Tuesday, August 23, 2022



Tuesday, August 23, 2022




  1. O’ Level Study Notes All Subjects
  2. A’ Level Study Notes All Subjects
  3. Pats Papers


Forest  is an extensive  area covered by different types of tree species, which can be either natural or man-made. The process in which an individual purposefully plants trees and takes care of them until the harvest time , and then after harvesting replants trees with proper managements, is referred to as silviculture.


Distribution of Forests in the world

In the tropical zone

There are evergreen rainforests of equatorial areas where there is high rainfall, tropical mansion climatic region, Savanna woodland in the area with alternating dry and wet seasons (occupying the largest party of Africa), coastal forest including mangrove vegetation. The equatorial rainforest is found in the areas like Congo, Amazonia as well as West Africa and Gabon. Tropical areas usually provide hard wood.

In the temperate Zone

There are hardwood species like oak, ash, beech and poplar for example in northern China, Japan, West, South and central Europe and eastern North America. Soft wood species of coniferous forest like pines, fir, and spruce in Norway, larch and Parana spine in South America (Brazil). Coniferous forests are located chiefly in the northern America, Central and East North America, Southern USA, Northern Europe like Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Main forest products

1.      Poles for construction of houses and electrification.

2.      Timber for furniture, construction of houses and bridges, containers, paper and railway sleepers.

3.      Resigns for making rubber like in Brazil, Oil and gum

4.      Fiber materials for human and animal consumption.

5.      Fruits and flowers for human and animal consumption.

6.      Tannin a substance used for converting hide into leather.

Importance of Forest

1.      Forest forms a protective cover to the ground and hence prevents soil erosion from degrading the surface of the earth.

2.      It also provides habitat for the animals and birds of different varieties.

3.  Forests contribute to the modification of the climate especially through the rainfall formation and moisture conservation.

4.    Forests also introduce oxygen to the environment, which is produced during photosynthesis. In this process the trees clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide. Hence, the forest is an oxygen sink.

5.      Trees are also a source of fuel energy since they are used for firewood and charcoal making.

6.      They provide building materials like poles, timber.

7.      The forest is also important in the paper and pulp industry from which writing materials are produced.

8.      Some tree species are used for making medicine and some provide fruits as well as ornamental flowers.

9.      It contributes to the soil development through rotting of leaves, which lead to formation of humus.

10.The liquid material from the trees is used for making gum, dyestuffs and other chemicals.

11.They maintain water sources like livers, catchment areas, springs, and lakes.

12.The forests are also used for scientific studies (research)

13.Tourism can develops since when there are many tree species, promote the scenic view and this attracts tourists. The forests also provide good center for recreation.

  Timber industry is the activity, which involves the production of timber and other processes associated with timber production. Timber is the wood
material delivered from the forest.
Factors that Encourages the development of Timber Industry in any Country include:

1.      Availability of food species of forest trees. These species should in a great amount.

2.      There should be a capital to be invested in the exploitation of the forests and timber production.

3.      There should be minimal competition from other economic sectors like mining, agriculture etc.

4.      There should be efficient and effective transport and  communication in order to facilitate coordination of ferrying of timber products.

5.      Advanced technology for effective extraction and management of the forest.

6.      There should be a strong support from the government financial or through technical advice and organizing market for timber products generated in the country.

7.      There should be reliable food supply for the people who are dealing with lumbering and timber industry in general.

8.    Reliable water supply can also encourage the development of timber since water is needed for washing and cleaning as well as transportation (in rivers).

9.      Power availability since timber industry needs a lot of power for running effectively. For example in Sweden great Hydro-electric power from the power plant at porous has stimulated the development of timber industry in the country.

10. Market availability both local and international is another impetus for the development of timber in the industry. Timber industry in Sweden grew fast due to the increased demand for sawn timber and paper in the world.


This involves the control and the use of forest resources for different purposes. Forest management is part and parcel of forestry. Forestry refers to the science of managing forest resource for human use. The importance of forest management is to ensure that the adequate supplies of timber, water, wildlife, grazing and recreation areas are maintained. The forests in many parts of the world face the problem of poor management. This is associated with poor exploitation of resources which is excessive.

