“Environment and conservation” deals with the environmental impacts of biomass production, processing and trade and with the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.
Although the agricultural production systems in many parts of Africa are extensive and more or less traditional cropping and livestock systems, they can have strong environmental impacts. For example, natural forest, wetland and riverine ecosystems are frequently under pressure from conversion to agricultural land or from the need of smallholder farmers for wood, charcoal and irrigation water. Agricultural intensification could help reducing the negative environmental effects of sprawling low-input cultivation systems, however only if land use decisions take into account environmental sustainability (water, soil) and biodiversity conservation (genes, species, ecosystems).
This thematic area features contributions related to:
- Biodiversity conservation within agricultural production systems, e.g., plant and animal diversity associated with agricultural production systems, effects of pesticides and fertilizers on species diversity, diversity of cropping systems, crop genetic diversity, agroforestry systems, ecosystem services of agricultural production systems
- Biodiversity conservation at the landscape level, e.g., structural diversity of agricultural systems, landscape fragmentation, effects of agricultural expansion on forest and other natural ecosystems, ecosystem degradation, conservation measures and management agreements, environmental education and livelihood programs
- Reducing the environmental footprint of biomass production, processing and trade, e.g., life cycle assessment, effects on water and soil, environmental certification schemes, technical solutions for environmental protection such as waste and water management
Theme coordinator: Christine Schmitt
Prince Kwadwo Amoako, Mawusi Amenuvor, Anthony Baidoo, Ernest Frimpong Asamoah, Alex OwusuAmoakoh. 2017. Assessment of the Growth of Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) Seedlings on Amended Tailings. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research and Innovations (Vol. 5, Issue 1,): pp: (25-28),.
The study basically sought to find a substitute to the overburdened topsoil stockpile; the only source of soil for nursing seedlings in Noble Gold BibianiLimited. Tailings were collected from the mine tailing storage facility (TSP)and filled into 15 polybags, tailings amended with topsoil in 1:1 ratio were also filled into 15 polybags as well as topsoil from stockpile were also filled into 15 polybags. Seedlings of Leucaena leucocephala were raised on the three media and observed for ten weeks with readings on height and diameter taken each fortnight. The dry matter weight was taken on the tenth week. A comparison of the treatments showed that seedlings on tailings amended with topsoil had the highest growth in terms of height, diameter and dry weight, recording an average of 54.7cm, 0.5cm and 2.04g for height, diameter and dry weight respectively as against 36.3cm, 0.5cm and 1.57g in seedling on the topsoil. In conclusion, amended tailing soil significantly support the growth of L. leucocephalaseedlings and could be used as substitute to topsoil from stockpile.
ALEX OWUSU AMOAKOH*, FREDERICK SAGOE, DANIEL D. N. NORTEY, RUTH ASSUMADU & GORMEY BALERTEY. 2017. CONTRIBUTIONS OF COMMUNITY BASED GROUPS TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN WESTERN GHANA: A CASE OF COMMUNITIES FRINGING CAPE THREE POINT FOREST RESERVE. North Asian International Research Journal of Multidisciplinary (Vol. 3): 1-12.
The roles of the CBG’s and their impact on the development of communities cannot be under-estimated, but with current emergence of these groups, there are doubts as to whether they are well structured and their roles being clearly defined in order to reduce any conflicts of interest that may occur. This study therefore tried to determine the extent of CBG’s involvement in sustainable forest management, their roles in ensuring sustainable forest management and the constraints faced by the Groups in performing their roles in forest management. The findings of the study indicated that CBG’s fringing Cape Three Points forest reserve were actively involved in all the processes (i.e. decision-making, implementation, monitoring and benefit sharing) geared towards sustainable forest management. The results also emphasized on the roles of the CBG’s comprising boundary clearing, monitoring the reserve, creation of forest protection awareness, preventing illegal chainsaw operations, reporting of illegal activities, fire prevention and prevention of encroachment. The groups were however confronted with numerous constraints that inhibit effective performance of their roles. These were inadequate materials and logistics, delayed payment of funds, financial constraints, attacks from illegal chainsaw operators and weak collaboration with authorities. The overall conclusion shows that the involvement of the CBG’s in management has immensely contributed to the control, prevention and reduction of illegal activities and bushfires in the forest reserve.
Christine B. Schmitt and Ulrike Grote. 2008. Wild coffee production in Ethiopia: the role of coffee certification for forest conservation. Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (17-18 / 11/ 2008). Berlin, Germany.
The Ethiopian rainforests are internationally renowned for their high biodiversity and their wild coffee (Coffea arabica) populations, but are severely threatened by deforestation. The remaining rainforests are used for wild coffee production. This study quantifies wild coffee yields from local management systems without artificial inputs, and analyses the impact of wild coffee management on the natural forest vegetation. Subsequently, the role of coffee certification for forest conservation is evaluated. The results show that wild coffee yields from undisturbed forest with low management intensity are extremely small. Intensive management in semi-forest coffee systems removes 30 % of the canopy trees and most undergrowth vegetation. This stimulates wild coffee growth and almost triples coffee yields, while jeopardizing forest biodiversity. Premium prices for wild coffee through certification are seen as one possibility to halt the deforestation process by adding economic value to the natural coffee forests. Particular certification criteria for wild coffee, however, do not exist yet. This study reviews currently present coffee certification schemes under, e.g., Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Rainforest Alliance and Utz Kapeh, and explores to what extent they can promote sustainable use and conservation of the Ethiopian coffee forests.
Christine B. Schmitt, Feyera Senbeta, Manfred Denich, Helmut Preisinger and Hans Juergen Boehmer. 2010. Wild coffee management and plant diversity in the montane rainforest of southwestern Ethiopia. African Journal of Ecology (48): 78–86.
Coffea arabica occurs naturally in the montane rainforests of Ethiopia, but large areas of these unique forests have been converted to other land-uses. In the remaining forest, wild coffee is managed and harvested with increasing intensity because of rising coffee prices in the world market. This study evaluated the impact of coffee management on wild coffee populations and the forest vegetation as a basis for conservation planning in southwestern Ethiopia. Vegetation surveys and yield assessments were carried out in unmanaged natural forest and in managed semi-forest coffee (SFC) systems. Analyses show that wild coffee density and coffee yields were low in natural forest (max. 15 kg / ha / year). In SFC systems, 30% of the canopy trees and most undergrowth vegetation were removed. This stimulated wild coffee growth and strongly enhanced yields (max. 54 kg / ha / year), but severely disturbed forest structure. Species richness increased by 26% because of an increase in species of ruderal and secondary vegetation; however, species richness and abundance of typical forest species declined. Conservation of the natural forest therefore requires the control of wild coffee management. Wild coffee certification is discussed as one tool to reconcile conservation measures and the interests of local farmers.