WOMEN IN FORESTRY
LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
A PROGRAMMING GUIDE
BY: MARILYN W. HOSKINS
FOR: OFFICE OF WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT
AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20523
GRANT No. AID/oTR-147-79-83
FOR INTERNAL DISTRIBUTION
WOMEN IN FORESTRY
LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
by Marilyn W. Hoskins
The views and interpretations in this publication are those of the
author and should not be attributed to the Agency for International
M" interest in the role of women in forestry programs began during the five
years I spent working for the African Center for Research and Development (SAED)
in Ouagadougou, the capitol of Upper Volta. As chief of the Department of Culture,
Tradition, and Environment and as a senior research director in the Department
of Social Issues, I organized a series of studies and seminars on the impact of
development on Voltaic women. During one of these worKshops the women expressed
great concern over forestry issues and their frustration over the way these were
My interest grew while working on studies for the Voltaic Ministry of
Environment and Tourism and during a number of regional planning, program evaluation,
and social impact assessment studies in Africa. These studies included an FAO mission
to Senegal to assess, with the Senegalese Forestry Service, the potential for
Forestry for Local Community Development, and work in Rome with the FAO foresters
interested in the community development approach.
This paper is in response to a concern expressed by Arvonne Fraser, director
of the Women in Development office of AID. She stated that there was a growing
awareness of the need for more fully including women in AID programming efforts,
and program designers were asking for information on how to do this. This paper
is also in response to foresters asking how the community development approach
could strengthen their programs. This paper is, then, an exploration of ideas on
how to include women in programming community participation in forestry.
I wish to thank the WID office and especially Kathy Staudt for support. i am
also grateful for the encouragement and idea sharing given me by many pect le
including Brahim Ben Salem, David French, Tom Great house, Michael Benc. Sam
Kunkle, Patrick Fleuret, Carol Ulinski, Irene Tinker, Grace Hemmings, an i others
at FAO, AID, Peace Corps, the World Bank, and in several host country forestry,
agricultural, and extension services.
I owe a special debt of gratitude to Fred R. Weber, well known as a superb
forester and sensitive humanist. He generously shared his expertise and :ime with
me in discussing many of the ideas in this paper.
WOMEN IN FORESTRY FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Table of Contents
I. Forestry for Local Community Development........... 1
II. Women in Forestry ........................ ..... ... 6
Other Forestry Interests and Expertise
III. Problems and Issues.............................. 16
Competition for Land
Integrated Resource Planning
Land Tenure and Forestry Product Use Guarantees
Delay Between Investment and Profit
Conflict with Planting Season of Basic Crops
Unfamiliarity with Forestry
The Forestry Service and Local Residents
National Support Services
Local Administrative Support
IV. Project Ideas ..................................... 34
Indicators for Project and Area Selection
Two Basic Approaches to Forestry Projects
V. Project Management Agreement..................... 45
Integrated Resource Plan
Start-up and Maintenance
Evaluation and Follow-up
Format for a Management Plan Agreement
VI. Conclusions ..................................... 51
Selected Bibliography ................................. 56
I. FORESTRY FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Until recently forestry efforts have been focused on industrial plantations
and on reserve and park-land management. Land-use decisions were made and enforced
by technicians and local residents had little or no role as either decision makers
Currently, however, the concept of community forestry with local partici-
pation and control is gaining center stage in development issues. It is there
partly because demand for forestry products has risen dramatically with increasing
population, with industrial development, and with environmental changes that have
reduced thousands of acres of bush and forest lands to desert. It is also there
partly because the top-down approach used in forestry project design is not working.
The new focus in forestry programming is the result of the convergence of
two separate movements. First, national governments and forestry services are
becoming aware that their forestry needs can only be solved with the support of local
residents. Second, AID and other donor agencies are putting new emphasis on
meeting basic human needs, on local participation in solving local problems, and
on benefits reaching the poorest of the poor. Together, these movements have
formed a strong new interest in developing programs in forestry along the community
Forestry for local community development, often called FLCD, is coming
to mean more than simply changing the local resident from an invisible being to a
pawn in someone else's plan. It is a new philosophy calling for new definitions
of forestry projects and new roles for foresters as well as for local residents.
No longer are forestry projects confined only to dense stands of trees ("forests").
Now they may pertain to any tree or shrub planting, care, or product use, and
may be integrated with other agricultural, development, or traditional needs or
interests. The greater part of the new forestry agent's time will no longer be
confined solely to management, control, and rule enforcement. These activities
will shift wherever possible to the local community, leaving the forester free to
play a technical advisory and support role. The resident is now to be the
central actor. The purpose of the program will be to help local people gain control
over local problems.
FAO has been a leading force in this community approach to forestry which
they define as follows:
...any situation which intimately involves local people in a forestry
activity. It embraces a spectrum of situations ranging from woodlots
in areas which are short of wood and other forest products for local
needs, through the growing of trees at the farm level to provide cash
crops and the processing of forest products at the household, artisan
or small industry level to generate income, to the activities of
forest dwelling communities. It excludes large-scale industrial
forestry and any other form of forestry which contribute to community
development solely through employment and wages, but it does include
activities of forest industry enterprises and public forest services
which encourage and assist forestry activities at the community level.
The activities so encompassed are potentially compatible with all types
of land ownership. While it thus provides only a partial view of the
impact of forestry on rural development, it does embrace most of the ways in
which forestry and the goods and services of forestry directly affect
the lives of rural people. (FAO 1978, p.l.)
This new approach is undoubtedly more difficult and time-consuming
to design and to execute than the former blueprint approach. Local residents
must be informed of the options and encouraged to participate in deciding what
is appropriate and affordable within their economic and social environments.
Programs will therefore be area specific.
Some of the first attempts in this approach have failed because of a lack
of understanding of the new definition of "forestry" and the meaning of "community
participation". During a recent FAO study of the potential for FLCD in Senegal,
foresters related their failures in getting community participation. The forest
service had directed local residents to plant cashew trees as a firebreak around
a national forest and to maintain the trees, promising the residents they could
harvest the nuts when the trees matured. Foresters described their frustration
at finding locals deliberately destroying the trees so they would not have the
responsibility of coming to the forest to maintain them. Program managers and
foresters in numerous countries exhibit similar mutilated, burned, or uncared for
trees saying, "Local community participation does not work, look at this failure,"
when in fact the project was not FLCD as it was imposed on residents, was not
a high priority project for them and provided little or no benefit guarantees. The
same Senegalese foresters who remarked that FLCD did not work, also report being
unable to keep up with the growing demand of residents to purchase fruit tree
seedlings from the forestry service nurseries. The trees, planted around the
homes to increase shade and food supply, have an almost 100% survival rate.
- 4 -
These foresters did not realize that while the first project was not a genuine
example of FLCD at all, the second was a real successstory because community
members were voluntarily using forestry to answer their own needs. In
Burundi, foresters report that local residents have been stealing seedlings from
a government nursery, Using the FLCD approach, this would be seen as a
positive show of local interest. Instead of increasing surveillance over the
nurseries, they would make more seedlings available, and increase extension
and tecl ical support to help residents make the best use of their trees.
Two examples of the failure of the top-cown approach to community
forestry were documented by an especially perceptive World Bank report:
In Niger, a Bank-financed rural development project, which
included the establishment of 500 hectares of village woodlots,
failed because, as fast as the trees were planted, the village
people either pulled them out or allowed uncontrolled grazing to
take place. The main reason for this, was because they them-
selves had not been involved in formulating the project and because
they perceived the village woodlot area as a traditional grazing
ground, access to which was now precluded because of the project.
In the Caqueta project in Columbia (a project for settling about
3,000 families in an area of tropical high forest), a project component
which aimed to preserve some 20,000 hectares of natural forest.
in the middle of the project area, as a source of future fuelwood,
poles, and building materials for settlers also failed, because
the settlers themselves regarded the area as being better suited to
agriculture than forestry and they forcibly occupied the protected
forest area. (Spears, 1978, p.4)
With the new awareness of the need to include local residents as major actors
in efforts to solve local forestry problems, program designers are more conscien-
tiotsly talking with community leaders or village councils. These leaders,
almost invariably are men. Unfortunately, this still ignores one group of essential
actors---the women. Program after program has failed because participation of
women, so essential to the projects success, was overlooked. For example, in
regions where men plant and women perform the maintenance tasks, the trees
that the men agree to plant will certainly die if the women lave no interest, time,
or perception of the real benefits to come from their input. Enthusiastic partici-
pation in any project only comes from those who believe they have something at
stake and who are committed to the project's success. Women can be this
supportive of projects only after becoming involved in all stages of FILD from
the design through the benefit sharing.
This paper is written to explore ways in which women can be brought into
FLCD. This is not a state of the art paper as there is so little experience or
documentation about women's role in this new focus on forestry. Neither is it a re-
search paper, though it includes a number of observations made by the author in
several countries, particularly in the Sahel. Rather, it is an exploratory work
to examine many of the problems and issues related to women's participation,
and to develop possible useful approaches to project design. It is written in the
belief that women can effectively use their expertise and their concern over
shortages of forest products to help plan, support and benefit this new approach
of FLCD. It is written with the hope that current and future successes and
failures will be documented to help strengthen our design capacity so that in-
creasingly effective FLCD programs can be initiated.
II. WOMEN IN FORESTRY
There is one aspect of women in forestry where their role is direct and
highly visible. In most areas where firewood is used as the basic cooking fuel,
women are its very visible collectors and transporters. Publications are filled
with photos of women bent under heavy piles of wood on their heads or backs.
Studies of fuel use offer a familiar scenario wherein women collect wood near the
house and when the supply is depleted they walk greater and greater distances
thereby spending more time and wasting greater amounts of energy carrying
the heavy loads. When the distances become too great they have to start buy-
ing wood from men who usually control carts and beasts of burden. At this
point the women, and thereby their families, have lost control of the fuel supply
and have an added living expense. The growing cost of such fuel has become an urgent
problem in many areas, and in west Africa a common saying is that "it costs as
much to cook the rice as to fill the bowl. A similar saying comes from India.
(Shah, 1978, p.1)
Descriptions of the genuinely difficult and time consuming task of carry-
ing loads of wood seldom point out that during this process women are also
experimenting and innovating, turning to alternate fuels such as local plant stalks,
dung, and even imported charcoal. Women are not only victims of changes in
firewood supplies but they actively seek everyday solutions in locating and
conserving fuel and are the local experts regarding burning qualities of various local
woods and of firewood alternatives.
When available fuels are scarce, women also change their cooking
and eating practices. For example, in Nepal, diets are reportedly including
more and more raw foods due to fuel shortages and in Guatemala families are
changing their diets due to the lengthy cooking time required for their traditional
beans (see Tinker, 1979). In eastern Upper Volta local officials are distressed
that soy beans introduced in a large scale development scheme have grown extreme-
ly well but women are not accepting them. This is not simply because the women
prefer the commonly grown cow peas, but because they find soy beans require
much longer cooking time. Throughout the Sahel people are turning to rice instead
of millet, especially in urban areas, and women report this is largely due to the
fact it cooks much more rapidly. In the peanut basin of Senegal one woman
remarked, "One can starve with a full granary if one has no fuel with which to
cook the meal". This woman is probably not starving. She has, however, given
up serving two hot meals a day to her family. First she served just one, and
then one every other day. She now substitutes cold left overs when they are
available or serves water mixed with raw millet flour.
The actual extent of these changes and their impact on nutrition needs
to be evaluated. The impact of such changes on health should also be examined
because there is no refrigeration for leftovers and the increased consumption
of raw foods and unboiled water may cause an increase in.otherwise avoidable
diseases. This information should be available to local women and men and
to programmers alike, when discussing local priorities and evaluating local
needs for forestry in community development.
Other Forestry Interests and Expertise
Women have other interests in forestry that are often overlooked. In
many regions of the world women raise small ruminants around the compound as
an important source of household protein and/or personal income. In areas
where the protein rich aerial forage supplied by bushes and trees is the basic
diet of these animals, the same pattern demonstrated by the firewood exa mple
is repeated when forage becomes scarce. First, women walk their animals
further away until the distances are too great, demanding too much time from
other required daily tasks. Then, women lose out to local men and then to herders
who can function further away from the household. They, again, lose control of
an activity important to the well being of the family and a source of personal
In many countries a large amount of the nutritive value in meals comes
from leaves or fruits and nuts collected by women. Women are concerned over
forced changes of diet, but they are aware of the alternative foods when favored
foods become scarce. When women farm and garden, they are aware of decreases
in the carrying capacity of the land. Often they are knowledgable about tree species
that hold or improve the land and others that poison the soil. When
appropriate species for hedgerows and windbreaks are introduced, women as
well as men are interested in ways to improve their yields if it can be done
within their own cultural and economic framework.
In certain ethnic groups women use wood in house construction. In
many areas they are the herbal medicine experts. Frequently, craft items
for household use or for sale are made by women with the use of forest products.
In short, beyond the frequently laborious task of carrying firewood, women depend
upon forestry products to fulfill their responsibilities for the well being of their
families and in some regions, for personal and family income. Though they are seldom
formally trained in forestry, they are frequently the local experts on the current
and most appropriate uses of forestry products.
This forestry expertise was dramatically demonstrated in a seminar on
the effects of development on women in Upper Volta. Though forestry was not
on the agenda for discussion, it came up spontaneously and was expressed with
great emotion. Participants, who were women social workers, teachers, business
women, medical professionals, etc., were quite aware of a wide variety of forestry
issues and were very outspoken about forestry practices. Participants stated
that foresters should not clear even old trees and shrubs without taking a close
look to see which of these provide food, medicine or other products either in
normal times or in times of shortages. Participants not only knew the local
- 10 -
traditional trees but discussed imported exotic species. For example, they
spoke authoritatively about a eucalyptus variety then being planted in Voltaic
forestry projects. They knew that the burning leaves kept away mosquitoes
and that boiled leaves gave a broth useful in treating colds. They mentioned that,
because the tree grows rapidly even with little water and is resistant to animal
damage, it might be necessary as a temporary solution for emergency fuel
problems. But, they felt that many other types of trees are better for more
typical situations. The disadvantages they mentioned are that this
eucalyptus is completely inedible for humans and is not good for animal food.
The wood is difficult and time consuming to cut and, though it is lightweight, it
is sticky and awkward to carry. Also, it burns rapidly and therefore more of it
is required. Its oils give it a flame that is very hot and difficult to control for
long, slow cooking of the local dishes. The oils in the smoke impart a vcks-
vapo-rub" taste to foods and damage eyes. When planted near gardens or fields
they.find this tree damages other plants and poisons the soils surrounding it.
This is not an illustration to open a debate on the qualities of a con-
troversial tree. It is given to show that women, both urban and rural, with no
formal forestry backgrounds, could spontaneously demonstrate an expertise, a
concern, and an awareness of forestry issues beyond that of many foreign and
local foresters. It would seem to be quite a waste not to tap this knowledge and
enthusiasm for potential support of local level forestry projects.
- 11 -
Not only is women's expertise generally unnoticed, but sometimes
their forestry-related activities are invisible even to local village men. This
is important to realize and it means that program designers must make an extra
effort to inquire beyond the more easily available answers offered by male
village leaders. For instance, in response to the request to talk to women,
both men and women gathered in a group. When asked questions on fuel
problems the men answered while the women stood in what looked like silent
agreement. Several spokesmen gave the information that wood was getting more
and more expensive and told the figures on the weekly cost of fuel wood per
family. Only after observing no wood and requesting to see a fireplace was
it possible to see the wives alone and discover that there had been no wood
available for a number of months. Women were, in fact, burning dung which they
remarked would have been better used as fertilizer on the fields had there been
another alternative fuel. In the area there was no taboo against cooking with
dung: the lack of firewood had never been noticed by the men. The women's
chores had been invisible.
Women's forestry activities are frequently underestimated. In Senegal
a regional forestry officer, concerned about starting community forestry programs,
was insistent during discuss ions covering several days, that Senegalese women
did not, indeed, could not, plant trees. In the evening, chatting alone with his
- 12 -
wife about sayings or beliefs that might limit women's desire to plant trees, it
became evident that her grandmother, her mother, and she had planted trees. In
fact, all the trees in the forester's own courtyard lad been planted by his wife
and she remarked that where there were trees in courtyards, women had probably
put them there. At that very time, in the capitol city, women's organizations
had hung banners across the major streets in celebration of the "Day of the
Senegalese Woman" proclaiming "For Every Woman a Tree". They were officially
encouraging women to plant more tiees.
Roles women can take in forestry projects differ not only by country and
by ethnic group, but sometimes vary from village to village. In some communities
only women may put seeds in the earth while men do all the other planting and
harvesting chores. In others, they have individual fields and both do all planting
tasks. In some communities, men and women do complementary work, and in
others their projects are completely separated.
Because women's household activities are generally not noticed, because
their forestry activities may be misunderstood, and because their roles may be
specific to a village or even specific to a family situation, each project must
include local women in the project designing stage.
Local needs may also be difficult for outside experts to identify. In one
region of Upper Volta land ownership was such that residents could only collect
- 13 -
fuel from land owned by their own family. Even if dead wood was on adjoining
land it could not be collected. A forestry report spoke of this area as having no
fuel problem as there was dead wood visible around the village while a local
woman potter discussed having to abandon her craft oue to lack of personal fuel.
Many other villages in the area had the accepted rule that any forestry product
from a "God-given" tree (one not specifically planted by someone) was available
for the taking. Women in a Senegalese village complained of a shortage of fuel
but there were large wood piles visible. In this village women collected wood
during a two-month period to last for the year due to the inaccessibility of their
supply in the rainy season. This village had a different collection pattern from
one 20 km away whose supply was more accessible. Some reports from the coastal
urban areas discuss "African women" preferring to cook inside without taking
into consideration that this is progressively less true as one goes into drier
climates, especially in rural areas.
The responses people make to filling their needs are not always chosen along
environmental or ethnic lines. In communities where women have always been in
charge of collecting firewood some families consider fuel the responsibility of men
when it is no longer a "free good" but has to be purchased. At other times this
becomes a divided responsibility. For instance, when one family moved into the
city of Ouagadougou, the man took the responsibility of purchasing firewood for
family meals. His wife, freed from this task, started to make shea nut butter for
- 14 -
her family use and for sale. From the residue of the nuts she made a highly
valued fuel. She reported that she almost never cooked with this fuel as it-
was now the responsibility cf her husband to provide fuel for everyday meals.
She used her fuel for making more butter, for cocking at celebrations in her own
home village, for cooking meals when her husband was gone for long periods of
time, and beyond this,she traded or sold the surplus to purchase family or
personal items. This woman's interests in forestry projects dealt with obtaining
more shea nuts and with the technology to make the butter more simply. Woodlots
were no longer a high priority project for her. It is difficult for an outsider to
know, before consulting potential participants, which individuals would have
something to gain from which types of forestry projects.
Local taboos must also be understood. As new projects are presented
sometimes women are prevented from participating by taboos which, when under-
stood, may be overcome.
For instance, in Kenya women "could not raise bees" because there was
a taboo against women climbing. When the hives were lowered women gladly
participated. Taboos against specific trees may relate to local knowledge such as
snakes being attracted to them.
- 15 -
Other taboos based on local religion may be equally strong. In the
Cassamance area of Senegal several locals remarked that a proposed project
of planting cashew trees around the village was bound to fail as cashew trees
were known in that community as the homes of ghosts. A Peace Corps volunteer
who had lived there several years predicted the trees would be planted but that
before they matured there would be a "bush f ire". Had project planners asked
what trees the local residents wanted to plant around their village, cashews would
never have been chosen.
If forestry with a local community development approach is to
include women successfully, informed women must help design the project. No
simple "women's programs" can be designed in any capitol city and dropped down
fullblown on a community. Not only is the negative true, that failure to include
women from the beginning often assures failure of the project, but the positive
is true also. Inclusion of women who are knowledgable and concerned about
forestry problems, community priorities, and their own roles, adds a valuable source
of information and potentially adds enthusiastic support for program success.
- 16 -
III. PROBLEMS AND ISSUES
This new approach to forestry brings with it problems and issues which
are yet to be solved. Many of these are the same for projects where men ana
women work together, where men's or women's groups work separately, or where
individuals alone participate. Land tenure, social structure, political and
economic organizations, and capacities of extension and forestry services to
support such projects are all under scrutiny.
A number of specific questions are heard over and over from technicians
designing and working with forestry projects who are interested in encouraging
community participation. Where land is scarce and being over-utilized just to
gain daily subsistence, how is it possible to interest farmers in dedicating a
parcel for tree planting ? How is it possible to get farmers to plant trees during their
busy farming cycle and to maintain them during the long time period of their
growth? Can environmental improvement projects without direct economic benefit
to participants be done on a communal basis? Can rural people be motivated to see
forestry as a potential solution to some of their problems, and on the other hand
can forestry technicians be motivated to become support and technical assistants
to FLCD projects?
These are basic questions for any FLCD project. There are, however,
some special aspects of these which are more specific in the case of women.
- 17 -
Women frequently lack control over land and are described in some circum-
stances as tenants on their husband's land (Chaney, Simmons, Standt, 1979).
Women are more apt to be illiterate, the least served by extension services
especially in non-homemaker subjects, may have the least flexibility in time
use, have the least mobility, the least financial resources, and may be invisible
as to their inputs and needs. These facts make it imperative to include a
fine-tuning in examining the issues in light of their potential participation.
What specific problems do women have in gaining and retaining access to land
or use of tree products? What specific time, financial, or other constraints may
have to be overcome to free women to participate? What types of assurances can
women have to receive benefits they value from projects? In what way do different
social structures allow women to participate as individuals or in groups?
These are all complex questions and there are neither simple nor universal
answers. Part of the key lies in examining each question within the specific local
and national environment and designing the specific programs with local residents
and institutions participating. There are, however, specific constraints which
are universal in introducing community forestry projects. Discussing these con-
straints may give insights into understanding and dealing with the reason for the
questions. Foresters, agriculturalists, and developers from a number of countries
identified four major constraints as being basic in any forestry for local community
development programming. (FAO 1977). These are: 1. Competition for land;
- 18 -
2. Time frame for forestry; 3. Spatial considerations; and 4. Unfamiliarity
with a tradition of forestry. These will be discussed separately.
1. Competition for Land
An increasing population using available land more intensely and there-
by reducing its carrying capacity has created a well-known vicious cycle. Even
though farmers may realize that trees are necessary for retaining the productivity
of their land, for fuelwood, etc., their immediate need for food may be so great
that they hesitate to dedicate land for a long period of time to forestry projects.
This increasing competition for land underlies the need to look at three sub-issues:
integrated resource planning, integration of forestry and other agricultural and develop-
ment projects, and land tenure and forestry product use guarantees.
Integrated Resource Planning
Land-use and resource planning ideally begins on a national or even
regional basis. For instance, it has been the experience in the Sahel that
where wells are not carefully located from a regional point of view, they may
attract so many animals that the resultant overgrazing leads to desertification of
the surrounding areas. In another example, charcoal production can be encouraged
in particular areas only if the national taxes or the development of regional
transportation networks support its distribution.
Some countries have developed land use policies relating to trees.
In China, for instance, the famous "all-around trees" sometimes called "four-around
- 19 -
trees" project encouraged citizens to plant trees all around the fields, all along
the roads, and in any unused space. This has also been the approach in India.
In Korea the government encouraged tree planting on steep slopes that were less
profitable for crops and that had serious erosion problems. (Spears, 1978)
The fact that forestry has a more slowly maturing crop than other
agricultural projects makes comprehensive national and local considerations of
land use especially important. Where regional or national guidelines for land use
are available, local projects should be designed within them wherever possible.
When such guidelines are not available local residents should look at current
and potential areas for forestry, grazing, and agriculture, at current and potential
water sources, and they should evaluate current and future needs for food,
animal feed, fuel, income, etc. The World Bank and in some areas UNICEF have
dedicated funds for support of this type of basic planning.
Along with integrated land-use and resource planning is the need to
integrate forestry with other programs. In the Sudan, a farmers' association
demonstrated the value of planting windbreaks in reducing wind damage to crops.
Farmers who were at first reluctant are now requesting seedlings and technical
advice for establishing their own windbreaks (Kunkle and Dye, p. 12). A number
of projects have combined woodlots with between-row planting of food crops for
the first few years. This technique, called taurigya, has helped solve the
problem of weeding and care for the young seedlings and offers a food crop during
the waiting period for tree maturity. Some trees fix nitrogen in the soil and thereby
- 20 -
increase crop yields. Trees can be used to prevent soil erosion in fields.
Trees used as live fencing can help protect gardens. All of these uses involve
cooperation between forestry and agriculture technicians. The use of trees for fuel,
food, building materials, and income producing projects will affect other
activities. If one introduces animal raising, one will need to consider shade
and forage. A new fish-smoking cooperative calls for increased use of wood.