  Effects of Poor Resources Management

It leads to deforestation since the trees are cut or areas are cleared without or with minimal replacement. Deforestation is caused by shifting cultivation, plantation agriculture, cutting trees for fuel, timber and settlement, rapid population growth that leads to the need for new areas for settlement and farms, development of transport and communication system, mining activities. Deforestation leads to the problems like increase in soil erosion, acceleration of the flooding phenomenon, reduction in the size of the arable land, excessive evaporation which causes drought, loss of different animal and plant species, decline in tourist industry, destruction of animal habitat, destruction of the catchment areas, acceleration of the advance of the desert, pollution of the atmosphere which can lead to the greenhouse effect and global warming.

Effect of Rapid Population Growth on forest resources;

1.   It has led to the clearing of vegetation leading to deforestation.

2.   There has been increased demand for firewood, timber charcoal and areas for settlement.

3.    Valuable species have disappeared due to excessive cutting.

4.    There had been an increase in distance from the homesteads to the forest resources since those found near homesteads have been cleared.

Problems Associated with Exploitation of forest Resources;
1.    Poor capital especially in the developing countries like Tanzania and Congo.
2.    In tropical areas there are so many species but few are commercially valuable.
3.   Poor transport especially in the equatorial areas where the land is swampy or water logged due to high rainfall.
4.   The trees in the tropical areas are so dense that exploiting is difficult.
5.    Low technology which leads to the use of poor tools.
6.   Coniferous trees in the temperate areas face the problem of acid rain due to industrial emissions and leaching. The addition of acid in the soil causes the   death of trees.
7.Rapid population growth has led to the depletion of the forest in many places. The trees are cleared for establishing settlement areas and farms.
8.  The forest industry is facing a stiff challenge posed by other economic sectors like development of industries and mining activities.

Solving the problem associated with Forest Exploitation (Forest Conservation Measures)
1.Planting trees where other trees have been cut (reforestation) and planting trees where there never existed any tree before (forestation).
2.  Setting aside some areas and declaring them as protected areas.
3.Educating people on the importance of conserving the forest and persuading them to fully participate in all activities involving forests conservation.
4.  There should be clear policies giving directives on the proper use of the forest resources.
5.There should be alternative energy resources used instead of depending on the trees. For example there should be the use of solar energy, geothermal power, biogas and HEP.
6.There should be careful land use planning in order to avoid destruction of trees.
7.Population control should be encouraged in the countries so to reduce pressure on the forest resources and the land in general.
8.Agricultural method should be improved so as to encourage proper land use. Methods like shifting cultivation should be discouraged.
9.Destocking (reducing the number of animals) should be encouraged among the past lists because having too many animals’ leads to the destruction of vegetation.
10.Agro forestry should be encouraged in the countries.
11.There should be controlled cutting of trees for timber production.
12.New and fast growing trees species should be introduced.

Agro forestry means the practice of inter cropping trees and crops in the same farm. Trees can be inter cropped with crops like beans, bananas etc.

Advantages of inter cropping the trees with crops (Agro-forestry)

1.      Trees prevent soil erosion while the crops like beans add nutrients to the soil.

2.      A farmer gets a variety of profits from the same farm. That is forest products and crops products.

3.      Family members get fuel wood from the homestead without traveling very far in search for firewood.

Disadvantage related to Agro- Forestry

1.      When larger trees are inter cropped, the annual crops tend to suffer leading to decline in production. This is so because the larger trees tend to take up most of its moisture, nutrients and block the light from reaching the annual crops.

2.      Some trees are harmful to crops since they produce poisonous substances.

3.      Mechanization cannot be easily done because of the trees.

Example of areas with timber industry

Sweden, Canada and some parts of Japan where coniferous trees are providing most of the forest resources, Major species are oak, chestnut, spruce, Douglas fir, pin, and sugar maple. They have led to the development of timber industry, pulp and paper industry etc.

      In Africa the Areas which have Forestry Industry include;

1.      Southern Nigeria where sapele, and the great sawmills, veneer and plywood factories.

2.      The Congo basin where Ocoume and Limba are the most important species. Cameroon utilizes the species like Iroko, Obeche and Mahogany.

3.     Ivory Coast where there are plywood and veneer factories. The timber exported includes Mahogany, Makove, and Edinam etc.

