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Report, 2002

Inter-active and dynamic approaches on forest and land-use planning in Southern Africa



This document summarises the outcome of a regional training workshop, "Interactive and dynamic approaches on forest and land use planning in Southern Africa". It was organised in December 2001 by the government of Botswana in cooperation with organisations in Zimbabwe and South Africa and with Swedish financial and technical support. The workshop aimed at exposing the participants to new cross sector approaches on strategic forest and land use planning, including the Area Production Model (APM) and concept, and to provide a platform for possible future development work in this field. It concerned such issues as the role of planning in relation to policies and local development, information and data needs in planning, the use of scenario modelling in land use planning, how to narrow the gap between "planning from above" and "planning from below", and the roles and interaction of different stakeholders in the planning process. The workshop had been proposed by the participating countries following an international training programme on policy and strategy development in Sweden. The 18 participants from three countries included central and local government staff concerned with forest and land use planning at the national and sub-national level, researchers and NGOs. The workshop consisted of two weeks of lectures, seminars and field based case studies and a concluding seminar, in which the participants presented their experiences and conclusions about the APM concept to a broader group of decision makers. Some of the main conclusions drawn by the participants were that the APM was a useful tool for promoting dynamic and multi-sector planning. At the same time the Model has a number of technical shortcomings that needs to be addressed. Those shortcomings were identified and discussed throughout the workshop. The need to keep the model simple and transparent was acknowledged. It was proposed that "homes" should be identified for the model in each country. Those homes should build up and maintain capacity to develop and adapt the model to the local conditions and priorities. INTRODUCTION. The workshop "Interactive and dynamic approaches on forest and land-use planning in Southern Africa" was arranged in Botswana in December 2001. It aimed at exposing the participants to new cross sector approaches on strategic forest and land use planning, including the Area Production Model (APM), and to provide a platform for possible future development work in this field. The workshop was the concluding step of a process that had been running for several years. It provides important lessons on approaches to cross-sectoral land use planning in Southern Africa. The process started in 1998, when there were several participants from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe in an annual international course "Development of National Forest Policies and Strategies", organised by the Swedish National Board of Forestry and funded by Sida. Those participants strongly suggested that the Area Production Model, (APM), which had been demonstrated during the course, might be highly relevant in Southern Africa. As a response, the Country Capacity Building (CCB) project (a Sida funded project aiming at forest policy issues), set up a training programme in discussions with the three countries. As a first step, key personnel from the forest authorities in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, underwent a post­ graduate course at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Umea, Sweden. The course took place in March 2000 and was focused on the ideas and applications of the APM. In a second step, a workshop designated for a wider audience, including governmental as well as non­ governmental organisations, was planned for mid 2000. The workshop was originally intended to be a two-phase arrangement. The first phase to be arranged in Zimbabwe, focusing on model theory with only limited field work, and a second phase, were the participants would split up and work a realistic case in a designated study area in each of the three countries involved. Unfortunately, the political situation in Zimbabwe during spring 2000 made it necessary to postpone the workshop. About a year later, in spring 2001, it was agreed among the interested countries to move it to another country in the Region, after the Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana, had generously accepted to host the workshop. The two-phase design of the workshop was by now reduced to a single event, with the joint study-area around Serowe in the eastern part of Botswana. The APM is a simulation model developed by Professor Nils-Erik Nilsson in co-operation with FAO. The Model, including an application concept, has been further developed by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Forest Resource Management and Geomatics. The Swedish team of resource persons in the Botswana workshop have all been instrumental in the previous development work of the Model. The APM has been field tested on numerous occasions in South and Southeast Asia. This workshop, however, is the first occasion the model is used in Southern Africa. In spite of the simplicity and flexibility that characterises the model, the new setting was considered a major challenge when planning the workshop. The workshop results have given new and partly unexpected results in terms of both usefulness and applicability of the model. The Country Capacity Building project focuses on forest policy development. In modem terminology, nfp (national forest programmes) is a highly relevant term. Key strategies include support to demand driven processes, investment in human knowledge and, not least, a belief that personal commitment is as important for success as political commitments. On behalf of the organisers, I would like to thank the Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana, and the key­ persons from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Without their commitment and enthusiasm, the positive outcome of the workshop would not have been possible.


forest land; land use; planning; development policies

Published in

Arbetsrapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning
Publisher: Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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