When residents find other priorities more important than forestry,
forestry projects will either have to be supportive in working along with those
priorities or if major priorities in no way include forestry then forestry projects
will have to wait until these basic needs have been met (see Example 1, Chapter V).
Land Tenure and Forestry Product Use Guarantees
Land tenure has been considered by many the most difficult problem for
forestry. Tenant farmers will have little interest in planting trees if they are not
sure they can retain the land to reap the benefits. But land ownership and land use
may not oe simple and clear cut.
In many regions of Africa land use is given to a family that can retain
agricultural use rights as long as the land remains in production. Unused land
returns to the community. However, trees and products of trees may be classified
differently than crops and may belong to a chief, or to the family of the original
- 21 -
settlers. Where tree planting signals ownership of land it is forbidden, to
those who do not hold titles even when they have continuous land-use rights
for crop production. In some countries, trees come under the forestry service
and farmers fear they will lose control of their land if they plant stands of trees.
Many projects are developed on lands given by the government or by
a local chief only later to run into problems with a former tenant who wants to
reclaim the land he left fallow for a few seasons while earning a wage in the
city. If lands are offered for forestry projects by religious or traditional leaders,
even when community members participate in planting, they may know benefits
"for the community" really mean "for that leader and his family".
This is a subject which takes careful study and design to assure that
those who participate will be guaranteed the benefits of their labors. Develop-
ment schemes often encourage fixing the title. This may have the positive effect
of making the owner more willing to improve his land, but it may also have the
negative effects of creating an owner class and creating absentee ownership.
Title fixing frequently has a negative effect on women who are seldom given title
to the lands they farm thus making them less secure tenants on land which can
now be sold. (Also see Brokenshaw, 1978).
For women, all three of these aspects of competition for land are important.
Women are frequently responsible for providing many basics for family well-being
and it is important to consider their priorities and concerns in the original
- 22 -
land-use plan and in the design of integrated projects. Because they may lack
political strength to request, get, and keep a piece of land, it is important
that the land is carefully chosen and agreed upon by all concerned. For example,
a situation in Upper Volta occurred where the village leaders gave a piece of
land to a women's group for a garden. The year after the women had made the
land into a profitable garden, the leaders took it back and gave the women a piece
of land further away. Forestry projects would be ruined by this kind of treatment.
It is imperative that sites chosen for forestry planting be adjudicated and be
understood to be dedicated for the life of the project (see Chapter IV).
The timeframe is a typical problem in forestry because planting seasons
are often short and because of the two-to-five year minimum time between
planting and tree productivity. This timing creates three problems: delay between
investment and profit; conflict with the planting season of basic food crops: and
problems caused by either seasonal or permanent migration.
Delay Between Investment and Profit
Delay between investment and profit is one of the major differences
between forestry and agricultural projects. It accounts for the question of whether
or not to pay or give incentives to participants to plant their own trees. It
accounts for the question of tree protection especially in the agricultural off-
- 23 -
Incentives. Seldom does the idea of payment enter a garden develop-
ment scheme. Participants are generally highly enough motivated by the
potential profit once they see gardening as a viable investment. However, when
farmers dedicate their time and land and sometimes money in forestry projects,
they may need an alternate source of income for several years. Before deciding
whether to pay the participants to plant and care for his trees the designers and
participants need to be clear who are the beneficiaries of the project. If it is a
project imposed by the government for the benefit of the national ecology but
without individual economic or product benefit, it is important to identify it as such,
and reasonable to hire workers not only for planting but for any necessary upkeep.
If it is a mixture of both, it is important to include residents into the project
planning before assuming they will willingly offer land or take on tree maintenance
for a benefit identified by someone else. In some countries such as Tanzania,
projects can be identified as being fcr the benefit of a national goal and all residents
are expected to contribute. The project will still have a greater chance of success
if residents personally identify with the project goals. (Muzava, 1977).
If you pay a man to plant his own field he might assume that you now
owned part or all of his crop. One problem that arises with paying workers to
plant trees appears to be that the trees and their care frequently are not personalized
by the workers. An AID study of farmer participation 'found projects involving
local support and follow-through are more successful when the participants identify
- 24 -
the potential benefits as important enough to commit their time and/or money.
(DAI, 1975). When, as with fruit tree seedlings in Senegal, individuals
purchase the trees, they generally see that they are protected throughout the
growing cycle. Once farmers are convinced of the value of a certain tree they
will often request it for their fields or yards. In a small church run woodlot
project in Maradi, Niger, and in a windbreak project in Sudan (Kunkle and
Dye, 1979) farmers, doubtful at first, saw successful projects and then requested
seedlings and technical support, planting without asking to be paid. In
Burundi they see the benefits so clearly they reportedly steal seedlings from the
government nurseries. (Personal communication with Fred Weber, 1979).
A further problem created by paying the participants is that it limits the
number of acres governments can afford to plant and may have a negative effect
on future voluntary efforts. An example of this is a CARE dune stabilization
program in Niger. The villagers knew the dune was blowing into their village
and covering their garden areas. They knew that this environmentally focused
project was basic to their survival and, according to project organizers, were
eager to participate. However, a Nigerien governmental official told the
residents they would be paid for the bundles of millet stalks they were saving for
the project. When the technicians arrived, the locals would not participate
until paid. Though this was not in the budget, CARE felt forced to pay the
residents to keep the project alive. Other project designers in the area fear that
neighboring villagers will now wait to be paid to stabilize their dunes. There is
- 25 -
no way that all the threatening dunes can be stopped if residents wait for
financial aid from outside organizations.
But the issue is not as simple as to pay or not to pay. Some projects,
for example, pay workers with food. When food is used to create meals for
workers and their families for a community effort, it may fall within the well-
known pattern of a host treating workers to a feast. This may have several
positive effects. It may free women to participate as they no longer have
meals to prepare at home. It may provide the extra calories required for the
energy used in project work. It may allow workers from greater distances to
remain longer before returning home. It gives a festive air to a communal
project. It may not.be adequate motivation, however, for sustained work
projects if it is not a high priority for the workers.
Food given in bulk in trade for work is simply a substitute for money.
It is an advantage to workers only when local food is not available to purchase
though it maybe economically or politically advantageous to the donor. If a
project draws farmers away from their fields during the agricultural season,
these workers may need to be paid in food, but great care should be exercised
in this case that the community is not put at risk.
An interesting experiment was tried by a peanut production and marketing
organization in Senegal (SODEVA). Farmers who were paid to plant Acacia albida
seedlings in a project to improve their soil experienced well over 70% loss the
- 26 -
first year. The following year the project did not pay farmers to plant but
after six months to a year they paid 100 FCFA for each living tree, and 50
FCFA and 25 FCFA per tree each of the following two years. The cost of
planting and maintaining each tree until it was three years old came to 175 FCFA or
about $.88. SODEVA agents report that this model yields almost 100% living
trees. Since the goal was living trees rather than planted trees, the new
reward system was more appropriate and effective.
In a community where local participants need money during the interval
between planting and harvesting, this type of plan might be modified to be an
advance toward the future product. The trees still belong to the farmer but he
has sold some of the product in advance just as is commonly done with grain.
If money sufficient to tide them over would not be a heavy burden to repay in
case of a poor return, this could fit into the philosophy of community development,
Depending on the goals of the project the returned money might go into a revolving
fund for project expansion or other community development.
Plant Protection. Related to the problem of timing is the problem of plant
protection. The use of barbed wire has become a major issue. Farmers in
developing countries usually protect their crops and their gardens without the aid
of barbed wire. It is basically the fact that trees need protection for a longer
period of time that many foresters claim no forestry project can succeed without
- 27 -
wire fencing. However, if all tree and shrub planting must wait until there is enough
barbed wire to protect it, community development must depend on heavy outside
funding and there could simply never be enough money to adequately solve the
urgent fuelwood and other forestry needs. The type of protection needed depends
upon many factors including farmer-herder relations and relative harshness of
the environment. The community should give major consideration to tree protection
before beginning any project. Even when plantations are surrounded by multiple
rows of barbed wire goats still enter unless there is strong community control.
