Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
The Law on Belgian International Cooperation of 19th May 1999 assesses the relevance of development on the basis of six principles: strengthening institutional and management capabilities; social and economic impact; technical and financial viability; effectiveness of the planned implementation procedure; focus on equality between men and women; and respect for protection and safeguarding of the environment.
Wannes Hubau’s study scores on five out of these six basic principles (only the fourth is less apparent). This the Belgian researcher has achieved by putting himself in the local researcher’s situation both mentally and physically.
Hubau began with a thorough study of the literature on the topic but the set-up of his research was also meticulously documented.
The overexploitation of forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been a matter of concern from as early as the 1950s. In order to maintain wood stocks at an acceptable level the Colonial State decided on large-scale artificial regeneration in and around the specially-created Luki Reserve.
The studied plantations, which cover an area of 11,000 hectares and are now sixty years old, are one of the oldest documented limba plantings in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have a high scientific value and so attract the attention of both Congolese and international researchers. Both the local population and project developers must be convinced of the value of this high-potential species. The use of indigenous species, of which limba is one, also has the advantage of their being adapted to habitat and climate.
Felling a species at the optimum moment can contribute to a more sustainable management of natural resources. This research has, moreover, an exemplary function, showing the local population that well managed plantations can ensure an extra source of income. The results of this thesis are encouraging for this tree species, for it can become a valuable resource in a short space of time. Its potential for use as a veneer wood is also promising. In summary it can be stated that new limba plantations are recommended in local reforestation projects.
report: G. Schueremans, Head of the Latin America & Asia Department, Directorate-General for Development Cooperation, Brussels, Belgium