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The encounter between local and professional knowledge regarding tree growing in the southwest Amazon: An opportunity for collaboration or a platform for.

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Presentation on theme: "The encounter between local and professional knowledge regarding tree growing in the southwest Amazon: An opportunity for collaboration or a platform for."— Presentation transcript:

1 The encounter between local and professional knowledge regarding tree growing in the southwest Amazon: An opportunity for collaboration or a platform for misunderstanding? Juan Carlos Montero, Paulina Campos, Benno Pokorny, Lisa Hoch & James Johnson

2 Small farmers in the Southwest Amazon Types of Small farmers: Indigenous populations Traditional dwellers Migrants 2

3 Tree growing types and schemes (after Hoch et al in press) High Value Timber Plantations Fast-growing timber plantations NTFP plantations Agro-Forestry systems Enrichment plantations Home gardens Single tree growing Donor driven Small farmers initiatives Company initiated Participation of professionals 3

4 Problem Statement Modest success in forest plantations: abandonment, high mortality rates Hypothesis: Considerable potential for misunderstanding between professionals and small farmers –Way professional knowledge is communicated (One – way transfer) –Different cognitive structures between both groups (background knowledge, language, attitudes) 4

5 Objective Explore knowledge exchange between professionals and small farmers Focus on the three fundamental elements considered for tree growing: 1. species used 2. purposes and criteria of tree growing 3. silvicultural practices employed 5

6 Methodological Approach Study Region –Bolivia: 8 villages in the region of Riberalta and Cobija –Brazil: 3 villages around Xapuri –Peru: 5 rural communities around Pucallpa and Puerto Maldonado Data Collection –Semi-structured interviews to 25 professionals and 25 small farmers 6

7 Results

8 Evidences of collaboration Used tree species 90 registered tree species: –62 species (69 %) native –28 species (31%) are exotic. From the total: –52% fruit trees –25% timber trees –10% medicinal use –13% different uses as craftwork, rustic constructions, household utensils and industrial extraction. 8

9 Evidences of collaboration Used tree species (2) 9 ProfessionalsSmall farmers Common nameSpeciesPlantedNat. Reg Home gardens FieldsPlantedNat. Reg Home gardens Fields Jackfruit Artocarpus heterophyllus x x xxx Carambola Averrhoa carambola x x x x Mango Mangifera indica x x Avocado Persea americana x x x x Cacao Theobroma cacao x xxx xx Citrus Citrus spp. x x x x Guava Inga adenophylla x xxxxxx Pijuao/Chonta Bactris gasipaes x xxx xx Brazilian nut Bertholletia excelsa xx xxxxx Asai Euterpe oleracea x xxxxx Rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis x xxx x Aguaje Mauritia flexuosa x x xxx Cupuazu Theobroma grandiflorum x x x xx Mahogany Swietenia macrophylla x xxx x Cedar Cedrela odorata x xxx x High level of adoption by the small farmers of promoted species, even when they are exotic. Not a clear understanding between actors but it provides a basis for learning and adapting! High level of adoption by the small farmers of promoted species, even when they are exotic. Not a clear understanding between actors but it provides a basis for learning and adapting!

10 Evidences of collaboration Silvicultural Practices (1) Professionals perspectiveSmall farmers perspective Site preparation Ground clearing, Strips and gaps aperture in fallows and forest Weeding and burning (many cases) Trunks and trees rest removing Mechanized soil cultivation: Ploughing, Harrowing and Subsoiling Ground clearing, Strips and gaps aperture in fallows and forest Weeding and burning (most of the cases) Trunks and trees rest removing Plants sources Tree nurseries (seedlings) Experimental centers (seedlings, seeds, and stakes) Reproduction material (seeds, seedlings and stakes) Nurseries, obtained from individual, communal, governmental or commercial nurseries (seedlings), Forest (seeds, seedlings and stakes), Fallows and fields (natural regeneration), Neighbor transfer (seeds, seedlings and stakes or cuttings), Local markets as a “temporal and occasional nurseries” mainly for fruits trees (seedlings and seeds) Tree establishment Planting Seedling planting, direct seeding, stakes and cuttings plantingSeedlings planting, direct seeding mainly using fruits trees and “broadcast” method. Stakes and cuttings planting Planting site management Plantation design Spacing management (according to the specie and objective). Quality control, Pre-marking Planting techniques (Hole size, fertilizers). Combinations of trees according to the species and soil characteristics. Plantation design Spacing management (according to the specie and objective) Planting techniques (hole size, fertilizers). Beating up (randomly seeding). Combinations of trees according mainly to the soil characteristics. Natural regeneration management Just recommendations about the importance of the natural regeneration principally in fallow management and croplands. No practical evidences Natural regeneration management (fallow and forest): Sprout management e.g. Cedrela odorata, Amburana cearensis and Cedrelingia cataneiformis. Fire as scarify element. Patches management. Keeping single valuables trees as Bertholletia excelsa Small holders copy, try and test before the final adoption. Evidences of trial and test confirm their understanding of these techniques!