For group plantings, the boundaries of each project need to be clearly
marked especially in areas with migrating herds. In some projects residents make
a plan to pen, tie, or otherwise control their animals but there must be strong
institutional backing behind participant control. In considering women's projects
this is especially true as the women may lack individual or group political
strength to keep animals owned by men from damaging their trees. For area
fencing, the type used locally for gardens or fields might be considered. For
individual trees, rush baskets or thorn bushes, etc. are often used (See Weber,
1977). No matter what fencing is used, the participants will probably have to
arrange for someone to act as guardian.
Conflict With Planting Season of Basic Crops
The coinciding of the planting seasons for trees and crops is often
described as limiting the ability of farmers to participate in forestry projects
- 28 -
and needs to be carefully studied. The planting season is so short in many
areas that farmers hate to take on extra work at that time. This is one
explanation of why projects with herders in Senegal have proven successful, as
herders are not overly busy at planting season. It also makes any men, women
and young people not regularly involved in planting good candidates to partici-
pate in community forestry efforts, as well as the landless if community land is
made available. However, a good deal of work can be carefully scheduled
before the busy season--seeds collected, nurseries established, and the soil
prepared. Some communities chose to pay workmen to do the actual planting.
Experience has shown that in one day a man can plant an average of 80 seedlings
in plastic bags into prepared holes. The time and labor for actual planting,
therefore, are not extensive. FAO has some technical suggestions on selecting
species to help ease this time constraint (FAO, 1978).
Weeding and caring for the young trees during the rest of the busy
agricultural season is perhaps a greater problem. Some project directors find
the tauncva system of inter-row planting of trees and crops is greatly appreciated
by farmers as it eliminates weeding a second field.
The length of time required for trees to mature raises the very difficult
problem of mobility. For instance, residents may not want to invest in a
forestry project if they expect to leave in several years. The more frequent complaint,
- 29 -
especially in the Sahel, is the seasonal mobility customary in certain areas.
For example, in the peanut area in Senegal, the farmers protected their newly
planted trees while they had crops in the fields. After harvest, however,
both men and women went into urban areas. A number of men stated they go to
the towns for a few weeks of recreation and then to find a job, but women
claimed they would rather not go to the towns if there were employment near
home. This is the exact season when scattered water holes dry up and herders
come into the village wells for water. They traditionally let their cattle
browse in the harvested fields and fertilize them. With no one left to protect
the young trees nearly all the trees were destroyed or damaged. This brings out
the need for a well considered protection system, perhaps hiring a guard, or
perhaps exploring with village women the idea of a companion money-making
project designed for off-season employment so that some residents could stay
to protect the trees. The same problems caused by migration patterns are
well described in an evaluation of a tree planting program in Chad (Weber and
3. Spatial Considerations
A number of needed forestry projects are designed to improve ecological
conditions away from the planting site--silting river basins, dune stabilization,
etc. Many of these desirable projects are of little value to the area in which
the trees are planted and may in fact occupy precious land in one area only to
- 30 -
improve a distant area. Once again, the planners should clearly define the
beneficiaries. Even if this is identified as an environmental project not
suitable for community development with voluntary action, the residents and
employees must understand the value of the project. The examples given
earlier from Columbia, Niger, and Senegal show dramatically what may happen
when local interests are not considered.
A second spatial constraint deals with the distance from the villages
or farms at which land may be available for forestry projects. This may be
especially handicapping to women who are more likely to lack transportation.
In some projects carts are introduced to help women haul wood. Where the
control is not carefully monitored, men frequently take over the carts for their
own purposes as has happened in a number of sites in Upper Volta.
4. Unfamiliarity with Forestry
People who live where trees grow in the wild often feel trees are "God
given" and not something one plants. Herders from one project (Labgar) had to be
taken on a field trip to believe that gum arabic trees could replace the wild ones
that had died in the drought. There is also an antagonism toward trees by some
of the farming communities which have had to clear the land before planting.
The Hausa ethnic group in Senegal identifies the oldest and more prestigious
people as those who had the "right of the ax" or "the right of fire" meaning they
had been the first to clear the land of trees and shrubs.
- 31 -
Granting that individual familiarity with trees and tree planting is
important, there are three other elements to this lack of familiarity with
forestry for local community development which augment the problem:
relationships between the forestry service and local residents; lack of
national support services willing to co-operate with each other in FLCD
efforts; and, lack of local administrative support.
The Forestry Service and Local Residents
Forestry education is for the most part intensely professional and
includes learning Latin names for local and exotic trees, botanical science,
and some military training, but no extension training. Foresters wear uniforms,
sometimes carry weapons, enforce rules prohibiting fuelwood collection on
certain lands, enforcing gun prohibitions, taxing locals for cutting certain
trees or making charcoal, etc. It is difficult for a forester with this background
to wish to come or to be accepted in a supportive teacher role. Forestry
services may wish to start work through extension services and local grade schools
while at the same time strengthening their extension capability and changing
Forestry research also has focused on tree growth more than local uses
of plants. For example, a research station in north-central Senegal had large
stands of a low-growing Australian variety of eucalyptus introduced as a potential
forage plant. After several years the foresters could show a number of healthy
- 32 -
stands under various growing conditions,but had never invited in goats and
sheep to see how it would be accepted as forage by the local animals and how the
plant would react in realistic situations.
Success for foresters has been measured by perfectly straight rows
of large beautifully green trees. When foresters see a local community effort,
they are apt to see the few trees that died rather than the greater number that
lived. Foresters will have to convince potential participants that their interests
are now to help villagers solve their forestry problems. Forestry institutions
will have to support local efforts focusing on low cost tools and simple technology
and procedures to introduce to villagers. Women will have to be encouraged
to enter the field of forestry so they may help local women become meaningfully
involved. All of this may be difficult when forestry offices are usually under-
staffed and underfinanced. There are countries moving in this direction, however.
For example, the Indian government has now established a school for foresters
specifically stressing extension. (Shah, 1979).
National Support Services
Other national institutions have not focused on forestry as an important
element in development. Several Senegalese extension officials recently remarked
that tree planting and forest fires were the business of the forestry service, not
of the farmers. There appears to be much competition and little communication
or cooperation between forestry, agriculture, extension, water, transportation,
- 33 -
taxation, education, legal, and financial institutions. (See Spears, 1978).
Where this is the case forestry officials might be encouraged to increase
contact and information flow between its service and other agencies. Forestry
services might introduce seminars and offer educational materials and
technical support packages to grade school teachers, agriculture specialists,
and extension agents. Because funds for this type of material development and
training are difficult to obtain, three to five percent of the funding for each
project could be dedicated to each of these efforts. If all projects contributed
to increasing the forestry service capability it could greatly strengthen future
efforts in FLCD.
Local Administrative Support
Local administrative skills in integrated resource planning, tree pro-
tection, benefit guarantees, etc., are frequently not well developed in relation
to forestry projects. This is one aspect which should be considered in site
selection and project design.
The World Bank has considered the weakness in national and local
administrative and support structures the most serious handicap to their efforts
in establishing FLCD. They are offering some of their financing for institution
building and for strengthening local capacity to support rural forestry projects.
(World Bank, 1978).
- 34 -
IV. PROJECT IDEAS
It is the experience of community developers that projects introduced
in a community which build on existing skills and accepted practices have
a better chance of success. It is, therefore, a sobering fact that communal
forestry is common neither in the developed nor in the developing world. This
means donors, designers, and participants have very little to go on in the
way of experience or models. No wonder it has been difficult to establish
community participation with locally controlled benefits in forestry projects.
The very term "forestry" calls to mind either forests controlled by foresters,
or hired labor working in industrial lumber, coffee, rubber, etc. plantations.
To increase the difficulty, in neither picture does one see women designing,
controlling, or often even participating. Perhaps this is why it is common to
hear foresters at international conferences remark that women do not or cannot
participate in forestry projects.
There are two aspects for women in potential projects, their role as
active participants, and their control of benefits. Due to the invisibility of
women's activities and of their needs, it is important to examine potential
forestry activities for women in both these aspects.
In order to see projects that are likely to succeed in incorporating
women into the active participation of the project, one should start by looking at
women's traditional activities.
- 35 -
In most parts of the world women plant fruit or shade trees in their
yards. In many areas women already collect tree seeds for food or other uses,
and may sell the surplus. In most regions they have an active part in raising
agricultural crops, and frequently in gardening. In areas where wood is the
fuel they usually "harvest", collect, transport, and store their family's supply
and may trade or sell any surplus.
