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Participatory Forest Resource Assessment and the development of by nikeborome



 Development of a Participatory
  Forest Management Plan for
Customary and State Forest Areas

      A Guide for Frontline Staff

                              Version 1 – Oct 2007

For the this process the following applies;

Woody Products are timber, poles and firewood,
Non-Woody products are any products sourced from the forest not included above.
This guide has been developed to support frontline staff through the process of
developing a Participatory Forest Management Plan for state and customary forest
land. It covers the whole process from preparation through to monitoring
implementation activities. Within this guide there are, also, examples of product
use plans and an overall management plan which will help support the user of this
document in formulating final plans.
Within this guide there is also a section on area based harvesting. Utilising an area
based harvesting system is the simplest and most effective form of management
for the Miombo woodland that covers most of Malawi. When communities want to
harvest woody products they should plan their harvesting regimes using this
The guide has been developed as a result of a review process to analyse the
existing resource assessment process (Participatory Forest Management Planning;
Field Manual Version 2.1). The review process looked at how the present
Participatory Resource Assessment Process was being undertaken and the data
collected used. It was found that the process was too long and the data collected
was not being used in the development of management plans. This was especially
so in the identification of management regimes for utilisation of woody products.
The review was undertaken by members of the Forest Department with support
from the Improved Forest Management for Sustainable Livelihoods Programme
Technical Assistance Team (LTSI).
Although the review looked at the PFRA process, it is not possible to write a guide
on the reviewed resource assessment process without incorporating all aspects of
management plan development. Also, the reviewed resource assessment process
meant that it was required to change the management plan format slightly in order
that information collected could easily be integrated into the plan. Hence, this
document covers all aspects of management plan development.
The “new” PFRA process focuses on extracting information from the community on
existing use, rules, harvesting practices, problems, and supply and demand for
products against species availability. The process has been shortened greatly
requiring less inputs, and is supported by the introduction of area based harvesting
regimes when woody products are to be utilised. The key to the reviewed process
is the utilisation of community knowledge extracted through a more informal
approach during forest transect walks. Using the transect walk and community
discussions allows a “data base” of knowledge and information to be generated.
This knowledge requires good observation and questioning skills of the facilitators
(front line staff). Once the plan is implemented there is a strong emphasis on
monitoring and learning from activities.
This guide is divided into 3 main sections; the process of management plan
development (including the reviewed resource assessment process), a section on
the methodology for area based harvesting and the last section which gives some
examples of management plans and product use plans.
The Reviewed Resource Assessment Process

It was found that the existing PFRA process was draining resources (human and
financial) for an output that had little relation to the information that was collected –
the management plans were not incorporating information generated through
PFRA. Therefore, an FD team were assigned the task of reviewing the process and
developing a more streamlined process that generated information to be used in
the development of a management plan.

The review process was in 3 parts. Firstly, the team held a workshop that
discussed the issues with the existing PFRA and then undertook a field exercise to
compare plans developed through the “old” process and a short more visual
process (see PFRA Workshop Report – Aug 07). Next the revised assessment
process was field tested and management plans for different tenurial arrangements
– customary and state land - developed. The final part was to review the plans and
process further and any revisions made – these were presented process to a core
team of forestry planners at FD Headquarters.

The following table highlights how the 2 process vary in their methodology and

      The Revised Resource Assessment Process                                     The existing PFRA Process

The forest walk enables more varied and richer information        The information captured from sample plots may not take
to be collected – uses/issues in specific areas.                  into account area specific activities and uses.

Captures a lot of species (some species are localized).           Some species may be missed due to sample plot

Front line staff need less training to use this method with the   Training is intensive - introducing many new concepts to
focus being on observation and questioning techniques.            frontline staff that they have difficulty using.

No measurements involved.                                         A lot of measurements hence confusing to communities.

Communities are comfortable with classification by use.           Diameter classes confusing to both villagers and front line

No need for serious computations and less paper work.             A lot of computations, calculations and graphs.

Less time (2-3 days) and less costly.                             More time (2-3 weeks) and more costly.

Full participation of communities which leads to them being       Less participation in mathematical calculations (mostly
more confident in developing a management plan.                   depends on the use of school leavers) and difficult relating
                                                                  this to management plan development.

Management options discussed in the forest.                       Management options only discussed against the complicated
                                                                  graphs and done outside the forest through recall.

Implementation activities can be more focused and site            Implementation activities may be too general.

Harvesting of products relies on an area based harvesting         Harvesting of products becomes to general which needs
system (coupes) which is easy to plan, implement and              very specific skills for planning and once implemented it is
monitor.                                                          difficult to monitor.
Supporting documents
Management plan development does not stand alone as an activity. It is important
to consult other documents during this process so links are made with previous
analysis & data, the existing legal framework, and implementation guides. Below
are some of the key documents that will support the process of management plan

Document                                     Applicability
Standards and Guidelines for Participatory   Outlines the steps required for the PFM
Forestry in Malawi                           process and details the standards to be met
                                             for any PFM intervention.

Sustainable Livelihood Analysis (SLA) for    Guide to identifying appropriate institutions,
Participatory Forest Management (draft)      analysing relevance of forest resources and
                                             appropriate interventions, identifying
                                             livelihood activities and relevance to forest
                                             resources and the development of a
                                             livelihood action plan.

Guide to the Registration of Local Forest    Outlines the steps required to register an
Organisation                                 LFO and clarifies their rights and
                                             responsibilities within the existing legal

Strategic Forest Area Plan                   Each Forest Reserve and it‟s surrounding
                                             area should have a SFA Plan. This should
                                             be consulted during management plan
                                             development to ensure any interventions
                                             are within the implementation guide laid out
                                             in the SFA Plan.

A Guide to Promoting Community Fire          A key document to support the utilisation of
Management                                   this much under rated management tool.

All the above are Government of Malawi
documents (with the exception of SFA
The PFM Process and Management Plan Development

The development of a                                        Generic Process for                                                      1. Determine local planning & strategic
                                                           Participatory Forestry
participatory forest management                                                                              Setting
                                                                                                                                     priorities (District profiles & plans)
                                                                                                                                     2. Identify broad stakeholder groups &
                                                                                                                                     form partnerships (NGOs, Traditional
plan for customary and state land                                                                       strategic goals &
                                                                                                                                     3. Negotiate roles, responsibilities &

is a combination of steps outlined                                                                                                   accountability

in the Standards and Guidelines
for Participatory Forestry in                                                      Performance              People
Malawi.                                                                            monitoring &
                                                                                                Text            &
                                                                                                                                      strengthening &
                                                                                                            Forests                         actions

    Steps 1 & 2 (see table                       1. Assess impact, equity, achievement
                                                                                                                                          1. Build awareness & consensus of key
                                                                                                                                          local stakeholders, interest groups &
                                                  of outcomes & performance against
     below) are covered under                     standards
                                                  2.Facilitate participatory action learning
                                                                                                                                          functional community institutions
                                                                                                                                          2. Identify needs, priorities and
                                                                                                          Implementing                    opportunities (livelihoods, IGAs),
     institutional building,                      3. Review & revision of plans,
                                                  constitutions & service agreements
                                                                                                       practical actions for
                                                                                                       sustainable forestry
                                                                                                                                          3. Assess resource availability, user rights
                                                                                                                                          & tenure
                                                  4. Communicate learning
     strengthening, and                                                                                   & livelihoods                   4. Negotiate roles, responsibilities,
                                                                                                                                          accountability, benefit sharing & conflict
                                                                                                                                          resolution mechanisms.
     prioritising actions (Stage 2)                                                                                                       5. Identify & form appropriate locally
                                                                                                                                          accountable institution (VNRMC/Block