4.      Swaziland where pinus pastula trees. Swaziland has the forests like Nklangano forests and great forest, the forest industry is well planned and the government finances it. But the problem of forestry industry has been overgrazing. Cutting due to settlement and cultivation as well as frequent fires.

5.     Gabon where timber industry is carried out by larger timber companies. The family members also account for 16% of the total production.



Sixty percent of Canada is covered by forests and it is largely coniferous in which the main species are spruce, hemlock, cedar and Douglas fir. Spruce is mainly for making newsprint and Canada is the largest producer of the newsprint accounting for 36% of the world’s total production. All these come from the eastern forests. Douglas fir is used for producing sawn wood and the western forests are the major producer of Douglas fir accounting for about 10% of the world’s total production. Canada has a large surplus of timber because of the rugged landscape and sparse population. Because of these aspects there hasn’t been extreme exploitation of forests compared to other countries.

Despite being endowed with a lot of trees, the production in Canada is much smaller than USA due to inaccessibility. The Canadian forests are found in areas where roads and railways do not reach. The prairie forests for example are quite inaccessible. They lie far from the main route ways, which run east to west across the prairies.

 Main areas producing Timber in Canada

Two main timber producers in Canada are British Columbia and Eastern Canada forest zones.

The British Columbia

It is located in the western party of Canada. It has large forests of Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce and cedar. It produces sawn wood used for making furniture. British Columbia produces 50% of Canada’s annual timber output. Its economy is supported by the incomes obtained from the exploitation of water and forest resources.

 A number of factors have influenced easy exploitation of forest resources in British Columbia.

1.      The rugged nature of the landscape has influenced forests to grow naturally. The rugged terrain does not allow the practice of other economic activities such as agriculture and makes the population movement rather hard

2.     British Columbia is sparsely populated and this has allowed a large portion of the rugged forest landscape to remain forested in a virgin form.

3.      Scientific advancement that has lead to the mechanization of forestry and promotion of efficiency.

4.      Sound forestry management strategies have also promoted timber industry

5.    Ideal climatic condition that is heavy rainfall, which supports the growing of forests naturally. Heavy rains are due to the moisture from the pacific ocean. Also the temperature is favorable making the work within the forestry area to go on throughout the year. The low temperatures that discourage settlement hence leave room for forests.

6.      It is also blessed to have a large number of species, which command a high demand on world’s market. The most important of these include Douglas fir, hemlock, red cedar, spruce and the balsam. These tree species have ensured the economy a constant supply of soft wood and hard wood at the same time. British Columbia is one of the world’s leading exporters of forest products today.

7.    There is availability of skilled labor force relevant to the forest exploitation. Forest operation has been mechanized and this has made the work quicker and more efficient.

8.      Capital availability to be invested in the establishment of the forestry industry.

9.    The province is served by the excellent cheap water transport, where possible, roads and railway lines connecting water bodies and lumbering areas have also been constructed to facilitate easy exploitation of the forests.

10. Its coastline is long and intended thus making accessibility good. 70% of Canada’s accessible reserves are found in this region.

The logs are produced all the year round. Logging started from the Vancouver Island and along the coast. But due to the overproduction of these areas there has been the exploitation of forests on the mainland and the interior of British Columbia. Now a system of “Log high”, “log low” has made logging possible throughout the year. Areas in higher, cooler altitudes are logged during summer when the forests are free of snow and ice. Winter logging is carried out at lower altitudes where the roads are kept open. Other areas are logged in spring and autumn.

Processing of forest logs centers around Port Alberni and Vancouver Island the logs are floated on the Strait of Georgia adjacent to Port Alberni. Here there is an integrated chain of mills. Timber based industries are in Vancouver, New Westminster and Chilliwack. Here there is production of plywood, from high grade Douglas fir, sawn wood from medium grade Douglas fir, hemlock and balsam. Low –grade logs and waste wood from other mills go to the pulp and paper mills. British Columbia is now a, major pulp and paper making region. Vancouver and Fraser valleys are the main pulping areas.

Problems Facing Timber Industry in British Columbia

There are mainly two problems facing British Columbia’s forest industry:

The first is the problem fire during summer. Fire spreads rapidly destroying thousands of hectares of valuable timber. This problem is caused by holiday makers out on picnics, after the picnics they don’t put out the fires that they have started. Some even throw out cigarettes ends that often start out a fire.

