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Gombe, France

Peltier R.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Dubiez E.,Projet Makala | Diowo S.,Projet Makala | Gigaud M.,University of Orleans | And 5 more authors.
Bois et Forets des Tropiques | Year: 2014

Human impacts on natural tropical forests in Central Africa are to a large extent linked to shifting cultivation and fuelwood extraction in peri-urban areas. This is especially true around the city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is why research was conducted in 2010 by the Makala Project in the city's fuelwood supply basin. The aims were to adapt and test Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR), improve slash-andburn crop systems and contribute to the enrichment of forest fallows. Prior to slashing and burning, useful trees were selected for protection. Then, during cropping, the germination and multiplication of stump shoots and root suckers from existing local forest species were promoted by selective weeding, thinning, and pruning. Monitoring of the test areas found low survival rates for old trees conserved before the land was slashed and burned, due to the difficulty of controlling the fires. This means that the technique can only be used for the edges of plots, by gradually enriching hedgerows. In contrast, stumps shoots and root suckers from natural forest species protected by ANR during agricultural weeding grew rapidly inside the plots, thus rapidly establishing woody fallows without the need for costly inputs or heavy labour. In 2014, three and a half years after slashing and burning, biodiversity and biomass in these fallows is greater than in non-ANR fallows. Better charcoal and crop productivity and a slower rate of forest transition into savannah are expected. However, social acceptance, a critical factor in the large-scale dissemination of this innovation, must be investigated in the light of potential developments in traditional and modern land tenure rights. Source

Dubiez E.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Yamba Yamba T.,Projet Makala | Mvolo B.,Projet Makala | Freycon V.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development
Bois et Forets des Tropiques | Year: 2014

Slash-and-burn cultivation, firewood production and the lack of forest ecosystem management are the main factors of the degradation and gradual transformation of these village lands into savannah. Around the village of Kinduala, these factors have accentuated erosion of its soils. They are also causing local communities to change their cropping methods as their woodlands gradually disappear and are replaced by savannah crops. The aim of this study was to characterise perceptions of soils (typology and evolution) among farmers in a Batandu village community. During the study, two village meetings were organised, 36 surface soil samples were taken, 25 physico-chemical analyses were conducted and a soil profile was investigated. When observing the surface soil layer, the Batandu distinguished between four soil horizons (kanga, kibuma, nzielo and kiniengi) according to colour and texture and how easily they could be worked. The preferred soils for crops were the kibuma and kiniengi types. The Batandu are aware of changes in the surface layers of their soils that are due to cultivation and rain. However, they do not clearly perceive changes in their soils at greater depths, or how these changes are linked to ongoing soil erosion. Through this study, we were able to identify local knowledge and its limitations and to develop a diagram of soil erosion processes. To slow down erosion, improved cultivation practices will need to be incorporated into simple management plans developed by the local communities to supplement reforestation and agro-forestry plantations of Acacia auriculiformis. Source

Vermeulen C.,University of Liege | Dubiez E.,Projet Makala | Proces P.,Projet Makala | Mukumary S.D.,Projet Makala | And 5 more authors.
Biotechnology, Agronomy and Society and Environment | Year: 2011

Peri-urban forests are under strong anthropic pressure. Any activity needs a previous identification of stakeholders, landscapeperception, socio-economic trends in local communities and their relationships with land and natural resources. Kinshasa(capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) is a 10 millions inhabitants city with rapid growth and increasing impactson surrounding villages linked with forest natural resources. This paper describes the relationship amongst local communitiesstakeholders and their relations with land areas and wood resources. Two areas surrounding Kinshasa (Bas-Congo and BatekePlateaux) are considered as major fuel-wood and charcoal supply zones for the city. Those two areas are different in terms ofland pressure (very high in Bas-Congo and focused on riparian forests on Bateke Plateaux), but show the same pattern of overuseof the forest and woody natural resources. In both areas, local management of forest resources by the traditional authorities(heads of village or lineage) has failed. Local population willingness for reforestation and forest restoration activities is muchmore important in Bas-Congo than on Bateke Plateaux. In both areas, shifting cultivation due to slash and burn practices foragricultural and charcoal practices are more and more quick. This has strong negative impact on the potential of regenerationprocess with local forest species. Sustainability of forest natural resources management by communities is discussed in regardto the on going negotiations on community based forest management regulations. Source

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