ABSTRACT

Miombo woodland is important for both wood and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). The most commonly harvested products are timber, firewood, charcoal, fencing materials and materials for making farm tools and household items. The non-timber forest products harvested include mushrooms, fruits, medicines etc. A range of user groups such as timber producers, farmers and charcoal producers are involved in the exploitation of different types of woodland resources. Differences in priority of wood products and poor understanding of the Miombo ecosystem often result in each group attributing the negative impacts on the woodland to the other groups. In particular, timber producers accuse the charcoal producers of causing the depletion/decline of the timber species population which are cut as a by-product of charcoal production. However, there is clear evidence suggesting that timber species tend to do better in charcoal production and areas opened up due to slash and burn. This suggests that charcoal production, slash and burn agriculture and timber production may be integrated in forest management. As a result, there is need to formulate policies that provide for the integration of these different land use types into forest management.

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