    Steps 3, 4 & 5 are covered                                                                                                           committees, forest user groups, clubs)

     under implementing                                                                                                  Processes & Approaches
                                                                     Legal documents
     practical actions for                                           - Forest Management Agreements
                                                                     - Co-management Agreements        Management
                                                                                                                         - Community management of customary
                                                                                                                         - Co-management of State Forest
     sustainable forestry and                                        - Forest Plantation Agreements
                                                                     - Bylaws (District & community)
                                                                                                                         - Individual/household tree planting, trees
                                                                     - Licences
     livelihoods (Stage 3)                                                                                               on farms
                                                                                                                         - Afforestation (Community & group

    Step 6 is covered under
                                                                                                                         - Community involvement in State

     performance monitoring and                                                                                          - Harvesting, processing & marketing forest

     learning (Stage 4)

Steps for developing a PFMP
                    Step                                                            Key Activities
    1      SLA process (aspects           Identify the appropriate managing authority.
           that relate to the forest      Identify the key areas of interest and use of trees and forest areas.
           resource)                      Identify uses and users of the forest resource.
           (See SLA Handbook)             Review tenure, rights holders, and boundaries.
                                          Identify key FBEs that are sourced from the forest resource and will link into
                                           the management practices.

    2      LFO Registration             Develop constitution for appropriate authority including the area of
                                         jurisdiction for management of the forest resource.
                                        Register LFO with the District Forest Office after standard assessment.

    3      Resource Assessment

    4      Drafting of Management
           Plan                               Details on these steps are covered in this
    5      Approval                                           document
    6      M&E

Steps 1 and 2 must have been done before developing a PFMP.
             Management Plan Development
The Process

Before developing a management plan the SFA Plan should be consulted. This will
guide the front line staff and community on implementation. Failure to consult may
result in a PFMP that does not meet the criteria set out in the SFA Plan and
therefore cannot be approved.

The diagram below outlines the process that FLS will undertake with the
community in order to develop a PFMP.

                        Development of a participatory forest
                                management plan
                                    q   Identify core planning groups
                                    q   Collate data
                                    q   Revisit SLA
                  Stage 1           q   Develop management objectives in relation to
                Preparation             SFA Plan
                                    q   Assess forest management units
                                    q   Time for resource assessment
                                    q   Plan activities

                 Stage 2
                                    q   Community discussions on key questions
              The Resource
                                    q   Forest Transect Walk

                                    q   Community discussions on each use
                                    q   Decide upon key woody product
                 Stage 3
                                    q   Discussions on resource use rules, roles and
                                    q   Draft management plan

                                    q   Community Feedback
                 Stage 4
                                    q   Finalisation of management plan
                Approve &
                                    q   Legal agreements
                                    q   Implement plan

                  Stage 5           q   Undertake PM&E
             Participatory M&E      q   FD and LFMB monitoring of plan/agreement.
Stage 1 - Preparation

Identify Core Planning Groups

After the SLA process one of the activities undertaken will be the registration of the
LFO. Members of this body should be included in the team assigned to
development of the plan plus some representatives from FUGs.

The LFO will have a defined area of jurisdiction and with this body you should
clarify for which area a management plan is to be drawn up.

Collate data

Once you have decided upon the specific area you need to get all the information
that has been generated with regards to forest management. This will mainly come
from the SLA process but there may be other sources of data from other
organisations working in the area.

Revisit SLA

Through the SLA process a major step has been taken on developing an
understanding of where key forest areas are, who manages the forest resource
and how it can be managed. Before embarking on the development of a
management plan the community and extension staff should revisit information
generated through the SLA process.

The following are the key tools that have generated information that should now be
used. You should also refer to the action plan to see what types of forestry
interventions are required by the community to support the improvement of their
 No   Tool               Information                 Analysis Questions (Report          Links with other
                          generated                    Format)                             processes
 2    Institutional      List and details of all     Which institutions are related to   Formation and registration
      profile/mapping     institutions in village      NR?                                 of appropriate LFO
                          formal and informal         Could any of those institutions
                          (including forest user       act as a VNRMC?
                          groups)                     Are there any institutions that
                         Quality of relationships     have use rights over the forest?
                          and overlap in               Which ones/where?
                          membership of different
 3    Village Sketch     Land use patterns and       Which were the key areas of         PFRA/PFMP/Homestead
      Map/Transect        key features                 interest and use of trees and       /riverine/ woodlot planting
      Walk/Village       Tenurial patterns and        forest areas? Why?                  plan
      Forest and          forest boundaries           Who are the key rights holders
      Tree Land Use      Forest condition and         and users?
      Map                 uses                        Which are the key village
                                                       features (water sources, agric
                                                       land, settlement patterns)
 4    Livelihood         Exhaustive list of          What are the key livelihood         FBE screening
      activity            livelihood activities in     activities in the village by
      diagram and         village and ranking in       gender
      prioritisation      accordance with
                          number of households
 6   Natural            List of forest products,     What are the priority products    PFMP and FBE screening
     resource            use ranking and source        with low supply?
     product/ranking                                  What are products with a good
                                                      Where are the priority products
                                                      Are the priority users
                                                       represented in the VNRMC?
 7   Trees and          List of livelihood (not      Which livelihood activities are   FBE screening
     forest              income generating)            considered the most
     livelihood          activities in relation to     sustainable and why?
     table/Trend         number of households         Which livelihood activities are
     analysis            involved                      considered unsustainable and
                        Trend graphs for              why?
                         specific issues              What are the key issues in this
                                                       village to make livelihood
                                                       activities more sustainable?

Having revisited this information it should now be clear what the forest resource
that you will be assessing is required for and how it is currently being used and

Develop Management Objectives

Management objectives guide what you want to achieve from the forest resource
and will be guided by the SFA plan. It is possible to have a combination of the
activities below in your objectives – e.g to utilise the resource by harvesting woody
products and non-woody products to allow communities to benefit from the
resource whilst ensuring the long term sustainability of the forest area.

Harvesting of woody products

       If woody products are to be harvested then decide on the key product – is
       the key product timber, poles or firewood. Once this has been decided you
       will then have to generate information to aid decision making for an area
       based harvesting regime.

       The key woody product will drive the management regime and any other
       woody product will be as a consequence of the regime. Therefore, only one
       plan is required for harvesting of woody products.

Regeneration for woody products

       If no woody products are to be harvested, but wanted in the future, then you
       have to decide on key product and develop a plan to show what activities
       are required for regeneration of the appropriate species. How will you
       encourage and protect for natural regeneration? If planting is required your
       nursery requirements should reflect quantities required?

Harvesting of Non-woody products

       A plan for each non-woody product should be developed – focusing on
       where, when and how each product can be utilised and who can have
       access to these resources.

        The only consideration here is – how the forest area will be protected, by
        whom and penalties for breaking the rules.

Assess Forest Management Units

This is done in conjunction with the development of management objectives.
Certain areas may be set aside for specific objectives. E.g. for a forest area FMU 1
is set aside for soil and water conservation (50m either side of water courses) and
FMU 2 utilised for woody products.

Time Required for Resource Assessment

Once you have decided upon your management objectives you need to assess
how long it will take and the information required from the resource assessment.
The management objectives will determine the length of time needed for
assessment and the quality of information required. Below is a guide to the amount
of time required for the assessment;

           Objective                                Information                          Time frame

Harvesting of woody products       Species, use, supply, demand and other aspects   2-3 days (depending
                                   of utilisation.                                  on forest size)

Regeneration for woody products    How the forest can be regenerated in order to    1 day
                                   meet the needs of the community.