Many projects can be introduced to expand women's normal activities
or to make them more profitable. Some of these projects are: to raise seedlings
in the courtyard or garden area; to increase the number of courtyard trees; to
plant trees in the market for shade; to collect tree seeds for sale to the forestry
department or to a local nursery; or to improve the harvest, transporting, or
storage of wood. If trees are approached as just another type of agricultural
crop except that they take longer to reach maturity, tree planting by women who
already plant crops should not seem startling. Actually, the most startled by
this approach to forestry may be the forestry technicians, host country and ex-
patriate alike, who have gained a mystique of exclusivity and elitism through
their rigorous and intensive training.
However, it is not a good idea to overstress. women's participation in the
act of planting, transporting, etc., without looking at the total picture. Just
as it is unfortunate to plan projects with men, over which women have no control
but their labor is expected, it would be unfortunate to draw up arbitrary rules on
- 36 -
women's involvement in projects. In areas where women have already over-
charged work schedules, men may be willing and able to physically plant the
trees for his family or community while women may be able to do support
activities and may profit from the benefits.
More important than who physically plants the trees is the issue of who
needs and will benefit from, and who will control use of the product. In a
Peace Corps project with women in latin America, women purchased fruit tree
seedlings and paid men in their community to plant them, but it was the women
who chose this activity so they could profit from the fruit. In areas in the
Middle East where, women live inside walled compounds, sons may purchase
fruit tree seedlings and later sell the fruit in the market for their mothers
but if the women profit from the benefits, promoting this ty pe of activity would
still be considered a legitimate women's program.
There are difficult issues to consider, however, when the work is not
under the control of women. For example, in a project in Niger, women provided food
and support for men while men planted trees in a woodlot. The wood was supposed
to go to the man who planted the tree to give to his wife or wives. Although this
system would benefit women, a woman's share of wood would depend entirely on
how many trees the man plants and how many wives he has. A woman with a lazy
or an absent husband, or a widow would have no way to receive adequate benefits
- 37 -
from the project. These types of issues in benefit sharing have not been
adequately addressed. They must be examined in the design stage of each
project and be spelled out clearly in the project management plan.
Indicators for Project and Area Selection
Any FLCD project must be based on the technical, administrative,
economic, and social information required for any forestry and any community
development project. There are, however, indicators which will give program
designers clues if a specific area holds strong potential for women's active
participation in FLCD. There is some general information that can be collected
from certain key people and from a brief library search. This can serve as
the first step in determining what options might be appropriate for different areas,
or on the contrary, in identifying problems or even areas where FLCD starting
FLID projects might need to be delayed. Key resource people will differ by
region, but women grade school teachers, leaders of women's organizations,
women social workers or extension agents, wives of male teachers or foresters,
Peace Corps volunteers, local representatives of private voluntary organizations,
as well as sociologists can be helpful in this first line of questioning. Four
general areas might be pursued: motivation, active participation, benefit control,
and administrative support.
- 38 -
A. What relationship do women have to forestry and forestry
products now? Is this changing?
B. What is the relative need for forestry products in relation
to other basic needs?
C. What major problems could forestry help women solve?
Which women would benefit?
D. How would others in the community be affected by a potential
2. Active Participation
A. Do women have access to land and to forestry products?
Can this access be assured for projects of long duration?
Are the women (the men) mobile?
B. What is the woman's place in the social structure of the
family, and in the village? For instance, are there age groups
of women who normally work together -or do women work by
themselves or with other family members? Who organizes this?
C. What is the woman's role in agricultural and other work
D. What are the woman's time constraints on a daily basis and as
they relate to seasonal work?
3. Benefit Control
A. What is the woman's current role in the economy.of the
family and in the community?
B. How do women handle money and other resources?
C. How would any suggested project affect the economic situation
of the women and her control over resources ?
- 39 -
4. Administrative Support
A. Could women get and retain land, water use rights and
other needed materials and resources for a project?
B. Could women get information and technical help from extension,
agricultural and forestry services, from other agencies, or
from Peace Corps volunteers or private voluntary groups?
C. Have the women in a suggested area had any previous experience
in forestry or other development projects? In neighboring areas?
What happened and why?
D. Would there be community support to help protect trees, etc?
Are there women leaders to help?
The answers to these questions will indicate where problems may lie.
For example, if a group of women have participated in previous projects which
failed, it may call for careful presentation of a project not demanding much risk.
If women usually work separately, a project of individual plantings may be
indicated as a first step or as an alternative to collective activities. If one cannot
count on community support to help protect trees, special protective measures
may be indicated. Forestry would probably not be indicated if there were other
basic needs women felt had much higher priorities, unless forestry could be
integrated into a total program to solve these needs. From this general level
information the potential for either the integrated approach or the various separate
forestry projects could be examined.
Women who have not been involved in project planning or decision making
may have a difficult time imagining project ideas for their community or indeed
- 40 -
expressing their own needs. One expatriate forester in Niger was told
"It is for the men to say, or "It is for the chief to say," when he asked
women what they would like or what they needed in the way of forestry products.
A Voltaic woman sociologist even had difficulty eliciting project ideas from women
in her own home village. A list of apparently viable options could be drawn up
from the first brief information and presented to start discussions. For
example, if the women are herders and there is not enough forage, if the
community might assign them land and help protect it, women might be interested
in the option of raising forage trees. If women gardeners have problems with
animals attacking their gardens, they might want to develop a live fencing
project. If women have a garden plot near a well and find it too small to be
profitable for vegetables, they might wish to turn a portion into a nursery which
requires limited space. Options of these types of appropriate projects could
be made known to the women.
After they find projects in which they are interested, local women can
help identify information they would need for selecting between options. They
themselves could help identify and fill in missing information required in
designing any good project, and information needed to write a management plan.
This is not to say there is no need for professional socio-economic analysis
required in all projects. It is to say, however, that the project could be
strengthened by the input of participants at the information- eoleeting-stage.
- 41 -
Not only would a better understanding of the reason they are being subjected
to questioning elicit more cooperation and probably more honest answers, but
since the goal is to help local people learn to identify and solve their own
problemsit is a step in producing more informed participation.
Two Basic Approaches to Forestry Projects
There are two differing approaches to forestry programming; the
integrated and the special project designs. In the integrated approach, the
designer starts with a community and designs the various-projects to fit the
needs of that community. When properly run this can produce exceptional
results. The second is to offer one or several forestry project packages, such
as support for woodlot development, and find a community which could profit
from this type of project and then mold it to fit the circumstances of the specific
community. This can also be effective when flexibility is built into the design.
An example of what appears to be a successful integrated community
development project is at Labgar, Senegal. This is a mixed community,
largely Peul, semi-sedentary pastoralists. In this community the pastoralists
have participated on a voluntary basis to plan and carry out a forestry component
of an integrated community development program. This example has the following
I. An outside funding organization committed to integrated
community development approach.
- 42 -
2. Senegalese project director experienced in extension and
government agency functioning who lives in the region.
3. An indepth sociological study of the potential development of
4. Self-selection of the village by positive response from residents
of the area, many of whom live scattered around Labgar.
5. A woman extension agent and later a forester residing in
6. Open dialogue between the director, the agent, the forester,
and the villagers.
7. Priorities chosen by area residents. Residents offered to
provide labor and the donor organization and the government
helped provide material and personnel. The projects were:
a well with a pump, a dispensary with a nurse, a teacher
for the school, and technical and material support for establishing
a women's garden.
8. Identification by the villagers of problems that still existed
for them, and made them dissatisfied with their current life-style
as compared to life before the drought. They reported they had
less food, less income from gum arabic, and their small animals
were not as healthy.
9. Selection of a project with the help of field trips to see
possibilities of tree planting and with the assurance they would
own the trees and could not be punished by the forestry service for
accidental animal damage to the trees. They selected the species
from information provided by the forester and from past experience.
They selected species to provide fodder, shade, income, building
poles, and firewood for future needs of this growing community.
10. Time and labor scheduling with the forester. Villagers prepared
soil ahead and at the appointed time, the first rain, herders came
from many miles around. Men planted the trees while women carried
water. They planted the area and chose to increase the area planted
the following year.
- 43 -
11. Many neighboring villages have requested similar projects.
This project had elements in which local community residents defined
their own goals and priorities and the extension agent and forester acted as
facilitators. The woman extension agent took the interests of the women into
account, and women participated in the project design and expect to share
in the benefits. There was fllow-through and flexibility especially with the
facilitators living in the community.
