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Case #251

Restoring degraded land with Analog Forestry


Analog Forestry is a method to restore deforested and degraded lands and to offer people new sources of income, food, and other essential needs. The method has made it possible to restore the microhabitats of existing forests and has seen the return of growing numbers and varieties of birds, mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles. Analog Forestry is a system of silviculture, which imitates the architectural structure and function of the original vegetation. Centuries of forest clearing, to make way for monoculture plantations, rapid, unilateral reforestation programmes, and increased use of agro-chemicals make it impossible to return to the ?original? state of the forest. At the same time the method takes advantage of specific new and exotic species which have proven to have a high utility value, replacing certain indigenous species that were of low utility. The method can be applied in both tropical and temperate zones.

In addition to projects elsewhere in Asia, as well as in Latin America and Africa, the Analog Forestry projects in Sri Lanka have shown very promising results. More than 600 farmers, in the Mirahawatte area alone, apply the principles of Analog Forestry. They had previously cultivated vegetables, such as cabbage, beans and potatoes, which were highly dependent on chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Crop failure left the farmers in dire straits; on the other hand, Analog Forestry provided the farmers with an additional income. These farmers have planted over 55,000 trees in their forest gardens; for many of them, their analog forest site has become the main source of subsistence.


for more information on the history, background, context, strategies and successes, and obstacles surrounding this project, visit the Encyclopedia of Sustainability at www.bothends.org
Location: Sri Lanka
Action: Direct
Setting: Third World
Extent of Action: Multi-Country
Issues: Environment, Agriculture, Resources
Year(s): 1987
Outcome in progress
Source: BothEnds


Prepared By: rja, 9/01
Rating: 1
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