Harvesting of Non-woody products   This is dependent on the type of Non-woody
                                    Products that are growing within the forest       2 days
                                      (mushrooms, fibres, medicinal plants) may         (depending on
                                      need a bit longer to gather information on        product and size
                                      species, supply etc.                              of forest)
                                    Products like honey do not require much time
                                      at all.                                        1 day
Conservation                       Protection methods.                              1 day

Plan Activities

So all community members are aware of what is required of them you should draw
up a timetable of events for preliminary discussions, the forest transect walk and
discussions to develop the management plan.
Stage 2 - The Resource Assessment

This revised process should be undertaken when developing a management plan
on customary or state land for any of the objectives identified in stage 1. It is
undertaken by the community with the support of the FD staff in order to build on
local knowledge. The management plan that will be developed through the
assessment process is for the community to implement, so their understanding of
the resource and management practices should be used and any new practices
discussed during the transect walk or community discussions.

This process relies on visual interpretation of the forest resource and includes 3
main parts; a community discussion, a forest walk and then further community
feedback into developing management practices for identified uses.

Community Discussions on Key Questions

Before undertaking the walk the team should confirm the management objectives
and the boundaries in consultation with the LFO. There should be informal
discussion about the forest using some of the following questions in the box below;

Some key questions to be asked before entering into the forest

The forest
 Define if the forest is in one piece or in different patches.
 What are the different vegetation zones of the forest and in what proportions?
 Are there other important sub-divisions of the forest, natural or otherwise?
 Are there any special sites in the forest [meeting places, glades, springs, sacred
   groves, etc.]?
 Link to the maps for each use category

 How has the forest changed over the last fifty years? If it is declining in size,
  quality and usefulness, what are the causes? Were there springs and streams
  in the forest before and if so, what caused their loss? Visit.
 What was quality of key species (timber) before degradation took place – use
  this to guide the management regimes for each use.
 Which areas are most used for grazing, wood extraction, hunting, beekeeping,
  mining, pole wood harvesting, etc.?
 Which areas are most degraded and why? What is needed to see them
 Which areas need most protection and why?

Uses and users
 Who uses the forest today? Where do they come from – this village,
  neighbouring villages, towns?
 Do men and women use the forest in different ways?
 Do rich and poor people use the forest in different ways?
 Do local people and outsiders use the forest in different ways?
 What are all the different uses being made of the forest?
   Which uses are most and least damaging?
   Which used are confined to specific areas of the forest?
   Which uses are new? Since when, and why?

Management (confirmation of SLA process)
 Who did the forest belong to originally? Who owns it now?
 Are there any rules governing the use of the forest? If these have fallen into
  disuse, why?
 Who could best look after the forest? Why?
 If this were your forest fully to manage, how would you manage?

Forest Transect Walk

After these discussions the team should undertake a forest walk. The forest walk
should take 1 or 2 days depending on the size of the resource and the
management objectives that have been set out.
                                                                   LARGE AREA

Firstly you should design the transect walk;

Large areas may need 2 or 3 transects, whilst smaller areas                     only
one transect across the whole area may be necessary. Ensure       SMALL AREA    that
any key features are covered by the walk. During the walk
issues concerning key forest areas may arise – do not ignore
these, go and visit as they may produce useful

During the walk, for each use, the following should be discussed and any
information generated should be written down on a sheet that includes a map –
there should be 1 sheet for each use of the forest area;

        Key species,
        Demand,
        Supply,
        Major problems regards access & availability of resource,
        Current management regimes and potential management regimes,
        Any existing rules regarding harvesting/use,
        Any existing knowledge on harvesting rates
       (the list of questions for the previous community discussions can support
       you to generate more information)

Once you embark on the transect walks stop and talk to the communities at any
points of interest that you may come across. Ensure that you stop at least every 15
mins for discussions. There may be uses or issues that have not come out of the
previous analysis – e.g why has the bark been stripped from the tree? Cattle dung
shows evidence of grazing – so who grazes livestock here and what
benefits/problems are associated with the grazing?
Stage 3 - Planning

Community Discussions on each use                     Forest Product
                                                      (Woody or Non-woody)

                                                      Key species                                    ………………………………

Once you have completed the forest walk it is
now time to sit with the group and develop            Demand                                         ………………………………

management practices for each use. You
                                                      Supply                                         ………………………………
should have a sheet with information on each
use. Use these to develop management                  Problems/Issues

practices and resource rules for each use –           Management Practices                           ………………………………

these will then form the basis for the                Area Plan
management plan

For each use compile the information and
develop a draft plan that will be incorporated
into the overall management plan. Using the
format right;

At the end of these discussions you should            Allowable quantity per year (area? Quantity)    ………………………………

have developed use plans for each specific            Who can permits be issued to                    ………………………………
use.                                                  Who can permits be issued to                    ………………………………
                                                       Fees/royalties                                 ………………………………
Utilisation of Key Woody Product

At this point you should have compiled enough information to clarify the uses and
potential for each use.

If the community is to utilise woody products this should be finalised now. The
harvesting plan will be based on the key product with other woody products as by

The principles behind area based harvesting are described in the next section.

Other points for Discussion

These will include;

 Resource Rules that cover all FMUs and relate to general management of the
  forest area e.g. no harvesting of forest products without a permit from the LFO.

 Roles and responsibilities – patrolling, fee/fine collection and distribution

 An annual activity plan – review meetings, harvesting periods, issuing of annual
  licenses, patrols, early burning etc.
Drafting the Management Plan

Before drafting the Management Plan you should consult again with the Strategic
Forest Area Plan. The SFAP has an implementation guide which sets out “rules”
for interventions – where harvesting is allowed protected areas, utilisation on steep
slopes etc. These may affect your management practices and where you are doing

With the community you should draft the following;

Name & Title                      Name of forest area

Managing Authority                LFO for VFA or Block Committee
                                  Roles and responsibilities

Forest Area Description           Boundaries including map
                                  Forest information (based on key questions)

Forest Management Units           Location of each unit

Management Objectives             Overall objective
                                  Specific objectives

Management Practices              These should cover all the FMUs
                                  General rules if certain activities are forbidden

Plan for each use                 Repeated for each use.
                                  Only one required for woody products.
                                  This should be presented as below.
    Forest Product                                     ………………………………
    (Woody or Non-woody)

    Key species                                        ………………………………

    Demand                                             ………………………………

    Supply                                             ………………………………

    Problems/Issues                                    ………………………………

    Management Practices                               ………………………………

    Area Plan

    Allowable quantity per year (area? Quantity)          ………………………………

    Who can permits be issued to                          ………………………………

    Who can permits be issued to                          ………………………………
     Fees/royalties                                       ………………………………

Activity Plan                                 What shall be done, when and by who.

Patrolling Plan                               What shall be done, when and by who.

Monitoring Plan                               Participatory Monitoring and evaluation of
                                              implementation of the plan
                                              Review of each use plan – recording and
                                              learning programme.

Financial issues                              Payment of fees and fines (as per LFO

Signatories                                   LFO Chairman
                                              TA or GVH
                                  When woody products are to be harvested for
                                  commercial use the District Forestry Officer
                                  should sign

Annexes                           Timeline of plan development
                                  Records of PFRA

STAGE 4 – Approval

Community feedback

Once the management plan has been drafted then there it must be presented to
the wider community. The management plan controls access to the forest area and
impacts on the livelihoods of the community, therefore, their approval of the plan is
an integral part of approval. The plan should be presented so all members of the
community understand the plan and are able to make comments. At this stage if
any problems are encountered they must be discussed and solutions decided

Legal Agreements

Tenure and use has a bearing on the type of legal agreement that is required for
approval of the management plan. The management plan can be the legal
mechanism for some uses whilst and agreement has to be entered into for other
uses and tenure arrangements. Different uses and tenure need the following legal

Tenure / use                                Legal Arrangement
Any type of use or conservation within a    Co-management agreement & LFO
state forest reserve                        Registration
Utilisation of indigenous woody products    Forest Management Agreement & LFO
on customary land for trade                 Registration
Utilisation of indigenous woody products    LFO Registration
on customary land for domestic use
Utilisation of non-woody products on        LFO Registration
customary land for trade
Utilisation of non-woody products on        LFO Registration
customary land for domestic use
Conservation                                LFO Registration

N.B. For all tenure and use arrangements the LFO can impose penalties and issue
licenses against the PFMP.

For more information consult with the LFO Registration Guide and the Technical
Order for the Regulation of Forest Produce from Customary Land.
Stage 5 – Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation

The aim is to ensure that both community and front line staff are able to assess the
progress and achievements in relation to what has been planned and implemented,
that plans and services are reviewed and revised accordingly, and that this learning
is shared with others.

When assessing the impact of a particular activity or intervention, there is need for
simple, affordable methods, which are easily understood, locally relevant, which
allows self-assessment by both the community and service providers (extension
agents and planners/managers).

When preparing a monitoring plan or strategy, the following should be considered:

              Why          What is the purpose of the monitoring
              What         What activity is to be monitored and why is it being
              Who          Who is involved, who should be involved?
              How          How is the monitoring to be done, using what
              Where        Where is the activity taking place, is it appropriate?
              When         When should the monitoring take place? Is the
                           activity being monitored on schedule?

What is important is that the process of assessment should involve the appropriate
people, that they are fully involved in measuring their progress against their own
indicators of success, that feedback is provided to others, and that the process is
simple, open and empowering.

Participatory action-learning

Participatory action learning relates to the need for the people who are actively
engaged in forestry activities to be building on their own knowledge and expertise,
to test approaches that are relevant to their particular situation and determine what
works best for them according to their own needs and objectives. It aims to
enhance the capacity of individuals, groups and communities to undertake a
process of self learning and adaptation of processes and approaches which meet
their needs and objectives through testing and innovation.

This can range from selection of species, planting mixtures of species for different
products and services, to treatments in order to encourage natural regeneration of
indigenous woodland.
The use of an area based harvesting system relies very much on utilising
monitoring techniques and using learning from actions. It is important to develop an
understanding of what has happened within each coupe and how that will impact
on future management practices.
Management and harvesting operations have to reflect the capacity of those
involved. Communities have knowledge on tree management and harvesting
practices that needs to be incorporated into prescribed management practices.
However, they are laypersons when it comes to technical aspects of forest
management. Complicated systems and concepts, however basic they may appear
to a trained forester, should not be employed. The key now is to introduce a
regulated system, not a state of the art sustainable system.

Management operations have to be in an appropriate relation with the expected
outputs, both in volume and value. There is a difference between the large scale
outputs from plantation forestry (on suitable sites) and what can be expected from
Miombo woodlands. Hence, management inputs in Miombo woodlands have to be
low input, both in time and means of inputs.

An area based harvesting system is a simple method of harvesting coupes
annually and moving on to the next coupe the following year. After harvesting the
coupe it is then left alone until the rotational period means returning to the initial
coupe. For example, a forest area of 40ha with a rotational period of 20 years for
poles would have 20 blocks of 2 ha harvested annually.

The utilisation of each coupe is dependant on the key priority WOODY
PRODUCT USE – timber, poles, firewood. The key use drives the decision
making and the others are off shoots of that product.

Total clear felling restricts diversification of utilisation and biodiversity, and may
also lead to an increase in soil erosion. Therefore, in order to leave trees to prevent
the above within the harvested area, a coppice with standards system is the best
option for Miombo woodland.
The process involves the following steps – these steps support the development of
the management plan;

                    Decide upon key woody product
              1     o   What is the key woody product?
                    o   Timber, poles or firewood

                    Decide upon rotational period for key species use
                    o   If one species is to be used then rotational period is based on that
              2     o   Is the forest composition multi species for the key? – use the
                        average rotation
                    o   Does the size and demand of the forest area effect rotation?

                    Calculate the allowable annual harvest area
                    o   Use the rotational period and forest area
              3     o   Divide total forest area by the rotational period
                    o   If FMUs have been established only calculate for that FMU and not
                        the whole forest area.

                    Breakdown the allowable annaul harvest area into
              4     coupes
                    o   Maximum size for each coupe is 2ha

                    Develop management practices for the coupes
                    o   Reserved trees for potential timber, fruit, medicine.
              5     o   Fire protection to protect regeneration.
                    o   Thinning regime

                    For each coupe mark out reserved trees
              6     o   As per harvesting practices determined above

                    o   According to management practices including months when
              7         harvesting is allowed
                    o   Licenses issued against management practices and resource rules

                    Monitor and Learn
                    o   Monitor activities and record.
              8     o   Learn from implementation and adjust plans and practices
Key woody product and rotational period.

The first stage is to agree on the main product use – this will determine the
rotational period. Is the community preference for firewood, poles or timber?

Once this has been decided upon the rotational period needs to be determined.

Depending on population size, woodland size and expected outputs the rotation
period can vary. General rules are as follows:

 Small woodlands in high demand areas are likely to get a shorter rotation, 10-20
         o This limits the range of products to smaller sized poles and firewood
            but increases total volume harvested over longer time periods.

 Larger woodlands could have much longer rotations of 30-40 years which then
  provides a wider range of products.
          o Using the coppice with standards system allows for a combination of
             short and longer rotation.

Although this sounds much like a “glove fits all” scenario it is the best way to utilise
the forest and improve community knowledge of harvesting practices. After a few
years people will be able to see the impact of their operations and adjust their
estimates e.g. if observations do indicate that coppice growth is more vigorous than
anticipated the rotation period can be shortened or vice versa.
The table below gives a guide to the rotational period of specific species and an
average for an area that contains multiple species.

Species                                         Years in rotation      Years in rotation      Years in rotation
                                                for fuelwood.          for poles or           for small timber.
                                                                       rafters (8-15cm).
Multi species average           6             15                                              25+
Acacia polyacantha              2-4
Albizzia antunesiana                                                                          25+
Bauhenia petersiana             2-3           5-10
Brachystegia spp                5-8           15                                              25+
Burkea africana                               15                                              25+
Combretum spp.                  2-3           12-15                                           20+
Dalbergia nitidula              5-8           15
Faurea species                  5-8           15-20
Julbernardia spp                5-8           10-15                                           30+
Monotes spp                     5-8                                                           25+
Parinari spp.                   5-8           8-10                                            25+
Pericopsis angolensis           8-10          15                                              30+
Pterocarpus spp                 3-5           12-18                                           25+
Terminali spp.                                12-15
Uapaca spp                      5-8           15-20
Rotation Periods for some common used Miombo Species
Adapted from J.W. Probyn 1997; Management of Miombo By and For Local Communities. Preliminary Guidelines for Malawi
Factors that may effect rotational period

A dense coupe with mostly undersized trees needs to be opened up. The
suggested off-take is half to three quarters of the standing trees. Often these will be
coppice shoots, with coppiced shoots singling out is better than eliminating all
shoots on the stools. The rotation might be shortened subsequently.

Coupes with an under storey of small desirable trees should be opened up. It is
important to prevent damage to the under storey and afterwards slashing off all
broken undergrowth trees to be done. Rotation period remains unchanged.

The System

For reasons of simplicity a simple coupe method should be followed using the
coppice with standards system. This will assist in controlling operations and record
keeping. Within a coupe trees can be harvested according to the local rules. Some
personal judgement by the LFO is needed to determine what to harvest in a coupe.

The coppice with standards system depends on the rotational period of the key
product to determine the number of coupes. The area is divided into equal sized
coupes by dividing the area size (hectares) by the rotation time.


Key woody product;                       20 ha      20 ha      20 ha      20 ha       20 ha

Rotational period;
15 years                                 20 ha      20 ha      20 ha      20 ha       20 ha

Size of forest area;
                                         20 ha      20 ha      20 ha      20 ha       20 ha
Area of annual harvest;
20ha (less area can be considered if
communities wish so)                                                                      2ha

To avoid larger clear felling, coupes
should not exceed 2 ha, thus                                                              2ha
coupes will be spread to different                     2ha
locations if the annual harvesting                                2ha
area exceeds 2 ha e.g. 10 annual
coupe areas of 2 ha each.                   2ha                   2ha

For creating a map it is easier to select the areas for the first year of coupes and
clearly demarcate them on the ground. Then, in the second year select the second
round of coupes. You can then build a map rather than trying to create one for 20
years! In the above example, plot 10 coupes of 2 ha each and mark on map. Then
in the second year you would add another 10, third year another 10 etc.

Management Practices

Once the coupe size has been determined there is a need to develop management
practices that will be applied to each coupe. These will determine what can/needs
to be done and what is not allowed in each coupe. The following is a guide to
facilitate discussions with the community on what appropriate practices are needed
for the harvesting system considering the types of use.

Standards            In each coupe leave a number of trees („standards‟) to allow them to
                      grow into larger sizes and support other uses e.g timber, fruits, medicinal
                     Around 25 trees per ha, one tree every 20m, is a good minimum
                     The maximum could be 200 trees, one tree every 7m, which is almost
                      fully stocked with larger trees.

Timber Standards     If timber trees are to be harvested they should be reserved and included
                      in the trees above.
                     A minimum size should be included in the Management Practices and
                      timber trees below this size should not be harvested.
                     These reserved trees can be harvested in the next rotation

Coupe fire           Freshly felled coupes are protected from fire for the first 3-5 years.
Thinning             Thinning is carried out after 7-10 years, or as soon as the coupe appears
                     Tree density is reduced by about one third up to half.
                     Thinning material is used for bark ropes, small poles and firewood.
                     Records of the thinning must be kept.

Cutting              Tree harvesting should take place in the dry season, best between May
                      and August, when trees are dormant. This depends much on regional
                     All trees should be cut close to the ground.

Planting             Planting of Miombo trees and especially enrichment planting in Miombo
                      has proven to be unsuccessful and costly.
                     This should strictly be limited to environments related to evergreen forest
                      types such as wet depressions and along streams.

Regeneration         Miombo will generally regenerate by coppicing and root shoots.
                     Young shoots should be protected from fire for some years.

                    (Stump mortality rises with the age of trees so in very old un-harvested woodlands coppice re-
                    growth may not be satisfactory. Root shoots development can be increased by injuring lateral
                    roots. Hoeing through the coupe in lines of 1m distance would be a possibility. This is time
                    consuming and should be considered on a case by case basis. Communities may wish to set
                    up small field trial to experiment with this.)
Early burning        Early burning has been identified as the single most effective
                      management intervention to increase productivity in indigenous

Protected Areas      Certain areas in a forest may need to be protected from harvesting
                      activities altogether. Usually this will be patches adjacent to streams,
                      shrines, sources of streams, very steep slopes or otherwise special
                      areas. These areas should be identified before any harvesting plan is
                      drawn up.
                     They should have been identified in the development of the SFA Plan, so
                      referral to this document is vital for approval.
                     The size of the area can be estimated and is then excluded from the total
                      forest area.

Seed trees           Miombo regenerates mostly through vegetative means and trees tend to
                      seed rather early.
                     A coppice-with-standards system should allow for trees to produce
                      sufficient seed to support genetic variation.

Fruit Trees          Fruit trees are also used for other woody products so should not be
                      solely reserved as fruit tree species.
                     Communities should decide on a case by case basis what use they
                      prefer for a particular species.
                     Promoting general protection of fruit trees is not necessary


Records should be kept for all coupes. This is the most important aspect for
communities to learn from harvesting the forest. Well kept records of all the
removed wood will, over the years, enable communities to gauge their activities
towards a sustainable off-take.

What is needed are records on each intervention comprising of:

      Coupe size
      Date
      Type of intervention; e.g. thinning, harvesting standards, coppice clearing
      Off-take divided in categories; e.g no. of poles, no. of head loads etc.
      Total off-take converted to m3
      Species records would be desirable

Best practice is to keep a record book for a each forest area with a table for each
coupe. Such records will demonstrate the differences between coupes and, after
some time, effects of interventions.

The yield is compared by using the records with the harvesting and thinning
records before. Positive and negative changes need to be discussed and
conclusions have to be drawn on how to adjust the system.

In case communities or the extension worker are uncomfortable with the suggested
harvesting system, trying out variations on small areas is always an option.
Observing how trial coupes develop after an intervention can help greatly to adjust
to local conditions and expectations.
Examples of use plans
(for a well stocked forest area of 150 ha – species composition is typical Miombo)

N.B. These are for specific uses – the overall management plan will also have rules that apply to
the WHOLE forest area.

Management Plan for beekeeping

Forest Product             Honey.

Key species                Apis mellifera is preferred pasture specis

Demand                     High demand to position hives near preferable pasture

Supply                     All pasture species available but different areas have
                           better pasture conditions.

                           Zones 2 and 4 in the map below offer the best
                           beekeeping pasture available. (Description of zones
                           using physical features is useful here).

Problems/Issues            Variable pasture conditions.

                           Best pasture available in zones 2 and 4.

                           Water courses dry up during the dry season.





Management             Beehives may only be kept in the forest with a permit.
                       Only modern beehives may be used – no traditional
                       beehives should be produced from indigenous species.

                       Bee hives shall be only kept in zones 2 and 4 as these
                       are the only suitable areas for honey production.

                       By having a permit beekeepers must report any
                       knowledge of illegal activities within the forest area to
                       the LFO. Failure to do so may result in confiscation of

Allowable Quantities   Any honey produced is owned solely by the permit

                       There are no restrictions on the number of beehives
                       any individual or group can keep.

Who can permits be     Permits will be issued to any group or individual who
issued to              has undergone training in beekeeping.

Fees/royalties         100Mk per Beehive shall be paid by the group or
                       individual to the LFO.

Management Plan for Poles

Forest Product         Poles

Key species            Bauhenia petersiana, Brachystegia spp., Burkea
                       africana, Combretum spp., Faurea spp., Julbernardia
                       spp., Pterocarpus spp., Uapaca spp..

Demand                 Medium.

Supply                 High.

Problems/Issues        Over exploitation of species required for poles.

                       Late fires destroy regenerants.

Management             Poles shall be harvested through a coppice with
Practices              standards system.

                       Rotational period shall be 15 years with 10 ha
                       harvested annually.

                       Poles are of a size 8-15cm in diameter. Any trees
                       smaller and cut offs shall be used as firewood.

                       Trees for fruits (Uapaca kirkiana, Parinari curatellifolia)
                       and medicinal purposes shall not be cut down within
                       the coupes chosen for harvesting.

                       Timber trees (Pterocarpus angolensis, Julbernardia
                       spp.) less than 35cm in diameter shall not be cut in the
                       coupes chosen for harvesting.