A second type of project, also in Senegal, is much more common.
A parastatal group (SODEVA) designed to increase peanut production, dis-
covered that the carrying capacity of the soil was decreasing and that planting trees
was necessary for soil fertility and for local fuel use. There was, however, a
serious shortage of seedlings. SODEVA officials decided to support individually
owned backyard nurseries to provide needed seedlings. A female extension agent
and a male forester contacted various groups, including women'.s groups in
several villages, informing them of the possibility of operating nurseries and
presenting the technical and labor requirements and potential risks and benefits.
Women in Ngodiba, Senegal chose to take this as a project, planting small
nurseries and selling the seedlings locally. Women found it profitable and
plan to continue in the following years. Both individual and communal woodlots have
been started in the region and women and men participate.
- 44 -
The key to this type of project is an appropriate technical package
being presented with appropriate extension methods and forestry being a felt
need in the community. This project also has the advantage of a female
extension agent interested in women 's roles, of a forester giving technical
support, and of the necessary material support.
Both model projects were based on the participants selecting the
program, setting up the work plan, retaining the benefits, and on continuing
support or follow-through. These elements can be part of any project by
building them into the original design in the form of a project management
plan or agreement.
- 45 -
V. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT
In line with the new philosophy of forestry for local community
development, local citizens have responsibilities and duties toward the
project as do support agencies. It is therefore reasonable to approach project
management with an agreement which is signed by all persons touched by the
project. This agreement would contain the five following sections: 1. long
and short range goals; 2. integrated resource use plan; 3. start-up and
maintenance plan; 4. benefit distribution plan; and 5. evaluation plan with
feed-back and flexibility potential for altering the program. The importance
of this type of document would increase with the size and complexity of the
program but these five elements should be considered even if the project is
carried on by individuals on their own land. The format will vary depending
upon the country, the agencies involved, the local administrative structure
and on the desires of the participants. Most FLCD projects that fail do so because
one or several of these elements was not clear to all those involved from the
beginning of the project. This type of document is important to all parties
but it is crucial for women who have frequently been overlooked in identifying
goals, have had less control over land use, were often not considered when work
schedules were designed, have had less assurance of receiving benefits, and
seldom had a voice in project evaluation or strength in requesting that other
parties produce their promised inputs.
- 46 -
Local participation in setting-goals for a project implies participants
are informed of options, of risks and of techniques, labor, and finances
required. It implies that participants have chosen reasoned goals for short
term and long term aspects of the project. This is particularly important in
forestry projects which are apt to call for lengthy investments of limited
resources. Participants should be encouraged to make these goals flexible and
realistic and written in such a way that they may be used in mid-term evaluations
to see if re-focusing of the project implementation may be necessary. The
time necessary for the goal identifying and the size and complexity of the
project will depend upon experience the women have had with extension
projects, local administrative support, strength of the extension service, and
possible support from outside agencies, Peace Corps volunteers, or private
voluntary organizations. The process will be greatly handicapped if there are
no women foresters or agents working with the local women during this process.
Where this is the case project designers may want to locate a local woman
leader or leaders and ask for their help.
Integrated Resource Use Plan
Because most forestry projects require a lengthy commitment of
usually limited land and resources, it is even more essential than for other
types of activities that forestry projects are co-ordinated with other activities
requiring these same resources. Examples of women given land one year and
- 47 -
having it taken away the next, of being given poor or unsuitable land, or land
dedicated by the chief to which the title is not clear, illustrate what women
have to gain by careful community planning of land use. Even if personal land
is used, the participant should consider site selection and alternative
uses. The following points may be important to consider:
1. An inventory of land resources and needs including current and
projected needs for water, human and animal food, and
2. An inventory of current and projected needs for energy and for other
forestry products, biproducts and tertiary products.
3. An examination of this plan in relation to regional and national
plans when this information is available.
4. Using the above information as a base, participants and all those
affected by this land use choice should consider available options.
Project funds may be earmarked to help communities or individuals take
these steps, if this is needed. After considering the above information a site
should be selected which can be generally agreed upon by all those affected
and there should be complete adjudication of land rights. A village council,
the forestry service, regional government officials, village, or clan chiefs,
and/or individual owners will be involved in differing areas, but no stone
should be left unturned to assure that the land use is clearly agreed upon for the
life of the project. Nothing can ruin a forestry project like the loss of planted
land or an angry former landuser with a match.
- 48 -
Start-up and Maintenance
Failure of many projects comes from a lack of clear understanding
by all parties at the beginning of the project, just how much the project will
cost in labor, materials, and funds, and a clear commitment of those involved
to playing their role at specific times. Nursery plants delivered too late by
the forestry service, villagers planting huge fields with banana or other trees
without understanding the required maintenance, villagers disputing mid-
project over which work is to be done by which family, donors paying for
planting and disappointed when upkeep does not continue voluntarily, are all
common types of complaints in projects gone sour. This is especially true of
village projects where, as mentioned before, women were not consulted, but
their labor was necessary for the success of the project. Successful management
agreement planning requires dialogue between all parties having any responsi-
bilities during the project period. Any agency, agent, government service,
outside group, as well as local participants, who are expected to have an input
in building a road, installing a pump, providing plants or tools, providing labor,
etc., during the entire life of the project should agree to and sign a time
scheduled plan. A structure should be made to bring pressure upon all parties
to respect this agreement but at the same time allow for flexibility needed to
assure the success of the goals. For instance, a spokesman for a participating
local group could be named, and lines of communication set up, for contacting
- 49 -
the forestry service to remind them the delivery date for seedlings, etc.
In case of break down of local communications, a direct method for participants
or local leaders to appeal to the donor agency might be established. This
would be particularly helpful for women who may have no political power or
established communication network with outside groups.
From the beginning of the project design, participants should be
aware of the potential range of benefits and risks. Keeping these in mind as
well as the long and short term goals of the project, participants should arrive
at a fair and desirable distribution of benefits. As part of the management
document the range of expected benefits should be described with details on
when they are to be obtained, in what manner, by whom, and how. Some projects
end in great disappointment or anger as project managers had been thinking of
re-investing the profits while participants had expected early personal benefits,
or as those who worked hard resented sharing benefits with those who had had
little input. These are problems to consider if some families leave and new ones
come in or local young adults marry and start new households. This is the part of
the management plan which will make clear what benefits women will receive
for what participation. If the project is a mixed community project, care should
be taken to see that participating women find it just.
- 50 -
Evaluation and Follow-up
Because community development with local participation is not static,
a blueprint model of project design would be undesirable. Flexibility must be
built into the original design to benefit from feedback evaluation. Here again,
though this is important for any type of community development, it is
especially important for the longer term forestry projects. The management plan should
describe how the project expects to meet the long and short term goals, when
evaluations are to be made, and how all concerned parties are to be represented.
Probably this will be done by a committee of representatives of the participant
group, technical agents, government, donor, or other interested parties. It
outlines channels of communication between appropriate structures or individuals
and procedures to follow if the committee feels the schedule is not producing
the desired goals and they wish to recommend a change. The evaluation should
contain an examination of how benefits affect the community and how they are distri-
buted, noting if the project is developing in a way to become self-sufficient after
outside funds have ceased. It could allow for the identification of potential
projects being generated from the successful implementation of the original plan.
Finally, it could look to see if the project is helping the community solve its
own problems in a way that it gains more control over its own future.
The appendix contains a suggested format for a Project Management Plan
which may be useful in project design.
- 51 -
Just as it .is important to have evaluation with feedback built into
a specific project design, it is most important to have feedback evaluations
to develop and improve our project designing and implementing capacity.
Currently all that is sure is that growing demands for forestry products are
putting an alarming strain on the environment and that forestry projects are
having an alarming rate of failure.
The new approach to include community participation is an attempt
to change the top-down approach in forestry and to enlist local support; to
have local residents participate in solving their local problems. The very need
to discuss women separately is an indication they have been consistently over-
looked. It is simply to make women as visible as any other members of the
community in relation to forestry. Because women are knowledgeable about
forestry products and community needs, and because they are apt to be the most
involved with forestry product use, their inclusion in forestry project planning
is essential to FLCD. But the steps to take to obtain this participation are not
This paper is an exploration of ideas on how to develop programs, while
recognizing the problems already identified by foresters and designers. It is
an attempt to formulate beginning steps for applying this new people focused
approach at the same time being sure women are included in the process. There
- 52 -
are many questions raised in this paper. Others will become evident when
designers start to examine specific projects, and still others will surface as
designs are implemented.
