A Few Thoughts....

Ranjan S Muttiah muttiah at stable.ecn.purdue.edu
Sun May 17 15:37:44 EST 1992

In article <1992May17.135114.12355 at vax5.cit.cornell.edu> ktsj at vax5.cit.cornell.edu writes:
>This newsgroup doesn't seem to get much action.  Is there just nobody working
>in agroforestry?  Or is it that there is not a lot to be said?  

Or that not many people in ag. and forestry have access to this newsgroup...

>One interesting facet of agroforestry, which is not dealt with enough
>is the fact that while increasing the value of deforested land, good
>agroforestry practices could and do contribute to the improved living standards
>of rural people of the world.  I lived in a rural community in the coast of
>Ecuador for two years.  Trees are indeed valued by the people.  They provide
>the only source of cooking fuel, they provide shade fothe crops which needed
>it, they provide a lotf different types of fruit, etc...  Probably the most imp
>important role of the trees in the community is for firewood (fuelwood).  This
>is a fact of life that people need the wood for food, but there was no
>re-forestation projects in place or going to be put in place within the next
>few years.  

If the people depend on those forests for their income, then the burden
somewhat falls on them to preserve their income base.  Presuming that
the forests would rejuvenate within the time frame of a generation
(that is also high in number) on its own would not be a good idea.
It would be for the inhabitants to value the forests (as sources
of income) and then they would have an incentive to start reforestration
programs.  The forced help from outside agencies has been tried over the 
years without much success.  I think many of these agencies have now
come to realize the importance of self-reliance.

>	It seems that until "we" (humankind) are able to percieve an
>environment which utilises all of the natural resources in a complimentary
>manner, then we will continue to decimate our land, water and air.  Who can
>really tell how much more we can afford to pretend that we have been allowed an
>unlimited resource base?

Actually, if you see many of the indigenous populations they _did_ in fact
know how to recognize this complementarity:  interspersing productive crops
with natural growth, cutting down forests piecemeal and then moving to
a distant location and so on.  But numerous is the "modern man" as well as
less willing to be mobile.  It would be hard to sell, but hopefully at
least the knowledge that the indigenous people had of the land should be
preserved somehow (in case it becomes useful again) !

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