                       Including trees for fruit, medicine and timber (above 2
                       points) a total of 75 trees (marked by the LFO) shall
                       left in each 2 ha coupe.

                       Harvesting shall take place between the beginning of
                       March and the end of November.

                       Each coupe shall be protected from fire for the first 5
                       years. Early burning shall take place in July clearing a
                       ring of 20m around each coupe.

                       After year 5 each coupe shall be subjected to early
                       burning on a biannual basis

                       After 8 years each coupe shall be thinned and the
                       materials used for firewood and small poles.

Allowable Quantities   5 x 2ha coupes shall be harvested annually from
                       coupes marked in April by the LFO.

                       The LFO will generate descriptions of the coupes and
                       produce a map that shall be added to each year
                       showing which coupes can be harvested.
                       Each permit allows the removal of 30 poles.

                       Firewood shall be taken by the headload as available

Location of the first coupes
chosen for harvesting.                             1
This map will be up dated in April                                               each
year to show the next coupes for
harvesting.                                             1



Who can permits be     Any member of the village shall be entitled to obtain a
issued to              permit.

                       A permit shall allow removal of any woody product in
                       accordance with the resource use rules.

                       Permits will be equally distributed to households with
                       records of each permit kept by the LFO to ensure

                       Commercial users shall have access to permits once
                       community needs are met. This will be determined
                       through community feedback meetings.

Fees/royalties         Villagers shall pay 30MK per permit.

                       Commercial users shall pay 50MK per permit.

Management Plan for thatching grass

Forest Product         Thatching Grass.

Key species            Most grass types used

Demand                 High.
Supply                 High.

Problems/Issues        Early fires destroy availability of grass.

                       Conflict with outside villages taking from village land.

Management             Thatching grass can be taken from the areas shown in
Practices              the Map (TG) (useful to add physical description).

                       Thatching grass may be taken from the harvested
                       coupes for the first 5 years until the first early burn.

                       Collection shall be done in June and July.

                       Early burning to protect grass areas will take place in
                       July in those areas outside the designated grass
                       collection areas.

                       Permission to collect grass must be obtained from the
                       LFO who will keep a registry of users. Once
                       permission is granted any person entering the forest is
                       shall report any illegal activity to the LFO

Allowable Quantities   Users may take of any amount required as long as it is
                       for subsistence use only.

                                  1         TG
                        TG                        1



Who can permits be     All villagers are entitled to collect thatching grass as
issued to              long as permission has been obtained from the LFO.

                       Outsiders may access the grass through registration
                       with the LFO and payment of fee.
Fees/royalties         Villagers – no payment

                       Outsiders – 50 Mk for access on a subsistence basis.
                       A receipt shall be issued as evidence of payment.
Example of a management plan
This example is based on an actual site but some conditions and uses have been
changed to support this guide as a learning tool.

                The Community of Ngindekimo Village
                              with assistance of

                    Karonga District Forestry Office,
                               Box 103
                                 August 2007

                          Funding support through;
                      VILLAGE FOREST AREA
Managing Authority
This management plan is to be managed by the Local Forestry Organisation for
Ngindekimo village, TA Kyungu. The LFO is an official body registered with the
District Forestry Office.

Ngindekimo Village Forest Area is near to the western boundary of Karonga South
Escarpment Forest Reserve and is located 17km southwest from Karonga Boma. It
is in Ngindekimo Village, GVH Cheghama, TA Kyungu. The VFA has a size of 202
ha and lies on a hilly land intercepted by some streams and steep valleys, amongst
those the source of Mkungwe Stream. None of the streams has perennial water
flow within the VFA. It is dominated by shallow rocky soils not very suitable for
agriculture. The vegetation is typical for a Dry Miombo Woodland dominated by
Chitontho, Mlama, Chiyombo, Kamphoni, Mpululu, Mzakaka, Munthalembe
(Thombozi), Myokayoka, Kansewe, Muwanga, Chigulya, Musolo, Mpapadende,
Mkulu, Mkunkhu, Cheyo, Mlombwa, Chibwabwa, Mpokwa, and Mtwitwi.

The VFA is in good condition. It is un-even aged woodland with trees of all sizes
mixed in the same area. There are many human activities (interference) visible.
Most of the bamboos along the stream are dead and few are regenerating in the
wet parts of the streams

The boundary is demarcated with white paint. In some areas, it follows the water
courses. The area is already surveyed (See Annex 1).On the northern part of the
VFA, there is a woodland before Mawembe Village. People from Mawembe have
access to forest resources in this buffer zone of Ngindekimo VFA.

This VFA falls on the customary land of Ngindekimo Village Headman. There is
controlled access on VFA while in the forests bordering the VFA there is open

Forest Users
People from Ngindekimo Village are the primary users of the VFA. Other users
include fuel wood vendors from Sadala, Kasote Villages and Karonga Boma. The
managing authority is Ngindekimo Village Natural Management Committee
(VNRMC) with support from the District Forestry Office, Karonga. All users must
have authority from the VNRMC to collect/harvest forest products in the VFA.

People obtain both woody products such as firewood, poles, cooking sticks,
mortars, pestles, and timber and non-woody products such as medicine, fruits,
mushrooms, bamboos, honey, game meat, and thatching grass. Other ecological
services include the catchment protection for the Mkungwe Stream.
Location of Ngindekimo VFA in relation to GVHs and Forest Reserve
Forest Management Units

There are two distinct management units in Ngindekimo VFA.
      Unit A. The areas set aside for water catchment protection is 50m on both
sides of the streams and is about 73ha.
      Unit B. The remaining area of 129 ha for production purposes.

The specific objective 1 is applicable for Unit B only, specific objectives 2 is
specifically targeting Unit A. Whereas objective 3 is applicable for both
management units.

General Objective

To sustainably manage the village forest area to supply forest products and
services to contribute improving the livelihoods of Ngindekimo Community.

Specific Objectives

1. To sustainably produce firewood and poles for domestic use and sale
2. To protect the stream banks and other fragile areas
3. To sustainably utilize NTFPs (mushrooms, honey, medicine, fruits)
Resource Rules
These, where applicable, relate to the whole VFA.

 No    Resource Rules                Specification                Penalty
 1     No cutting of live trees      Cutting of trees will be     Anyone found guilty of cutting
       without permit from LFO       regulated and monitored      trees in the VFA without permit
                                     by the LFO                   shall pay a fine of K1,000

 2     No sawing of timber           Timber sawing in VFA will    Anyone found guilty of sawing
       without permit from LFO       be regulated and             timber in VFA without permit
                                     monitored by LFO             shall pay a fine of K5,000 and
                                                                  timber shall be confiscated by
                                                                  the LFO.

 3     Only dry wood will be         Firewood is free for         Anyone found guilty of collecting
       collected freely for          domestic use only firewood   fuelwood for sale without permit
       fuelwood.                     for sale needs permit        shall pay a fine of K2,000
       Fuelwood for sale needs a
       permit of LFO.

 4     No setting of bush fires      Under control by VNRMC       Anyone found guilty of setting
                                     during controlled early      bush fires shall pay a fine
                                     burning and patch burning.   K3,000

 5     Everyone shall participate    Community members to         Anyone found guilty of refusing
       in any communal forestry      contribute 4 working days    to participate in any communal
       activity eg                   per month towards            forestry activity shall pay a fine
         Firebreak maintenance      management of VFA.           of K100 per working day
         Nursery management
         Tree planting

 6     Nobody is allowed to settle                                Anyone found guilty of settling in
       in the VFA                                                 a VFA shall pay a fine of K2,000

 7     No one is allowed to                                       Anyone found guilty of
       cultivate in the VFA                                       cultivating in VFA shall pay a
                                                                  fine of K2,000 or be taken to a
                                                                  court of law

 8     No utilisation or                                          Anyone found guilty of removing
       disturbance is allowed in                                  any products from FMU A shall
       FMU A                                                      be fined K5,000

 9     Any NTFP collected should                                  Anyone found guilty of
       be accompanied by a                                        harvesting NTFP from the VFA
       permit.                                                    will be fined K5,000
Management Plans for each use

Forest Product         Poles – Key Product
                       Firewood – by product of pole production
                       Timber – where available

Key Species            All - Nkholongo, Mpokwa, Mulama, Chitontho, Muguzabango,
                       Mpululu, Mzakaka, Muthombozi, Mkulu, Muwuluka.

                       Timber - Mpokwa, Mulama, Mlombwa, Kapanga.

Demand                 High

Supply                 High

Problems/Issues        Wildfires, Theft & Wastage

Management Practices   Harvesting of timber, poles and firewood (for sale) will be in
                       demarcated coupes only.

                       The area harvested is limited to 8 ha per year in 4 coupes of 2
                       hectare each resulting in a rotation of 15 years. Coupes will be
                       selected on an annual basis and clearly marked as harvested.

                       Harvesting shall take place from March to November each year.
                       The coupes will be selected and marked by the LFO in February
                       each year .

                       Timber trees - Mpokwa, Mulama, Mlombwa, Kapanga – shall be
                       retained as per allowable quantities. They shall not be harvested for
                       poles or firewood.

                       Poles are trees suitable for the purpose which are not marked as
                       timber or medicinal trees. All material suitable for poles will be
                       extracted before firewood is produced. Poles have to be piled and
                       counted by species, before being taken from the VFA.

                       A minimum of 80 trees in each 2 ha coupe shall be left standing.

                       Fuelwood is any wood that is not suitable or marked for timber,
                       medicinal or pole use. All fuelwood in a coupe shall be cut and
                       stacked in mendles before it is brought to markets. Large diameter
                       fuelwood which is too bulky to bring to markets may be converted
                       into charcoal.

                       Trees will be cut below 20cm above ground. Waste will be piled
                       away from stumps.

                       In the first three years after harvesting the coupe shall be protected
                       against fire to allow for regeneration. After this controlled early
                       burning shall take place.
                     No harvesting of trees for timber, poles or firewood shall take place
                     in the harvested coupe for the following 15 years.

                     Every 2 years an assessment will be made of each harvested
                     coupe to allow thinning of coppice shoots and too dense
                     regeneration may be carried out. Thinning will commence 8 years
                     after harvest of coupe.

Allowable area per   Poles and firewood can be extracted according to coupe rotation
year                 (8ha per year)

                     Timber trees must have a diameter breast height of >30cm, only
                     those in current coupe will be harvested. Timber trees <30cm will
                     be marked as retainers in the respective coupe and will be left

Permits              Head load of firewood collected for sale will attract a fee of K100
                     per head load

                     Bicycle loads of firewood collected will attract a fee of K200 per
                     bicycle load

                     An ox – cart of firewood will attract a fee of K1,000

                     Cutting of poles will attract a fee of K50 per pole

                     Sawing timber will attract K3,500 per tree through a license

                     Making of tool handles will attract a fee of K20 per tool handle

                     Making of pounding sticks (pestles) and cooking sticks will attract a
                     fee of K100 per piece

                     Making of pounding mortars will attract a fee of K500 per mortar
Forest Product            Mushrooms

Key Species               All types of mushroom

Demand                    High

Supply                    Medium

Problems/issues           Damage to soils and vegetation reduce the availability of
                          mushrooms during growing period.

Management Practices      Anyone collecting mushrooms must obtain a permit from the LFO.

                          Mushrooms shall only be harvested from December to March.

                          Harvesting can be done in both FMUs where mushrooms are

                          Harvesting of mushrooms must be done to prevent any damage to
                          the mycelium. Stalks should be snapped of gently at the base.

                          Collectors should only take mushrooms that have matured, young
                          mushrooms shall not be removed.

Allowable quantity per    A permit allows the holder to take 10 baskets.
                          The amount of permits to be issued will be done in consultation with
                          the mushroom collectors in November each year

Fees royalties            Mushroom collection is allowed freely for Ngindekimo villagers
                          through the issuing of permits.

                          Those outside Ngindekimo shall pay K100 per permit.

NB if different areas are to be harvested then a map should be included.
Forest Product            Honey

Key Species

Demand                    High

Supply                    Low

Problems/issues           A lack of beehives means that supply is not met.

                          Any beekeeping practices have used traditional methods and these
                          have been detrimental to the forest area – cutting of trees for hives,
                          or harvesting honey.

Management Practices      Bee hives can be kept anywhere within FMU B. No beehives are to
                          be kept in FMU A.

                          Permission must be granted from the LFO and a registry kept of

                          Beehives shall use modern technology and no trees shall be cut for
                          making hives or harvesting honey.

                          Anyone found guilty of hanging bee hives in the VFA without the
                          permit from the VNRMC shall pay a fine of K1,000.

                          Each beehive must be marked stating the name of the owner of the

Allowable quantity per    On obtaining permission the beekeeper is allowed to keep as many
year                      beehives as they want in the VFA.

                          Any honey produced shall be solely owned by the beekeeper whom
                          shall be free to consume or sell as they see fit.

Fees royalties            Once permission is granted the beekeeper shall pay k50 per
                          beehive to the LFO.

NB if different areas are to be harvested then a map should be included.
Forest Product            Medicines

Key Species

Demand                    High

Supply                    Low

Problems/issues           Bad harvesting practices

Management Practices      Medicinal plants can be collected from FMU B, no plants can be
                          obtained from FMU A.

                          Felling or ring barking of trees is not permitted (medicinal plants).

                          Removal of root stocks shall be done with minimal damage. Only
                          10% of root can be removed from anyone tree.

                          Within harvested coupes medicinal plants will be protected and
                          marked by the LFO. No person shall harvest any of these trees.

                          Any using bad harvesting practices shall be fined K1,000 byt the

Allowable quantity per    Collection of medicinal plants is allowed by any villager at any time
year                      taking any required amount for subsistence use. However, the
                          resource rules must be followed.

Fees royalties            Collection of medicine is free for Ngindekimo villagers.

                          If commercial users want to access the VFA then they shall pay a
                          yearly license fee of K2,000 per year. They must harvest within the
                          resource rules.

NB if different areas are to be harvested then a map should be included.
Forest Product            Fruits

Key Species

Demand                    High

Supply                    High

Problems/issues           Over harvesting by commercial users restricts availability of fruits
                          for subsistence use.

Management Practices      Fruit harvesting can only be done in FMU B. No fruits shall be
                          harvested in FMU A.

                          Felling of fruit tress is not permitted.

                          Within harvested coupes fruit trees will be protected and marked by
                          the LFO. Fruits can still be removed from these trees.

                          Fruits shall only be removed when they are ripe. Anyone found
                          guilty of early harvesting shall be fined K500.

Allowable area per        There is no restriction on the amount of fruit collected for
year                      subsistence use.

                          Commercial users shall have to obtain a permit to allow them to
                          harvest fruits. The quantities will be determined by the LFO
                          depending on what fruit are in season.

Fees royalties            Fruit collection is allowed freely for Ngindekimo villagers on a
                          subsistence basis.

                          Non Ngindekimo people shall pay K50 to harvest fruits for

                          Commercial users shall pay K200 per permit. The permit will be
                          issued by the LFO.

NB if different areas are to be harvested then a map should be included.
Activity Plan
The following activities will be undertaken on annual basis;

 January         Mushroom Harvesting
                 Up date register of beekeepers and collect fees
                 Issuing of licenses to commercial collectors of medicinal
 February        Coupe demarcation for the harvesting of poles including
                  marking reserved trees.
                 Mushroom Harvesting
 March           Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
                 Mushroom Harvesting
 April           Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
                 Community meeting to discuss progress and arising issues
 May             Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
 June            Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
                 Assessment of regeneration on a 2 yearly basis
                 Thinning of harvested coupes (8 years after harvesting)
                 Boundary demarcation and any fire breaks cleared
 July            Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
                 Thinning of harvested coupes (8 years after harvesting)
                 Early burning of areas around coupes
                 Early burning of coupes (3 years after harvesting)
 August          Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
 September       Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
                 Nursery establishment
 October         Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
                 Nursery operations
                 Community meeting to discuss progress and arsing issues
 November        Harvesting of chosen coupes for poles and firewood
                  against fee payment
                 Issuing of Mushroom collection permits in consultation with
                  mushroom collectors, collection of fees
                 Nursery operations
 December        Mushroom Harvesting
                 Tree planting in bare areas of VFA
On going activities;
 Issuing of commercial licenses for fruit collection
 Issuing of licenses for non Ngindekimo villagers to collect fruits

Patrolling Plan

 The LFO shall conduct patrol as a managing authority once every 2 months
 Individual members of the LFO shall undertake a weekly patrol – a patrol
  schedule shall be prepared at the beginning of every year
 All permit, license or permission holders shall report any illegal activities that they
  observe during the course of their work. Failure to do so will result in cancellation
  of their right to utilise the forest

Monitoring Plan

Financial Issues

 Any payment made to the LFO shall be used as per the constitution of the LFO

LFO chairman and Village Head
District Forestry Officer

Timeline of plan development
Records of PFRA
Template for Forest Management Agreement
                          (Forestry Act, 1997 Section 31)

THIS AGREEMENT is made the …………… of……………………..
BETWEEN Director of Forestry, Ministry of Mines, Natural Resources & Environment,
hereinafter referred to as the Government, and local residents of …………………….village
of Traditional Authority…………………..and District …………………………………
represented by ………………………………… the Local Forest Organisation (herewith
described as LFO)

The Government, hereby, wishes to make an agreement with the LFO to provide for the
transfer of management authority and ownership of forest resources of
……………………forest area in order to promote participatory forestry on customary land
through protection, management, control and sustainable utilization of forest resources by
local communities.


1. The Government shall upon being satisfied with transitional arrangements handover
   authority to protect, manage, control and utilize sustainably the forest resource for the
   benefit of the local community of ……………………………village(s).
2. The LFO accepts and undertakes to protect, manage, control and utilize sustainably the
   forest resource in accordance with terms and conditions stipulated in this agreement and
   annexed Management Plan.


3. In particular the Government gives authority to the LFO subject to the following
(a.) Forest resources shall be properly maintained and managed according to approved
     management techniques as set out in the annexed Management Plan.
(b.) The LFO shall enforces the powers that have been devolved to them by the
     Government in the Forest Rules 2001 - Part III Village Forest Areas (6), and as agreed
     in the LFO Registration Agreement.
(c.) The LFO shall protect, manage, control and utilize in a manner that maintains
     productivity, the forest resources within their jurisdiction and to issue permits and
     licences for forest produce for the benefit of the local community forest resource-rights
     holders of the aforementioned village(s) as set out in the annexed management plan.
(d.) To assist the District Forest Officer with the issuing of conveyance certificates, the
     local forest organisation may provide the necessary supporting documentation
     (ownership certificate) to verify source and ownership of wood products under its
     control. It may also assist local private individuals with wood products in their locality
     verify ownership for applying for a conveyance certificate from the District Forest
(e.) Benefits accruing from the forest resource shall be equitably utilized by the community
     in accordance with the benefit sharing arrangements set out in the annexed
     management plan.
(f.) Revenue accruing from the forest resource shall be equitably utilized by the
     community in accordance with the LFO Constitution.
(g.) The LFO shall make accessible records of accounts and licenses issued to the Director
     of Forestry or his/her representative, the District Commissioner or his/her
     representative upon receiving notification from the Director of Forestry or District
(h.) The LFO shall represent and accountable to the community and operate in accordance
     with the agreed constitution.


4. In particular the District Assembly, represented by the District Forestry Officer, shall;
(a.) Provide technical expertise to support the implementation of the attached management
(b.) Advise and assist with monitoring local accountability mechanisms including, conduct
     of meetings, elections, by-elections, record keeping and reporting.
(c.) Assist the coordination of forest law enforcement activities between the Organisation,
     Traditional Leaders, local community policing forums, local police officers and the District
     Magistrate in accordance with annexed management plan.
(d.) With the LFO jointly monitor the Village Forest Area demarcated in the management plan to
     ensure management is in accordance with this Agreement and in accordance with Standards &
     Guidelines for Participatory Forestry in Malawi.
(e.) In line with licensing procedures issue conveyance certificates against verified documentation
     to ensure legal transportation of forest products.


4. In particular the Forest Department shall;
(a.) Provide technical expertise in collaboration with other partners, including assistance revision
     of management plans jointly with the LFO.
(b.) Provide in collaboration with other partners, legal, organisational, marketing and other
     forms of support to the VNRMC as appropriate.
(c.) Organise in collaboration with other partners, relevant training courses to enhance
     organisational, technical and management capacity of LFO, traditional authorities and
     other members of the community.
(d.) Recognise and actively support the protection and policing measures taken by the LFO
     and the community in accordance with the Forest Act, 1997, Forest Rules 2001, and
     Local Forest Organisation Registration Agreement.
(e.) With the LFO jointly monitor the Village Forest Area demarcated in the management
     plan to ensure management is in accordance with this Agreement and in accordance
     with Standards & Guidelines for Participatory Forestry in Malawi.
(f.) Take steps to monitor jointly with the LFO to ensure that the Village Forest Area is
     managed in accordance with this Agreement and annexed Management Plan.


5. This Agreement shall come into effect when signed by representatives of the parties,
   and shall be binding indefinitely subject to clauses 6 and 9 below.
6. The Government shall have the right to terminate this agreement and revoke authority
   to protect, manage, control and utilise forest resources, in any of the following events;
    - negligence or failure to protect, manage and control the forest area.
    - if the LFO commits any serious breach of this agreement.
7. The powers stipulated in clause 6 above, shall not be exercised unless the Government
    has tried all efforts to resolve or correct the situation amicably.
8. In cautioning the local community the government shall cite the shortcomings and
    remedies giving the period within which they should be addressed.
9. The LFO may terminate this agreement at any time by giving notice of not less than 8
    weeks, in any of the following events;
    - if there is serious breach of this agreement.
    - if for any reason the community finds itself unable or unwilling to continue with the
        activities of the designated forest area.
10. In the event of notice of termination, LFO shall be under obligation to ensure that the
    forest area is protected until a Care-Taker Committee or Government has assumed
    authority over forest area.


11. Division or delineation of forest areas shall be as displayed on the sketch map forming
    part of the Management Plan annexed to this Agreement.


12. In the event of any dispute arising under the Forestry Management Agreement, the
    matter shall be referred to the Minister of Mines, Natural Resources & Environment. If
    any party is dissatisfied with the decision passed by the Minister he/she may apply for a
    judicial review to the High Court.








__________________________                ___________________________

Dated……………………                             Dated……………….



Management Plan for Village Forest Area

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