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.
Forest related research is often considered less relevant for the development than agricultural or medical research, because, apparently, it is less directly linked to food security or health. In reality, however, forest resources in terms of food production, energy supply for households and local crafts, and non wood forest products in general are providing an income for millions of people in the developing world and an insurance for survival in periods of food shortage, destabilisation, etc.
Especially in the forested humid tropics of countries like Gabon, development projects have shown a lack of understanding of the inextricable relationship between the forest ecosystem and the local communities. The authors of this dissertation, Jean-Noël Degeye and Frédéric Manigart, broke with this tradition and tried, by innovating techniques of inventory and participatory research, to observe and quantify the yield and natural resource management practices of a local community in the rain forest in terms of wood, agricultural crops, game, fisheries and other forest products, and, to identify its sustainability levels. The study reaches elements and tools to avoid or mitigate disturbances, which might disrupt the balance between the village and the forest and places every recommendation towards sustainability in a legal framework. The followed interdisciplinary approach can serve as an example for future sustainable forest resource management studies in the humid tropics.
report by Prof. Dr. B. Muys, Laboratory for forest, nature and landscape research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium