This study aimed to examine the relationship between the ecosystem services of pollination offered by native honey bees (Apis cerana) and the distance to natural forests (as an indicator of landscape structure) in hyuganatsu (Citrus tamurana) orchards in Aya Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. Two statistical models were developed to predict the number of visits of native honey bees to hyuganatsu tree. The area-distaince model (AD-model) considered the area of natural forests and distance from natural forests and the area model (A-model) considered the total area of the surrounding natural forests, and the results of the two models were compared. The estimated parameters of both models suggested a positive effect of natural forests on pollination services. Further, the estimated effect of the landscape structure of the AD-model was greater than that of the A-model. These results suggested that the distance to natural forests is an important landscape factor for evaluating pollination services by native honey bees.
Recently, the use of forest roads for recreational activities has been increasing. High scenic quality is considered important to visitors. Therefore, the visual quality of the roadside is one of the important aspects in managing forest roads in addition to the functioning and durability for slope stabilization. However, knowledge about public’s visual preferences for different roadside management is scarce, even if it is important knowledge for designing slope greening in order to balance the function and aesthetic quality. In this study, we conducted an interview survey to explore public visual preferences towards various roadside solutions in Okinawa, Japan, which is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination. A total of 143 survey responses were received and the non-parametric analyzes (chi-square test, gamma coefficient) were applied to examine the effect of socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, marital status, employment status, income level, education level, birthplace, and the current residential place) on their preferences. Our results show that the public’s favorite roadside scenery is a forest vegetation without any visible man-made structures. The preferences for some slope greening and stabilization interventions depend on the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondent. Results from the responses reveal that visual quality on slopes of forest roads is highly important, but the “safety” is even more crucial.
Designing a corridor network for biodiversity concerns within forest landscape can be handled as a land-use allocation problem within an integer programming framework. In reality, a given landscape is often disturbed by manmade roads or water channels, which can transform the landscape into fragmented forest islands. In this paper, we propose a systematic modeling approach to explore the optimal corridor network for a non-contiguous forest landscape, characterized by several forest islands. Our approach first identifies if any separated forest islands exist as subgroups of landscape connection, and then looks for an optimal corridor network within each forest island or subgroup if any exist. We adapt the idea of maximum flow problems to identify forest islands, and then seek an optimal corridor in each forest island using integer programming. For demonstrative purposes, we conduct a computational experiment of our modeling approach using part of an existing forest landscape in Vietnam.
Community based home-stay tourism (CBHST) has been promoted by the provincial government of Gandaki in recent years for the socioeconomic benefit it provides to the local people in Nepal. However, the degree of involvement of local people in community based home-stay tourism varies between different localities and districts of the province, depending on the natural and cultural attractions, and hospitality practices in the host communities. This study discusses the local participation, benefit sharing and the practices to preserve culture and nature based tourism products. The study explores the involvement of local people in home-stay tourism by analyzing the data collected using face to face interview with a targeted home-stay operators and members of the home-stay management committee. The study reveals that local people are actively involved in the operating and benefit sharing of CBHST, hence it is an appropriate ecotourism model for local involvement and promote rural tourism based on local skills, knowledge and resources.
We investigated how commercial tree plantations under Lao forest restoration plan toward 2035, influence socio-economic conditions of household. We also seek to calculate environmental income of rural households in Laos. The questionnaire survey was conducted at two villages (Ban Hinheup and Ban Thoulakhom) from Vientiane province (the central) and two villages (Ban Luangnamtha and Ban Viengphoukha) from Luangnamtha Province (the north). Our survey results showed that the economies of the two study villages in central Laos relied moderately on cash and subsistence value of the environment while this only contributed slightly to the other two villages in the north. Villagers around the plantation concession boundary in the plantation village tends to receive benefits from tree plantations while the richest households from Ban Thoulakhom obtained a major proportion of their total household income from rice and livestock production. Several farmers in study area select eucalypt and/or rubber species, which offer profitable and sustainable land-use choices. Our results also revealed that perception towards the effects of Eucalyptus plantation tends to differ from those towards rubber plantations. Rubber plantations in Luangnamtha Province were found to have a higher economic contribution to local livelihoods, but Eucalyptus plantations were perceived to have a less negative environmental impact and could provide more opportunity for local farmers to either inter-crop their annual crops in the plantations or obtain income from the plantation employment activities. Given the rapidly dynamic policies, executing complex policy change needs sustained effort, and the related state organisations need to be pro-actively involved in dialogue with industries and the communities to be more effective. Future policy options for sustainable planted forest development in Laos should ensure that commercial forest plantations offer the pathway for economic, environmental, and social benefits for rural communities.