Monday, August 28, 2006

Forestry and Environmental Science
B.Sc. (Special) Part II

Anuradha Vanniarachchi
Rachitha Silva
Sumudhu Priyadarshika
Chamari Heenetigala
HMAB Herath

Community Forestry in Nepal

Rachitha Silva

The people of Nepal are heavily reliant on subsistence agriculture and Forests are an integral part of the agriculture and lives of them. The concept of community forestry is primarily focused on encouraging and contributing to support rural livelihoods in terms of fuel timber for housing, fuel wood, and fodder for stock and leaf litter for composting among many other things.

The forest regulations were revised with community forestry concepts and role of the Govt. has changed from project implementer to promoter and facilitator, while the Forest User Groups (FUG) to be the new implementer of projects. So far, about 1million ha of forest (18% of total forest cover) are being managed by 13, 238 FUGs involving about 1.5 million house holds, which includes about 28% of the total population by year 2004.

The FUG managed Forests are growing and improving value of the resources. Forestry Development activities are carried out voluntarily by the users. The CF program brought a big contribution, not only in environment conservation, meeting basic needs and economic development. CF has contributed mainly to the improvement of forest condition and people's livelihoods in three ways; Capital formation in rural communities, Policy and governance reform of various organizations and agencies, Contribution in the process of community empowerment and social change.

There are many unresolved issues and challenges in all areas of capital as well as governance. The SWOT analysis provides more in-depth details of Community forestry programs in Nepal.

Selection and Field Establishment of Tree Crops for Large Scale Plantations in Wet, Dry and Intermediate Zones of Sri Lanka

Rachitha Silva

Large-scale forest tree planting in Sri Lanka started in late 1950's and till December 1998 has covered about 140,000 ha of forest plantations belonging to the Forest Department. The main plantation species are Teak, Eucalypts (Eucalyptus grandis), and Mahogany etc. Most of the fuel wood, miscellaneous hardwood and teak plantations are located in the Dry zone. Eucalypts and Pine plantations are mostly in the up country Wet zone. Mahogany plantations are situated in Intermediate and Wet zone. Current emphasis is on indigenous hardwoods, like Nedun while planting of Pines is banned and Eucalypts is being planted only on a very limited scale.

The selection of a tree crop depends on; the purpose of intended plantation, the potential species available for planting, the site qualities, Silvicultural and economic factors. The purpose of plantation is a policy decision of Government arising from a domestic need. After determining the purpose, the choice of species is narrowed. If a native species meets the need, there is no reason to choose an exotic, if not exotics have to be introduced. Species and provenance trials have to be carried out before establishment of plantation. The site qualities play a major role in Genotype x Environment interactions. The site qualities like climate, soil, physiographic and biotic factors affect the growth at different sites. Silvicultural factors include silvicultural systems, ecological requirements of species etc. Economical factors include demand and supply, Relative costs and returns.

Field establishment of a selected species involve several steps like surveying, site preparation, planting, maintenance and tending operation. Field establishment techniques of several plant species for Dry and Intermediate zone (Teak, Mahogany), Up country (Eucalyptus microcorys) and Low country Wet zone (Nedun) have been discussed.

Planting of Trees in Saline Soils

H.M.A.B. Herath

Soil salinity is the oldest soil pollution problem. The collapse the Babylonian empire is considered to be partly the result, of failure of irrigated crops due to the accumulation of salt. The problem is primarily associated with arid and semi-arid regions of the world, where there is an insufficient rain to leach out the soluble salts.

Three billion hectares of land have been affected by soil salinity in the world. In Europe twenty million hectares of land is affected due to this purpose in Sri Lanka, such salt affected soil is found along the coastal zone an extent of 223,000 hectares have been affected. This is about 3 percent of the total land area of the Island. Several natural and artificial factors influence the development of soil salinity. It provides unfavourable conditions for plant growth. Saline soils can be categorized as saline soil and saline alkali soil (sodic soil). Sodic soils are more detrimental for plant growth than saline soils. Good soil processing is critical for plant growth in saline soils. Therefore soil reclamation methods should be applied for eradicating soil salinity. Salinity of soil can be reduced by applying chemical, physical and biological methods. Another important factor is the choice of suitable plant species. The selected species should be adapted to saline conditions. The most suitable salt tolerant species include Eucalypts and Acacia species.

After establishment of plants, proper silvicultural practices and good maintenance are essential for development of a good plantation.

Environmental Pollution and its Mitigation Measures of the Shrimp Farming Industry

Rachitha silva

The current shrimp aquaculture industry in Sri Lanka is concentrated in the North Western coastal belt covering a farm area of more than 4,500 ha with 1,344 farm establishments. The major components of the shrimp industry include shrimp post larvae production (hatcheries), shrimp farming, Shrimp processing and Shrimp feed manufacturing. Many Environmental Impacts are occurring due to haphazard development of farms in Environmental sensitive areas, such as Mangroves and Salt marshes. The following Environmental impacts and their mitigation measures are discussed in this paper; Destruction of Wetlands for construction of ponds, Salt water intrusion, Effluents, chemicals & OM in waste water, Sedimentation of lagoons and other water bodies, “Biological pollution” of native shrimp stocks, Spreading of diseases.

Shrimp farming was practiced using an open system of operation in earthen ponds until white spot virus in 1996 and yellow head virus in 1998 caused serious economic losses in the industry. Following these outbreaks of diseases, the industry has developed closed and semi-closed production systems as well as fully recirculated systems.

The institutional support for the minimizing environmental impacts and implementation of mitigation measures are given by the Shrimp Farms Extension and Monitoring Unit (SFEMU) of the NAQDA, which was established to monitor and regulate the industry with the participation of both private and public sectors. The following activities have been undertaken by the NAQDA; Zoning, Formation of Shrimp Farm Associations, Authorization and licensing of hatcheries, Replanting mangroves, Conducting awareness programs on Good Aquaculture Practices (GAP), Implementation of crop calendar.

Economic Evaluation of Energy Externalities

H.M.A.B. Herath

Externalities arise due to failures in market, policy or institutions. Externalities exist when economic transactions between two or more parties result in an impact on a third party, who is not involved in the transaction.

Economic evaluation of energy systems strongly depends on four factors; Capital cost, Maintenance cost, Fuel cost, External cost. Fuel and external costs are sensitive to fuel type & efficiency of the used system. Economic parameters like discount rates, inflation and escalation rates deeply affect the evaluation. Most of the external costs related to energy sector have been evaluated.

Some of the following externalities have not been evaluated in Sri Lankan context. Socio-economic externalities such as, Indigenous knowledge loss, Loss of traditional cultivations, Biological externalities such as algal blooms, Physical externalities such as Encroachments in the catchment areas have not been evaluated.

Contingent valuation method can be adopted and IK conservation program can be hypothetically established in order to evaluate the WTP of people for the conservation of IK. The productivity change method can be used in evaluating loss of traditional cultivations. Travel cost method can be used to evaluate the depletion of recreational value of cultural and biologically valuable places.
Some externalities related with ecosystems are hard to monetized as these are uncertain and are long term externalities. E.g. Severe damage to an ecosystem

Benefit- transfer method can be used to evaluate issues which have been already evaluated in other countries.

Externalities can be reduced by adopting sustainable energy sources like wind or solar power and the capital costs can be covered by incentives provided to CDM projects. To reduce the externality costs, the power plant can be established in a remote area.

Plan for the development of Wooden Items sector in Sri Lanka

Rachitha silva

The production of various wooden items targets the local as well as global export market. These products include wooden toys, sport goods and educational items for children, Household items, Figurines, Sculpture and Masks, Parquet floorings and ceilings. Especially the Wooden toy industry in Sri Lanka is an established industry with over 50 exporters and over US $ 71 million annual exports. Comparatively the consumption of raw material per unit of wooden item is much less than for furniture and other products. Most of these products are value added products and the value addition depends on the design, method of production and quality of the final product. Some of the main issues in this sector were identified in FSMP, 1995 and some of the work has been done according to the FSMP.

The deregulation of laws has a beneficial impact on WBI since 2005. Most of the WBI utilizing Rubber wood blame that they are in danger due to unpredictable wood supply as this sustained resource have been exploited by the Merbok MDF Lanka Ltd. Only few companies have adopted to use alternative timber species and FSC forest certification.

The methodology used to development plan preparation is the Log frame approach, which is a matrix that discusses the goal, purpose, activities and inputs in horizontal rows and narrative summary, indicators, means of verification and risks/assumptions in columns.

The goal of this plan is Development of Wooden items sector in Sri Lanka to be a significant and reliable supplier to local and global markets. This goal is achieved for three purposes; improve the utilization of available timber resources, increase exports of wooden items, increase productivity of Wooden Items Industry. The relevant log frame is discussed in this paper.

Economic Evaluation of Agrochemical Externalities

Rachitha Silva

Assessing the true costs and benefits of pesticide use is much more complicated than for technologies such as fertilizer application or new crop varieties. Most of impacts may take many years to emerge and even longer to be quantified. This future cost to sustainability of production systems through current pesticide use is not included in standard cost-benefit analyses.

Reliance on pesticides as the main control strategy is not only unsustainable, but also extracts penalties in terms of human and environmental health. Externalities result in economic costs which are not reflected in the price of pesticides and there is therefore no direct market incentive for users to change their pest control practice to reduce these costs. Only since the early 1990s some researchers tried to estimate some of these external costs.

Most of the present literature focuses primarily on human rather than environmental consequences of agrochemical usage, and the literature therefore concentrate on valuation of health effects on consumers and farmers. Travisi et al (2004) emphasize that this research are still suffers from a scarce communication with the environmental sciences and the environmental dimension of pesticide risk is still partly neglected in the literature.

Health risks associated with pesticide residues in fresh foods have been valued using contingent valuation method. There are several studies on valuation of reduction or ban of a pesticide using cost- benefit analysis. The organic farming products valuation has been more market-oriented and focuses on consumers WTP for residue free products. Only few studies have been done on hedonic pricing valuation, travel cost method and defensive expenditure method [Travisi et al (2004)]. The Environmental dimensions of pesticide risk are still partly neglected in the literature. This paper discusses about economic evaluation techniques that can be used to evaluate both positive and negative externalities related with agrochemical usage.