The status of traditional silvo-pastoral systems in Malam Jabba Valley, N.W.F.P., Pakistan (1999)

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The status of silvo-pastoral systems in Malam Jabba Valley, N.W.F.P., Pakistan was studied with the objective of demonstrating the complex interactions between the development of the human population of a former remote and inaccessible mountain area and the status of traditional agroforestrial landuse systems. Overpopulation and the consequent encroachment of settlements into the forested areas of Malam Jabba Valley have led to massive deforestation. Lack of fuelwood and timber cause excessive overuse of the remaining forested areas. The environmental damages have led to increased soil erosion and climatical changes. The assessment was carried through in a three-months field visit in two villages in a valley (Malam and Mangarkot). A forest survey was conducted to analyse the status of the remaining forested areas. Important stand parameter (dbh, total tree height, stand density) were measured and intensity of forest usage was classified. A survey on the socio-economic conditions was performed with RRA and PRA methods. The farmers were interviewed and encouraged to participate in a group discussion. Important issues discussed during this process were among others, availability of natural resources and constraints in agricultural and forest usage. The original forest type has altered towards a uniform stand of Pinus wallichiana (Secondary Blue Pine Forest). Stand density varies strongly within the forested area. Total tree height and mean dbh is almost the same in both surveyed forested areas. Volumes are generally high compared to the intensity of forest usage. Natural regeneration is only existent to a higher extent in protected forested areas. The understorey is characterised by low species diversity and occurrence of shrubs such as Indigofera heterantha, Plectranthus rugosus, Berberis lycium, Sarcococca saligna and Buxus papillosa. Quercus incana and Quercus dilatata occur only as degraded shrubs due to lopping and grazing. Therophytes and hemikryptophytes appear in high abundance but low diversity. Under the current conditions of intense forest usage to gain timber and fuelwood, and for grazing and cutting of grass on steeper slopes, the remaining forested areas of Malam and Mangarkot will rapidly decrease and become extinct in the near future. Due to the increase of population there is greater demand for land and increasing demand for forest produce. This high demand cannot be met with the present silvo-pastoral systems. Agrisilviculture with Ailanthus altissima and Robinia pseudoacacia is practised by some farmers in Malam Jabba Valley to replace the traditional system. These trees are the main substitutes for the indigenous trees to provide fuelwood, fodder and timber to a certain extent. In agrihorticulture pear, apple, peach, persimmon and apricot are cultivated together with conventional crops. These systems provide additional income and will replace subsistence farming that is no longer sufficient to sustain the farmers of Malam Jabba Valley.
Year: 1999
Language: English

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