However great efforts are being made to prevent fires from starting and detect quickly those areas where fire has broken out. Fire guards watch from control towers high above the trees. Regular patrols are made using helicopters to detect and report any fire outbreaks. Trained equipment and mobile fire-fighters are always ready to put off the fire. They in most cases use bombs to put off fire. In modern times a more simple method known as log patching has been adopted.

The second problem is over exploitation near Port Alberni and on the Vancouver areas. It is being solved through the policy of “log high” “log low”. Silviculture has been introduced where by the trees are planted then replanted. The planted trees are cared for regularly and thinning is done frequently, the replanting of trees is referred to as reforestation.

Other problems:

1) The long gestation period due to harsh climatic conditions.
2) Inaccessibility of some places due to snowfall and rugged terrain.

Eastern Canada

The major lumbering areas are the Maritime Provinces and the St. Lawrence – great lakes region. The main species here are spruce, balsam, fir and variety of pines. The red spruce is the most important tree and the most ideal for pulping industries. Lumbering and timber industries are the concentrated in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario due to many rivers which fall from lauratian shield and into the lowlands of southern Ontario. The rivers are used in the following ways:

1)Production of H.E.P. required in the pulping industry and this is the major consumer of H.E.P. in CANADA.
2)Provision of cheap means transport of logs.
3)Provision of clear and unpolluted water for soaking and bleaching the pulp. Canada’s pulp output makes 15% of the totals world production.

Canada is also leading in the production of newsprint. Eastern Canada makes all types of paper and also sawn wood, furniture and other timber products. The main producing centers are Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, St. John and Liverpool. Canada’s pulp finds ready markets in the northern eastern U.S.A, Britain and the rest of Europe.

Problems Facing the Timber Industry in Canada;
1)Fires which occur frequently affect trees. Close monitoring has been put in place and fire control teams have been established so as to contain the problem.
2)There has been over- exploitation of the forest leading to deforestation and loss of valuable species. But the government has been educating people on proper ways of utilizing and managing the forest. Silviculture has been encouraged so as to replant trees and increase timber production.
3)Dry weather in summer is another problem since it encourages the outbreak of fires.

To promote timber production the government has encouraged research on new rising species, thus by improving transport systems to promote accessibility of some places and establishing more power sources for the expansion of the industry.


Sweden is the land of many contrasts. Some parts are intensely cultivated as other parts of Europe while others are densely populated by dense forests or tundra. 11% of population is employed in farming, 1% in mining and 3% in forestry & timber industry while 22% in engineering. In Sweden, about 50% of the total land is covered by forests and this is so especially in the northern parts of the country.

Distribution of forests in Sweden;
It found at the dense stretches from latitudes 600N to beyond the Arctic Circle. Most trees are coniferous; spruce being commercially the most important species and other soft wood conifers include scots, pines, firs and larch. These tree species are exploited for swan wood, pulp and paper. The pulp industry is the most important. Towards the south deciduous trees such as beeches are felled.

Throughout the forest region timber is very accessible due to a large number of rivers and lakes, which provide natural water ways down which logs are floated to the Baltic coast, and Lake Vanerm. Rivers such as osters dal and ljusnan provide abundant HEP for saw mills and pulp mills. Other rivers were logs are floated include: R.Galve, R.Soderhamn, and R. Hamcaad. The main lumbering districts lie between Angerman River and Lake Siljan. Sundsvall at the mouth of river ljungan is the main center for saw mill and pulp mills. More than 50 such factories are located there. Other important river mouths on the Baltic coasts include: galve, soderhamn and harnosand.

In short timber industries in Sweden are located in towns like: harnosnad, Sundsvall, and areas around the Swedish lakes especially lake vanerm. Responding to the world shortage of newsprint the output of Swedish pulp mills has trebled 11 millions tones during the last 20 years. Sweden and Finland produce less than 2% each of the world’s timber production, but their international significance is greater than this implies surplus export. The timber yields are being increased by better drainage, fertilization, and by commercial use of bark, stumps and roots. Even so, Swedish pulp and saw mills now imports some timber.

    Uses of Swedish timber;

1)  Building materials like flooring, plywood, wallboard, fabricated doors and window frame.

2)  Wood pulp obtained by chemical treatment of chips in huge vats. This is then exported in compressed sheets for the manufacture into the paper. By products of pulp produce paint, varnishes, cosmetics and ethyl- alcohol. The alcohol is blended with imported petroleum to make motor fuel;

3)   Paper most paper mills located in central Sweden where industry is more advanced and where main home demand for paper lies. Paper is made at Orebro, Karlstad, Norrkoping and trollhattan.

4)     Fuel resources since Sweden lacks coal for heating in the industry.

5)     Manufacturing matches. The main center is Jonkoping where the safety match was invented.

6)  Railway sleepers telephone poles, and sawn timber. The towns in the northern Sweden with timber industries are harnosand and Sundsvall and in the southern parts, the towns with timber and paper industries include Orebro, Karlstad, Norrkoping and trollhattan.

  Factors for the success in timber industry in Sweden;

1)   High accessibility of the forest zone due to the presence of many rivers that dissect the zone. The rivers are use for providing cheap transport. The logs are floated in the rivers to the processing industries.

2)  Availability of heavy capital also facilitated the successful development of timber industry in Sweden.

3)  Strong support of the government, which has been encouraging the proper use of the forest especially by introducing silviculture.

4)  The peaceful politician atmosphere due to the government stability has encouraged effective engagement in the timber industry. People concentrate on production rather than solving political problems or conflicts.

5) Good climate conditions, which has allowed the coniferous forest and other deciduous trees to develop to a great extent. Large forest reserve (50% of the country’s land) has led to reliable supply of forest resources.

6)  Availability of water from rivers and lakes needed for cleaning and washing as well as cooling the machines.

7) The species available are of great value and they are highly adapted to the climatic regime of Sweden. The trees can both thrive through both winter and summer conditions due to adaptations.

8) The forest has not been so much disturbed due to population control in Sweden. Hence there are no much problems of population pressure the way it is with the African countries or other third world countries.

9) Reliable supply of power from HEP centers found on the rivers like oster, dal and ljusnan.

The role of timber industry in the development of Sweden;

1)  It has contributed to export earnings. Sweden exports in surplus. It produces nearly 7% of the world pulp and is the major exporter.

2)  Reforestation programs to ensure continued timber production have encouraged soil conservation.

3)  There has been improvement in transport and communication especially water ways.

4)  The industry has also encouraged the expansion of power supply stations. The increased power supply has stimulated the development of other sectors like iron mining and manufacturing industries.

5)    Forestry research units have developed as a result of the expansion of timber industry.

6)     It has provided employment to the people solving the problem of unemployment.

7)  Economic stability contributed by the timber industry has also encouraged the absence of political instabilities in the country and hence there is peace dominating.

  Problems associated with timber industry in Sweden;

1)     Mechanization led to lay off of some of the people from the timber industry since their work has done by the machines.

2)   The great demand for newsprint in the world has led to the problem of over exploitation and depletion of forest resources. To respond to this problem, cutting rates are now strictly controlled and silviculture has been introduced so as to encourage replanting of trees. In this exercise the native pines are being replaced by the Canadian lodge pole, which grows twice as fast. Drainage is being improved, fertilizers are being applied and also there is commercial use of bark, stumps and roots so as to increase timber yields. But still Swedish pulp and saw mills import some timber.

3)  The great expansion of the forest industries has brought severe problems of pollution. Waterways are fouled by effluent containing chemicals used to treat or process timber as well as fibers. Some paper mills emit sulphurious gases, which bring about air pollution. Air pollution in turn contributes to global warming and occurrence of acid rain.



Until the mid 1950s Gabon was the leading exporter of timber in the whole tropical Africa. The country is the land of dense tropical rainforest and more than four fifths of the land is covered by tropical rain forests. Before the beginning of mineral exploitation during 1960s the economy was entirely dependent on timber extractions.

Forests are spread across the country except in the south and south eastern regions. These forests contain valuable softwood species like Ocoume. This species is particular good for producing plywood and veneers. Gabon has a monopoly in the world supply of Ocoume. It also has important reserves of hardwoods such as ebony and mahogany river ogowe, which runs through the forest region, is used for transportation in which the logs are floated and hence carried down to processing centers. Production of timber is largely undertaken by large European nations (timber companies) and to small extent individual family production, which accounts for 15% of the total output. There are about 17 plywood and timber dressing mills along river ogowe. The largest mill and the biggest exporter of plywood in the world is located at port Gentil. A new port known as Port Owendo has been constructed north of Libreville and is also used as an export point for timber products.

