Tree seed and community forestry

6. Conclusions and recommendations

A prerequisite for a successful community forestry program is governmental policy and political set-up conducive to such a program in the long-term. Community forestry is mainly at the stage of an innovation for government agencies, NGOs and with some exceptions, for the present and potential participators. in most cases it will. have to go through a learning and establishment phase before becoming self-sustaining to any degree. This requires a great deal of research into potentials and suitable systems. New organizational set-ups will be needed for the change in emphasis of work and new duties of involved government agencies.

To introduce and improve knowledge of forestry at all levels (government officials, the public etc.) and its application to community forestry, all kinds of teaching materials will be needed and training carried out. There is a great lack of training guides, handbooks, technical materials etc. suitable for organised and self learning.

Many aspects of tree seed are suitable for introducing into community forestry, as the knowledge and technology needed is low level. For some reason it is rarely done. For more rapid of knowledge on seed, information on suitable species needs to be compiled together with general information on seed handling. Publication of booklets on particular aspects or species etc. and a more complete guide to tree seed, with emphasis on practical application for non-professionals would be of great value. There is much which can be gathered fro existing, but scattered, sources of information. Research is also needed in neglected areas. Making an "information framework' showing each stage of seed handling and the current state of knowledge for each species of interest would help to identify gaps.

There are several strategies which could be used to promote villagers' participation in seed handling. These can be adapted to suit local conditions, but so far there has been little community forestry intentionally planned using the various miodels.

Existing experience from different parts of the world can also give suggestions for planning community forestry, such as the involvement of schools and farmers in seed production. Even sere there is a lack of literature available and no in-depth studies done at all related to seed handling. What is available shows that a lot more data gathering and trials are needed to have the necessary background knowledge and experience which will help to guarantee success in community forestry projects.

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Tropical Trees for Life