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1/ This appendix has been prepared essentially on the basis of the publication “A practical approach to rural development” (Virone, 1969 (G)) and on the FAO document, “Guidelines for the development of less favourable environment areas: a comprehensive integrated watershed development approach”. (FAO, 1977 (a)(P) and FAO 1977 (b)(P)).

The purpose of this Appendix is to outline the preliminary surveys that need to be undertaken in order to define the present situation of a community, and to identify what can be done to assist that community in bettering its situation. It describes in summary, in checklist form, the broader range of rural development investigations of which the community forestry development activities will usually form just one part. The surveys described are of two kinds: a survey of the social and economic framework, and a survey of the physical environment. Together, the findings of these surveys should define the framework of needs, aspirations, resources, possibilities and constraints within which community development must take place.

Before a decision is taken to initiate such a survey, care must be taken to assess whether the three main requisites for a successful community project exist:

- political support for rural development at the government level;

- the willingness of the local community to participate, and its capacity to continue the development process with its own means and resources;

- an institutional framework sufficiently flexible to secure interagency coordination at the working level.

If bottlenecks are identified with respect to any of these three areas which would seriously jeopardize the prospects of a successful project, it would be advisable to concentrate on removing these bottlenecks before committing resources to the project area surveys.

Because there are a number of manuals which deal with preparatory surveys (see Appendix 6), the checklist here is given only in outline. It needs to be recognized that the range of data outlined represents what would be desirable in total. In practice there will be factors limiting the effort that can be devoted to data collection, such as time, funds, qualified personnel, rapidly shifting conditions, etc. The surveys will therefore have to be tailored to these constraints.

Although the survey may take several months, a long period may entail the risk that the information may become obsolescent and that the hopes and expectations of the people involved, both the sponsor and the community, may turn to frustration.

The survey team leader should prepare a timetable for the survey, ensuring that the information required can be obtained in the time made available. Information feedback and interdisciplinary exchange between the various team members should be taken into account, as well as the logical sequence of surveys and particular studies. The Critical Path Method (C.P.M.) may be a very useful tool in survey programming.

The field worker entrusted with the collection of most of the data from the chosen community will have an opportunity of gaining a deep knowledge and understanding of the local people and the situation and problems in the community. He may find it worthwhile to enlist the assistance of local leaders, school teachers, students, etc., for some appropriate investigation, thus establishing, early in the project, an atmosphere of local participation and cooperation. The field worker should, however, refrain from advising the farmers or venturing on development operations during the survey period, since the comprehensive picture of local conditions will only be available on completion of the survey, allowing for the formulation of action programmes.

The initial survey should bring out and record the bulk of the basic data and problems of the community, the environment and the resources, but it does not represent the end of the investigation. In fact, specific investigations will have to be carried out as a part of the development programme to analyse individual problems and prospects and to find suitable solutions. Finally, investigations will be required at future stages, to examine the changes in the community and to evaluate the impact of the project.

An indicative check-list follows, covering the main topics to be considered in the project area survey.


A. Socio-demographic characteristics
a) Population: origin, total number and number of households, sex, age groups, migrations (tables and graphs);

b) economic activities, unemployment, underemployment;

c) villages, road and telegraphic connections (map with human settlements and road network);

d) the family, the clan, the council, political parties;

e) the religion, traditions, attitudes to change;

f) habitat, housing, water-supply, fuel sources, etc.;

g) social amenities and services: transport, communications, power, medical care (including witch doctors), education (illiteracy), markets (including shops, craftsmanship, ceremonies, leisure, folklore, clubs, associations, cooperatives, credit unions).

B. Tenancy
a) Land ownership, rights and regulations (exploitation units to be indicated on map);
b) ownership distribution-size groupings;
c) values and land market;
d) sharecropping, communal land use, State land leasing/permit systems.
C. Capital investment (Values if possible to be indicated)
a) Housing and roads;

b) land clearance and reclamation, irrigation, permanent crops, agroindustrial plants, home and cottage industry;

c) forest lumbering and industrial enterprises;

d) warehouses, public and freight transportation.

