Bamboo in the High Forest of Eastern Bhutan : A Study of Species Vulnerability (2001)

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This case study from eastern Bhutan depicts clearly how policies that ignore traditional forest and species' management systems, that have evolved – and worked well – from generation to generation do so at the risk of the disappearance of not only sustainable, locally acceptable management and harvesting systems, but also at the risk of species disappearing. Bamboo comprises a number of fast growing species that are important resources for housing, tools, and containers. As a fast-growing renewable resource, it is a good alternative to timber. However, as the commercial demand grows so does the pressure on the resource. Illustrated with sketches and photos, the study provides rich information about bamboo resources in Bhutan, the geophysical conditions, main species, use, and management, and highlights some of the factors affecting their sustainability and vulnerability. The field observations indicate that bamboo in district studied is under some threat from factors related to commercial demand, forest management, certain seasonal conditions, timber harvesting, forest grazing, and open (increased and uncontrolled) access by road. Better overall management is needed. The importance of indigenous knowledge and of the traditional ‘ridam’ system of forest resource protection are described, along with recommendations for linking them with scientific management.


 Record created 2011-02-16, last modified 2014-03-24