The next step is for everyone involved in FLCD projects including AID
personnel and consultants, local participants and host country foresters and
officials, and other donor and voluntary organizations to evaluate and document
successes and failures. Since there is no central office for this information, AID
should make a serious effort to distribute this information broadly. Only frcm
trying these and other ideas on an experimental basis, modifying and developing
new techniques, and working together, can developers and participants hope to
solve the problems in time.
Suggested Format for a
PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
This would include all participating members, not, for example,
just family heads if women and young people were expected to
have input. It might include or limit the possibility of adding others
wishing to become participants later because they see the
potential benefits more clearly, because they have moved into the
area, or because they are young people of the village who have
married and established new households. It might establish criteria
for participants so that there is a clear understanding of responsi-
bilities and a method of reclassifying those who fail to continue
fulfilling their responsibilities.
2. LONG AND IMMEDIATE TERM GOALS
This would not stop as many projects do with the number of trees
planted, or even the number of trees living, but would consider
the desired impact. For instance, the goals could be to make the
community, or a defined group of participants, self-sufficient in
home cooking fuel wood in X number of years by planting and
maintaining X hectares of X (species) trees each year for X years.
This way if the goal of self-sufficiency for fuel wood appeared to be
in risk of failure because of increased requirements, etc. steps
could be taken to increase the area planted or the species might
be changed, etc. If, on the other hand, the introduction of
modified cooking stoves reduced the demand for fue the species
could be substituted for those that produce fruit, charcoal making
could be introduced, extra wood could be sold, or the project modified
in other ways. If different groups or agencies have different goals these
might also be expressed here.
- 54 -
3. DESCRIPTION OF PROTECT
This will include an elaboration of step 2 telling how it is to be
carried out and establishing a timeframe.
4. PROTECT SITE
This would be a description of the site chosen, how it is to be
used, and any time or other limitations on its use. It is to be
signed by anyone who is giving up rights to the land, those
responsible for distributing land, and those who will participate
in its use.
5. START-UP AND MAINTENANCE
This section would describe needed inputs, identify who is
responsible, and establish a time schedule identifying inputs
required at a specific time and those that are continuing
responsibilities. For example, repair of a water pump may be
under the direction of the government water service or a local
repair man. If a working pump is necessary for project success
then the party who is responsible for its upkeep and repair
should be part of the discussion of participant expectations and
acknowledge their role if they take on this responsibility.
This part of the plan might be written in a schedule format and
copied in a large well displayed schedule to remind participants of
steps to be followed. If responsibilities are by group, such as
all male participants are to prepare the soil in April, a represent-
ative of the male group could sign that part and be responsible for
reminding others when it is time to start. This would be signed
by any party or representatives of any agency or group with labor,
money or material input expected during the life of the project
such as the forestry service agreeing to supervise planting or to
deliver X number of seedlings at a specific time.
Time Input Party
6. BENEFIT DISTRIBUTION
A. Range of potential benefits (considering possible risks).
B. Formula for benefit division including the time framework
(who, when,what how).
- 55 -
This will be signed by participants and others responsible for
the development of the project and for benefit distribution. It
will often be important that the forestry service, chiefs, or others
who participants fear might want to intervene or appropriate some
of the benefits sign, though they themselves are not supposed to
be involved in the benefit sharing. This may strengthen participant
confidence as well as their actual ability to retain ultimate control
7. EVALUATION FORMULA
A. Identification of an evaluation committee.
B. Description of when evaluations are to be made.
C. Description of how the report is to be made, and by and
D. Formula for how the goals are judged to be reached, an evalu-
ation as to whether all parties are up-to-date on their inputs,
and an evaluation as to whether benefits are being distributed
E. Prescribed procedure if there are complaints by participants
or others, if the evaluation committee feels the program is
missing its goals, or for any reason needs to be changed,
or if agencies or participants, etc. are not fulfilling their
part of the contract.
- 56 -
Argal, P., 1978. "Role of Wood Energy in the Rural Economy of India."
Paper presented at the Eighth World Forestry Congress, Jakarta,
Indonesia. October, 1978.
Brokensha, David and Bernard Riley, 1978. "Forest, Foraging, Fences and
Fuel in a Marginal Area of Kenya. Paper for USAID Africa Bureau
Firewood Workshop, Washington, D.C., June, 1978.
Benge, Michael D. "School Gardens, Animal Husbandry, and Nursery
Projects. Viet Nam: International Voluntary Service.
Carr, Marilyn, 1978. "Appropriate Technology for African Women."
C.E.S.A.O., 1977. "Projet-Test de Plantations Villageoises d'Arbres
dans la Sous-Prefecture de Kombissiri. Bobo Dioulasso, Upper
Chaney, Elsa, Emmy Simmons, and Kathleen Staudt, 1979. "Women in
Development" in Background Papers for the United States Delegation,
World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, FAO,
Rome. Working Group on WCARRD. Washington, D.C.: Agency for
C.I.L.S.S. 1979. "Grandes lignes de la Strategie du Programme revise de
satisfaction des besoins de la population en products forestiere et de
lutte centre la desertification." Reunion de 1'equipe Ecologie et Forets.
Niamey, Niger, June, 1979.
Development Alternatives Incorporated, 1975. "Strategies for Small Farmer
Development: An Empirical Study of Rural Development Projects."
Vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: USAID.
Dulansey, Maryanne, 1979. "Can Technology Help Women Feed their
Families? Paper for the AAAS Workshop on Women and Development,
Washington, D.C. March, 1979.
Eckholm, Erik, 1979. "Planting for the Future: Forestry for Human Needs."
Worldwatch Paper 26. Washington, D.C.: Worldwatch Institute.
- 57 -
Ernst, Elizabeth, 1978. "Fuel Consumption Among Rural Families in
Upper Volta, West Africa." Paper for Eighth World Forestry
Congress, Jakarta, Indonesia, October, 1978.
F.A.O., 1977. "Report on the Third FAO/SIDA Expert Consultation on
Forestry for Local Community Development." Semarang,
Indonesia. December, 1977.
F.A.O., 1978. "Forestry for Local Community Development." FAO Forestry
Paper No. 7. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Freeman, Peter, 1979. "Deforestation and the Use and Conservation of
Forests and Woody Vegetation; Policy and Program Considerations."
Draft Report, U.S.A.I.D. July, 1979.
Kunkle, S.H. and A. J. Dye, 1979. "The Effects of Forest Clearing on Soils
and Sedimentation. Paper for the Conference on Agricultural
Hydrology and Watershed Management in the Tropics, International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadon, Nigeria, November, 1979.
Muzava, E. M., 1977. "Village Afforestation in Dodma District." (Tanzania).
FAO Second Expert Consultation on Forestry for Community
Development, June, 1977.
Peace Corps, 1979. "Notes of the 1978 Peace Corps Forestry Conference,
Niamey, Niger. Office of Programming and Training Coordination
Information Collection and Exchange, Peace Corps: Niamey, Niger.
Poulsen, G. "Man and Tree in Tropical Africa." 1978. Paper IDRC No. 101e.
Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Centre.
Shah, S.A., 1978. "People's Participation in Forestry for Community
Development in India." Paper for the Eighth World Forestry Congress.
Jakarta, Indonesia, October, 1978.
Spears, John S., 1978. "The Changing Emphasis in World Bank Lending.
A Summary of Recent Experiences and Problem Areas of Relevance
to the Eighth World Forestry Congress Sessions Concerned with
'Forestry for Rural Communities.'" Paper for the Eighth World
Forestry Congress. Jakarta, Indonesia. October, 1978.
- 58 -
Tinker, Irene, 1979. "New Technologies for Food Chain Activities."
In Impact of Technology Change on Women. AAAS Symposium Vol.;
Ulinski, Carol, and John Earhart. Peace Corps Forestry Policy Paper.
USAID, 1979. Airgram on Village Firewood Production and Other Cooking
Fuels. AFR/DR/SDP. 7/3/79
Weber, Fred, 1977. "Reforestation in Arid Lands." VITA Publications
Manual 37E. VITA: Washington, D.C.
Weber, Fred and Maryanne Dulansey, 1978. "Midpoint Evaluation Chad
Reforestation Project." Washington, D.C.: CARE, Inc.
World Bank, 1978. "Forestry Sector Policy Paper." Washington, D.C.: