Widespread events of cork oak mortality are disturbing the system and jeopardizing cork production. This research combined techniques to analyze in detail these events on a small scale. To understand the dynamics of cork oak mortality and the factors associated with it, a diachronic study was performed in two farms located in Évora, Portugal. The case studies were two nearby farms suffering from tree dieback since 2000. Aerial images of the area, taken in 2004 and 2012, were processed with GIS in order to detect dead trees and to calculate tree crown cover. Slope and aspect were obtained through cartographic and topographic maps. The intersection of those maps resulted in polygons with unique values for those characteristics. Mortality index and tree crown cover were calculated for each one of them. Maps of the kernel density of tree mortality were generated to select key spots for pests and diseases field survey. Detection of soil pathogens was performed using baiting method and molecular analyses. The analysis showed that both farms had the same predisposing and inciting factors associated with tree decline, such as the soilborne Phytophthora cinnamomi, sunlight exposure or soil disking. However, the relative importance of each factor varied among farms. As a result, the dieback processes also differed, despite their similarity regarding mortality intensity. The diachronic approach associated with field survey resulted in a better comprehension of the tree dieback on a small scale and proved its usefulness in future decision-making regarding tree mortality mitigation.
Over the past decade, the world has observed a major growth in the development of forest plantations. Despite the considerable number of studies that have been undertaken to examine the impact of forest plantation development, there has been relatively little investigation of the economic impact of plantations. Lao People’s Democratic Republic (hereafter Lao PDR or Laos) has implemented policies to expand plantations based on their contribution to economic development. This paper examines the economy-wide impact of forest plantation development in Laos using a recursive dynamic computable general equilibrium model. Analysis focused on the Government of Laos’ forest policies to promote the development of forest plantation by the year 2020. Simulation results show that this forestry policy is likely to have a positive impact on the Lao economy by increasing the production of forestry and forestry related industries and by stimulating exports and household income. Impacts are more significant for the forestry and forest-related sectors. Despite prompting a relatively higher growth in the production of various other industries, some undesirable impacts are also likely on sectors that do not have strong interactions with the forestry sector. The results also indicate that the government tax revenue is likely to experience some growth.
The existing exact optimization techniques for spatially constrained harvest scheduling problems under area restriction are unable to solve spatial aggregation issues that involve the creation of a set of clusters with lower and upper bounds by size. These bounds are necessary to meet one of Japanese local forestry practices for forming “Danchi”, as a size specific cluster. This paper develops a new model to frame aggregation of forest units bounded by size of clusters for “Danchi” over a forest landscape. The proposed model interprets a forest map as a flow channel or network, then utilizes the concept of maximum flow problem to seek an optimal set of size-bounded clusters over a forest landscape. Computational experiments were conducted to demonstrate how size-bounded clusters were formed and allocated using one hypothetical forest map with 200 forest units as well as a real forest map with 462 units from Kochi prefecture in Japan. The results of the experiments showed that the proposed model is efficient to resolve spatial aggregation issues to form “Danchi” with different sets of bounds by size for Japanese local forestry practices.
Forest resource utilization has been extensively promoted in recent years to encourage forest resource conservation and socioeconomic development. However, the degree of involvement of local people in forest resource utilization varies between communities and between countries, depending on social and policy conditions. To address these concerns, this study compares the involvement of local people in forest utilization in two different communities; Komono, Japan and Desa Taman Jaya, Indonesia. The study explored the involvement of local people in forest resource utilization by analyzing data on benefits accrued from forests, local values, and forest management through the lens of local people. Data for this study was collected by interviewing targeted members of the communities and by sending questionnaires to randomly selected members in both communities. The study affirmed that there are differences in the levels of community involvement in forest utilization in the two communities. Limited access to forest resources and low educational levels are the cause of heavy dependence on forest resources in Desa Taman Jaya. The reverse is true in Komono, where local people are less dependent on forest resources. One take away from this study is that policy makers can increase local involvement in forest resource utilization by promoting the use of non-timber forest products and ecotourism. Another take away from this study is to consider the concerns of local people through the lens of background knowledge such as age, gender, and education levels, when designing programs to encourage local involvement in forest utilization.
Timber production and processing have the potential to significantly contribute to the economic development in “low-income” countries such as Lao PDR, which have suitable land and access to markets. Processing investment can include smaller-scale furniture or veneer manufacturing or large-scale, capital-intensive industries, such as pulp and paper production. A 300,000 tonne/yr bleached hardwood kraft pulp mill has recently been constructed in Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR and began operation in 2018. The pulp mill represents a potentially significant contribution to both regional and national economies and has changed the plantation wood market environment in Laos. To date, there has not been an investigation of the full economic impact of a pulp mill, and the potential flow-on benefits to the regional and national economy. This paper examines the impact of this mill on provincial and national economies using an input-output modelling approach. Input-output models provide a framework for analysis of the inter-relationships between sectors within an economy. The modelled scenario was a dramatic change in the wood industry sector exports due to the products from this pulp mill. Regional level analysis revealed that the gross outputs for all sectors of the economy are likely to increase by 39% (an equivalent of US$ 294 million), largely due to the impact of the pulp mill on demand from wood industry sector and other related sectors. The greatest beneficiaries from the mill are industries in other countries which purchase and use the pulp. At the national level, the gross production output of the national economy would increase by 2.3% (US$ 351 million). Currently, the log raw material for the mill is mostly coming from plantations in neighbouring Vietnam and Thailand. There is considerable potential for timber plantations on degraded land in Laos, that would greatly enhance the economic contribution of the mill to the local community. Increasing sustainable timber production from plantations in Laos needs enforcement of forestry and other laws, and supporting policies, guidelines and codes of practices relating to planted forests to ensure that forest processing industries are environmentally responsible and consistent with international best-practice standards.