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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on farming systems research and development
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on integrated systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on cropping system
close this folderAbstracts on agroecology
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Rural common property resources: a growing crisis.
View the document2. Making haste slowly: strengthening local environmental management in agricultural development.
View the document3. Farming for the future: an introduction to low-external-input and sustainable agriculture.
View the document4. Public policies affecting natural resources and the environment.
View the document5. Human development and sustainability.
View the document6. Caring for the earth - a strategy for sustainable living.
View the document7. Agriculture and natural resources: a manual for development workers.
View the document8. Environmental guidelines for resettlement projects in the humid tropics.
View the document9. Saving the tropical forests.
View the document10. Values for the environment, a guide to economic appraisal.
View the document11. Alcohol fuels - options for developing countries.
View the document12. Diffusion of biomass energy technologies in developing countries.
View the document13 When aid is no help: how projects fail, and how they could succeed.
View the document14. Natural resources and the human environment for food and agriculture.
View the document15. World development report 1992 - development and the environment.
View the document16. Species interactions and community ecology in low external-input agriculture.
View the document17. Development strategies and natural resource management for humid tropical lowlands.
View the document18. Environmental management of the northern zone consolidation project in Costa Rica: strategies for sustainable development.
View the document19. Environmental assessment: the valles altos project in Bolivia.
View the document20. Environmental crisis in Asia-Pacific.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agrometeorology
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on homegardens
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on seed production
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on plant protection
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on water management
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on soil fertility
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on erosion and desertification control
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands

17. Development strategies and natural resource management for humid tropical lowlands.

Report of Humid Tropical Lowlands Conference; Development Strategies for Fragile Lands (DESFIL), Panama City, Panama, 1991, 11 p.

Tropical deforestation is one of the major fragile land issues of the 1990s. Therefore, in late spring 1991 a conference has been organized in Panama, to examine strategies for and management approaches to the sustainable development of humid tropical lowlands in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The technical sessions are summarized as follows:


- Topics addressed under the "Stewardship of the Forest Lands" were agroforestry, biosphere reserves, conservation of biological diversity, and protected areas.

- A panel of Panamanians was then discussing management aspects of

"Panama's National Parks".

- "Promising Timber Management Strategies" was the subject of session

III. Different managment practices in Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador were discussed.


- Session IV dealt with "Nontimber Forest Products and Extractive

Reserves". In this session about 25 presentations on a variety of related subjects such as the Brazil nut industry, extractive reserves in Guatemala, palm products from Colombia, the value and diversity of plant medicines in Mexico, and the prospects of ecotourism in Costa Rica were discussed.


- In session V "Secondary Forest Management" speakers were invited to present papers on secondary forest ecology, line planting, silvicultural experimentation, and secondary forests in Trinidad.

- The final technical session was entitled"Implications of Forest Land

Conversion". Papers covered four topics:


- indigenous agriculture,
- pastures,
- plantation agriculture and
- plantation forestry.

The main results and conclusions are summarized as follows:

The causes of nonsustainable use of tropical forest resources are grouped in three broad categories:


- Poverty
- Ignorance
- Institutional failure, which has two facets: market failure and policy failure.

High deforestation is an outgrowth of the interaction among these causes.

The necessary reforms for correcting institutional failures, particularly policy failures, are correction of constant underpricing of tropical forest resources, initiation of environmental accounting within national income frameworks and reduction in infrastructure projects encroaching upon tropical forests.

Activities designed to cope with natural resource degradation such as incentives for reforestation and soil conservation, should be functionally integrated into a particular country's economic development model.

A broad definition of "protected areas" must be used to describe examples that range from low impact agriculture to national parks. The "protected areas" and "natural parks" concept are accepted in Latin America as important tools for the establishment and management of large areas. The basic requirements for developing the human and physical infrastructure for managing natural parks areas are listed in priority order:


- On site staff with professional training in sufficient quantities.
- Organizational and management planning.
- Protected area policy, law policy, law regulations and fee collection.
- Environmental education outreach programs.
- Research facilities.

A diverse array of products can be extracted from "protected areas" without adversely affecting the ecosystems: medicine, germplasm, fruits and nuts, craft materials, products for industrial uses, for instance fiber, ornaments, fish/game, etc.

Small-scale, tropical rainforest cultures developed a complex system of subsistence technologies that have permitted hundreds of years of continuous exploitation of the forests. Political, economic and technological changes in the last two decades, have disturbed these traditional patterns of exploitation.

The protection and management of the tropical lowlands must therefore involve the participation of the peasants and indigenous societies that exploit these fragile areas.

Indigenous management appears to be the next best thing to primary forests for species diversity, and the best for ethnobotanical species.

Apart from extracting products from forests, there exists the chance to enhance ecotourism as an instrument of sustainable development. In future, it is essential to guarantee that a certain amount of this money will be channeled to the conservation of nature.

1148 92 - 5/124


Latin America, Costa Rica, development strategies, environmental management, land settlement, crop diversification, community development, road rehabilitation, AID


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