Smallholder and community interest in planting trees to supply essential products and services is high in areas where local forest resources have been harvested or access is limited. Smallholders are commercially focused hence the species of interest are often those with high market value so they can be used for local as well as commercial purposes. The market value of the trees from these woodlots will depend on the quality of the end-products, which in turn is dependent on woodlot management effects on tree growth and form. Inadequate establishment and silvicultural management of these woodlots is widespread and leads to low quality trees and low yields. The effect is two-fold, namely a reduction in the products available for local use and sale, and diminished interest in continuing tree planting. Many of the practical issues of woodlot management can be addressed through targeted extension, although in PNG and many other developing countries extension services are severely limited. This paper reports a study of the use of a participatory approach to extension by engaging with lead smallholder farmers, becoming known locally as enumerators. The approach included targeted training and participatory demonstration plantings, but also smallholder engagement in inventory operations. The engagement in inventory activities was seen to provide the enumerators with insight into the outcomes of various woodlot management approaches. This paper explores the variation in effectiveness of enumerators to perform inventory activities, the utility of the inventory data to quantify woodlot performance, and the effect of the participatory inventory approach on enumerators' understanding of the outcomes of management methods and their capacity to play an informal extension role within their communities.
IUFRO Research Group 3.08 Small-scale Forestry Conference, Sunshine Coast, Australia 11-15 October 2015
Small-scale and Community Forestry and the Changing Nature of Forest Landscapes, Proceedings from the IUFRO Research Group 3.08 Small-scale Forestry Conference / Meadows, John, Harrison, Steve R, Herbohn, John (eds): pp.196-205