood production in the local sahelien environment - were to have been developed. To date they have not been. Selective protection of natural regeneration remains probably the most productive reforestation strategy. Peasants have known about this for years; many would like new information. Third, effective local participation in reforestation has been throttled by exclusive reliance in the IDRC project on a community woodlot system, ill-suited in the local socio-political context to serve as a vehicle for reforestation efforts powered and sustained by local people. Family woodlots offer more tangible incentives for participation and should be vigorously advocated."



forestry, village organization