D. Exploitation units
a) The farm: relationship between farm and land property;
b) total number of farms, farm distribution (map), size groupings (graph);
c) types of exploitation unite;
d) use of farm area, rotation of crops.
E. Labour
a) Relationship between farm management and labour;
b) quantity and type of labour;
c) hired workers, corvee, exchanges of labour in the community;
d) specialization of labour by age and sex;
e) seasons and hours of work;
f) employment, underemployment and unemployment, by sex and age group.
F. Working capital (Community statistics)
a) Tools and equipment: production, maintenance, repair and market;
b) livestock: type, quantities, values;
c) other working capital: feedstuff, seeds, fertilisers, their quantities and market.
G. Crops, cultural practices
a) Cash crops: total area, varieties, cultural practices, inputs and other expenses, yield, production per unit and total production;

b) subsistence crops: total area, varieties, soil preparation, rotation, cultural practices, yields, production per unit and total for the community;

c) need and fodder production: total area, grass species, cultural practices, yield;

d) permanent crops: total area, cultivation practices, yield, total production;

e) livestock breeding: types and quantity of livestock, breeding practices, inputs, production per unit and total for the community;

f) poultry: types, total, product ion;

g) staple diet and techniques of preparation.

H. Forestry and forest-related activities (avoiding duplication with the pertinent survey)
a) Timber output: species, unit prices, production costs, markets;
b) wood processing industries;
c) other forest products: fuelwood, charcoal, etc.
I. Other economic activities (earning values)
a) Fisheries, hunting;
b) handcrafts;
c) non-agricultural labour;
d) skilled workers and professionals.
J. Production
a) Gross production (values per unit and for the community);
b) gross saleable production (processing, marketing, prices);
c) products consumed by the peasant.
K. Expenses (other than for productive activities)
a) Food;
b) housing and power;
c) clothing;
d) education;
e) transport, communications;
f) taxes and contributions;
g) ceremonies;
h) leisure;
i) debts.


The community level socio-economic survey should be supplemented by a farm and family level survey, comprising 30 to 40 percent of the exploitation units/families of the project area. Again, for particular situations this outline should be adapted to secure all relevant information.
a) Information on location, tenure, type of exploitation, name of surveyor, area, topography and aspect of the land, road access, membership of cooperatives or associations;

b) information on the family (including employment, education, etc.), labour units and how they are spent, hired workers, labour distribution during the year, labour peaks, exchange of labour, wages, diet and food preparation;

c) information on land use, indication of the production per unit and the total value as well as the value of fixed assets, livestock (by type) and their value, machinery and equipment and determining the value per hectare;

d) information on farm production (and total value) will include: total production for each product, saleable production (stating price per unit and total value), family consumption and its value;

e) information on farm expenditure, specifying (per unit and total) expenditure on seeds, fertilizers, organic manure, pesticides, machinery (including hired), trees or stumps for planting, fodder, feedstuff, litter, veterinary and drugs, servicing of livestock, restocking, operation, repair and amortization of machinery and equipment, insurance, electricity, irrigation water, processing of product, transport, repair and maintenance of buildings, roads, tracks, fences, channels, etc., adding the total value;

f) information on indebtedness, stating the nature of the debt and its repayment;

g) information on family expenditure, specifying food purchased, fuel, clothing, medical, education, transport and visits, house repair and maintenance, household and furnishing, social events, personal taxes, fees, etc. The total amount of debts should be indicated;

h) family earnings outside farm (source of earning), indicating the annual total.

A balance of income and assets should finally be obtained, determining:
i) net farm product (total, value per hectare and value per labour unit) as the difference between the saleable production and the farm expenditure;

ii) net farm income as a result of deducting from the net farm product the wages, the rent (in the case of tenancy) and the repayment of farm debts;

iii) final balance as the difference of the net farm income (plus other income) and family expenditure and the consumption in the household of farm produce.

The ‘balance’ may often show a deficit because it is normal for family expenditure to be adjusted to family income, but without allowing for the amortization of machinery, replacement of livestock, replanting of trees, all of which have been taken into account in the questionnaire outline.

The assets will be obtained by deducting the total indebtedness from the total family assets (saveable income, plus land and fixed assets belonging to the family, plus livestock, machinery and other assets), the total indebtedness being the sum of the debts on the farm and the family debts.


Current consumption of forest products may be taken to fix one point on the demand curve. To assess the level of potential effective demand, given certain assumptions about future changes in income and way of life, is a more complex procedure, especially in the case of products that are not currently available. It implies decisions about the price or perceived cost of goods delivered to members of the community. All that can be done here is to suggest the main heads for a survey:

A. Fuelwood and charcoal

a) Current consumption, total and per caput;
b) possible savings by improved efficiency or substitution;
c) projected demand at assumed prices and incomes.
B. Poles and construction wood
a) Current consumption;
b) possible savings;
c) projected demand.
C., D., etc. Other forest products
Similar rubrics to A and B, for as many products as are considered, each being studied separately; e.g.,
Edible palm products
Gum arabic
Medicinal and other economic plants
Tasar silk.

N. Soil conservation and erosion control

a) Needs for protection as currently perceived by local people;
b) needs as perceived by conservation experts;
c) possible costs and benefits to inhabitants of projected conservation works.

O. Climatic effects
a) Needs for shade and shelter locally perceived;
b) needs perceived by experts;
c) possible costs and benefits.


This section is bound to vary enormously in nature and complexity, from the study of natural forest ecosystems in or around which some forest communities live, to an assessment of plantation possibilities in the totally deforested lands occupied by many grazing peoples. In considering natural forest, the standard procedures of forest inventory may be followed, but with more attention than usual to associated forest products. In considering possible plantations, little will need to be added to the data on possible sites, collected above, as a basis for the search for suitable species.


Depending on the type and reliability of the available information on rainfall and other data regarding the meteorological parameters, analysis should be made, firstly, of the distribution of rainfall in time (hystograms or curves showing monthly rainfall throughout the year) and space (isohyetal maps). Rainfall intensity will be necessary in connection with erosion studies and the design of soil and water conservation measures. Frequency analysis of rainfall may be useful in areas affected by long dry periods, as well as in areas affected by heavy rainfall and floods. Monthly temperature distribution charts may be prepared and the mean, minimum and maximum monthly values should be computed. When daily temperature range is relevant it should be noted, as well as frost occurrence. Potential evapotranspiration studies will be required where selection of crops for dry farming or irrigation are envisaged. Information on wind direction frequency will be necessary for shelterbelts, firebreaks and sand dune fixation.

If the project has some connection with watershed protection, flood control, water harvesting or irrigation, accurate information will be necessary in all the parameters of the hydrological cycle, including a water budget and an analysis of the various uses of water. Ground water surveys and well inventories may also be applicable. If water for domestic and agricultural use is affected by important seasonal variations or by droughts, a frequency analysis of the flow in the rivers, channels or sources will be essential. Water quality analysis may be also necessary particularly where water-borne diseases are affecting the health of the people.


If geomorphological maps are available or may be made by photointerpretation, they may facilitate the task for soil surveys, soil erosion inventories and land system classification. They may also allow the preparation of hydromorphologic maps indicating the response of the different land units to runoff, subsurface flow and phreatic flow. In soil surveys the most important parameters to be obtained are slope, soil depth, texture, stoniness, rock outcrops and hard-pan presence. For crop and forest species selection, laboratory analysis of soil samples will be desirable, indicating organic matter content and mineral composition, in order to recommend fertilization, application of lime and other soil management measures. Erosion and erosion hazard maps will be useful in the design of afforestation and other conservation measures, as well as in setting apart areas which should have restrictions concerning land use. Clinographic (slope) maps are also very useful for general land management planning.


In order to provide a sound basis for decision making on the various land uses and as a guide towards an optimal multiple-purpose use of land units, an ecological map may be desirable. The Holdridge system of life-zones is widely used for this purpose, particularly in Latin America. Vegetation maps may also be obtained from serial photos and a combined vegetation-present land-use map may be drafted from recent aerial photographs. If these are outdated and no time or funding for a new flight are available, it is necessary to check the land-use survey very carefully on the field, since the accuracy of this information will be essential for suggesting changes in the land-use pattern. Wildlife, because of risk of extinction of certain species or because of commercial hunting or farming possibilities may be a significant element within the FLCD Project: an assessment of the population of the relevant species must be made, considering the spatial and temporal distribution of the species. Other environmental facets, such as sites of interest for recreation and the protection of water quality, quantity and timing, should also be examined taking into consideration its utilization in areas located downstream and other effects, such as floods.


On the basis of the available information on the environment and its resources, on the one hand, and on the goods and services which may be affected by current or future human activities, on the other hand, the environmental hazards should be assessed, quantitatively if possible. Some of these hazards may be:
- erosion and depletion of Boil resources because of improper cropping and grazing methods;

- erosion due to logging and road construction;

- degradation of water quality, yield or timing because of inadequate land management practices;

- sedimentation in reservoirs, intakes, canals and agricultural lands;

- water pollution because of the use of fertilizers and pesticides, affecting fisheries and water supply for human use;

- waterborne diseases;

- eutrophication in water impoundments;

- floods and doughts caused by changing land-use patterns or by engineering works;

- air pollution, affecting particularly visibility for air-traffic, because of the use of fire;

- depletion or extinction of wildlife species.

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