Bamboo, trees and grasses
In Africa, trees provide most of the biomass needed for construction and energy purposes, often at the expense of natural forests and other woody ecosystems. Moreover, trees are important components of agroforestry systems that produce both food and non-food biomass in an environmentally friendly manner.
Bamboo, a group of woody perennial grasses from the tropics and sub-tropics, can help underpin biomass production. While in Asia bamboo sprouts are widely appreciated as a food item, in Africa bamboo is mostly considered a source of non-food biomass that may complement timber use in building and construction, pulpwood, furniture and artisanry. Besides, bamboo-based firewood and charcoal are suitable alternatives for similar wood-based products. Like other grasses native to Africa such as Napier grass bamboo also presents opportunities as a forage crop.
Agroforestry systems, both with bamboo and trees, have proven useful in meeting socioeconomic and environmental needs. However, further research is needed to identify suitable species, ecological conditions and enabling socio-economic factors for widespread implementation in Africa.
Christine Fürst, Susanne Frank, Katrin Pietzsch, Frank Pietzsch GISCAME 2.0 – Manual v2.4 PiSolution GmbH
The software GISCAME (formerly „Pimp Your Landscape“) supports the simulation, visualisation, and evaluation of land use changes. Due to its modular structure, problems can be elaborated individually from different perspectives.
GISCAME pursues the aim to evaluate land use based on available regional knowledge (empirical data, model results/reports, and expert knowledge) in order to provide a tool to weigh action alternatives for the planner. GISCAME considers the landscape as an integrative layer for interactions between different land use types, land users, and ecosystem processes, which contribute to the provision of ecosystem services. The integrated evaluation and regulation system allows the formulation of parameters as well as the setting of conversion rules.
GISCAME is one of three components of the GISCAME Suite. For bundling data and for selecting a model region from an interactive map, the software OSM4GISCAME is used. Data which contain gaps or which have too low thematic resolution, can be completed or specified with the help of the structure generator SG4GISCAME.