11 Evidences of collaboration Silvicultural Practices (2) 11 Professionals perspectiveSmall farmers perspective Protection Pests and Diseases, Animals (fences) and Fire control (firebreaks) Fire management (production systems without fire, use of Mucuna pruriens and Pueraria phaseoloides after slashing) Flood protection Insecticides and fungicide use again plagues and diseases. Domestic insecticides made by chillies mixture. Fences again animals. Plastic girdles around the trunk against ants. Patches of vegetation around valuable species as Bertholletia excelsa left as firebreaks. Mangifera indica is planted close to the houses for protection against fire. Maintaining secondary forest to eliminate aggressive weeds such as Imperata sp Maintenance and Monitoring Weeding, Use of cover crops (Cannavalia ensiformis, Cajanus cajan) as weeds control. Liana liberation Pruning, Thinning, Replacement planting Fertilization: (Amonio sulfate, Fosforic rock NPK (15-15).Humus out of worms. Micorrizas,chicken manure, Dolomitic limestone etc. Measurements (diameter, height, productivity). Regular technical assessments Irregular weeding, more intense during the establishment phase, Liana liberation of seedlings and mature important trees as Bertholletia excelsa for increasing its productivity. “Artisanal” pruning mainly fruits trees, Ring barking Fertilization through domestic methods (organic waste, decayed trees) Irregular observations without measurements, the vitality of the tree is oriented by the color of leaves Small farmers implement most promoted silvicultural techniques combined with own traditional practices, which reflects an understanding and adoption of these practices.

12 Evidences of Misunderstanding Purpose for tree growing 12 PurposeProfessionalsSmall farmers Inter-croppingestablishment of production systems on-farm production Landscape restorationfallows and recuperation of degraded areas crop rotations Forest, fallow and home garden enrichment incorporation of valuable (mainly marketable) trees incorporation of valuable trees as well as innovative species Protectionwind and floods protection tree line plantation serving as protection and contour Ecological researchgermplasm selectionnot registered CO2 Sequestrationcarbon sink schemesnot registered Large-scale productionindustrial tree plantations not registered The different reasoning behind tree growing leads to a misunderstanding between professionals and small farmers

13 Evidences of misunderstanding Criteria for species selection 13 ProfessionalsSmall farmers PurposeCriteriaPurposeCriteria IntercroppingTimber and multipurpose trees, Marketable at least in the local context, Technical aspects as ecological requirements and contributions to the systems (shade alelopathic effects, fertilizer inputs, etc) on-farm production Multifunctionality of species (mainly fruits trees, medicinal, crafty and construction) Marketable or used as “trade-off” exclusively at the local context. Landscape restoration Timber and multipurpose trees Resistant species to degraded areas Fast growing species Native species crops rotation temporary abandonment timber and multipurpose trees fast growing species Forest, fallow and home garden enrichment Valuable/marketable timber trees Native and/or endemic species. Ecological factors of adaptation (e.g. shade tolerant species) “New” species, varieties or hybrids (mainly fruits trees) marketable at the local market (home gardens) incorporation of valuable trees as well as innovative species timber and multipurpose trees fast growing species valuable (mainly auto consume) and marketable (surplus) species ProtectionResistant to extreme windy and flooding events, Fire resistance, Crown size, Fast growing species, Presence of depth and strong roots, Resistant to unfavourable soil conditions, Perennial species, Vegetative reproduction capability trees line plantation serving as protection and contour Crown size Ornamental attributes (flowers) Fast growing species In the absence of a joint species selection process, there seems to be a problem of misunderstanding. Small holders tend to accept the package of species recommended by the professionals but that doesn't guarantee the adoption of these species in the long run In the absence of a joint species selection process, there seems to be a problem of misunderstanding. Small holders tend to accept the package of species recommended by the professionals but that doesn't guarantee the adoption of these species in the long run

14 Final considerations All small farmers have some experience with tree planting, especially in home gardens and in production systems for self-consumption Small farmers copy, test and adapt techniques promoted by the professionals. This process is key for developing of a sense of ownership in the initiative, and enables cooperation Misunderstandings are related to different levels of knowledge, experience and perceptions Limited evidence was found on the adoption of local practices by professionals 14

15 Key messages Strengthen endogenous practices and initiatives for tree growing and the exchange of knowledge instead of transferring technology packages. Design more flexible frameworks for projects and switch to a more continuous and long term assistance to local farmers 15

16 Thank you for your attention!! Further information: Juan Carlos Montero Institue of Silviculture, University of Freiburg Paulina Campos MSc. Environmental Governance Program, University of Freiburg


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