A new railway line has also been built linking port Owendo with the forest in the interior. Apart from carrying timber, this railway is important for ferrying uranium and manganese from franceville. A branch of railway line has also opened up the northern forests, permitting the development of iron ore mining. Gabon’s economy is largely developed on forestry. Ocoume, mahogany and ebony are exported. Agriculture has not yet been fully developed though the government has introduced cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, and ground nuts. Together with the mineral deposits available like uranium, manganese, and iron ore, Gabon’s total economy has been greatly diversified. Timber and timber products now account for 54% of Gabon’s total export.

 The factors which have led to the development of timber industry in Gabon
1)     The presence of many good species including Ebony, Ocoume, and Mahogany.
2)   Cheap transport by river ogowe and railway line facilitated contributed high to the fast development of timber industry in Gabon.
3)    Capital availability provided by large foreign companies which were given concessions to exploit the forests
4)   Availability of skilled labor, which is also provided by the foreign companies that were granted concession as well as unskilled labor from the local areas.
5)Constant market for timber produced especially in Gabon. This has been due to high demand for timber in the continent and the world at large.
6)    The government support for timber production.

 Economic importance of forestry in Gabon;

1)  Forests especially in Gabon contribute sufficient revenue to the economy so as to give her a favorable balance of trade.

2) Local employment especially in Gabon has been generated.

3)It has led to the diversification of the economy in Congo especially Gabon. It has encouraged the development of mining industry based on iron ore and agriculture where cash crops like cocoa, coffee, rice and ground nuts are grown.

4)   Oil mining also has started after mobilizing resources from the exports products.

5)   International relations have been improved between the countries which export trade especially Gabon.

6)   It has facilitated the fast growth of some towns and ports like port Owendo.

7)   Some manufacturing industries have developed as a result of capital generated by the forestry industry.

Problems facing timber industry in Gabon;

1)     There is large-scale deforestation caused by the clearing of vegetation by the man so as to establish settlement and areas for cultivation. The shifting cultivation has contributed greatly to deforestation. Also, excessive cutting for timber production has led to exhaustion of forest reserves in the eastern part such that timber industry has moved further inland to the untouched areas.

2)     Poor labor supply since most people concentrate on mining activities, which are more paying than forestry.

3)     There is also small home market for the forest products.

4)     The area situated far away from Ogowe faces the problem of inadequate transport

5)     There is also the problem of the absence of pure tree stands in the forestry area.

6)     Stiff competition from other major producers like Canada.

7)     Disappearance of valuable species due to excessive cutting and the use of fires.

8)     Problems of transport since the area receive heavy rains throughout the year leading to water logging.

9)     Fluctuation of price in the world market which has favored timber products from the temperate areas than the timber from equatorial and tropical regions.

10) Dense forest which tends to be impenetrable leading to timber extraction and transportation.

11) Poor local market as a result of low industrial base.

12) Forest exploiters also face the problem of rugged landscape posing problems in having across to other interior areas as well as developing Infrastructure like roads and railways.

13) Frequent wars that take place in Congo basin disrupt timber extraction. There is labor unrest due to fear of wars and much capital being used in timber extraction.

14) Competition from other economic sectors like agriculture and iron mining which have been encouraged by the government for the sake of diversifying the economy of the country.

15) Lack of education and low technology has also led to mismanagement and depletion of the forest resources in Gabon.



Brazil is the only major commercial timber producer of any significance in Latin America. The dense forest is found in the amazon basin (Amazonia), which contains a vast variety of hardwoods. There are small quantities of mahogany, rosewood and balsam wood. But despite this vast tropical forest in the Amazonia, the greatest development of lumbering (timber industry) has developed in the Parana pine forests found in the south.

The development of timber industry in the Parana pine forest in the south has been attributed to the following factors:

1.  Parana pines are found relatively near the main industrial area of south Brazil, as well as Paraguay and Northern Argentina.

2.There has been some improvement in transport in the south, which have facilitated accessibility and ferrying of forest resources.

3.Availability of cheap labor for lumbering.

4. Predominance of Parana pine (araucaria pine) which is highly demanded. This tree species yields softwood, which is easily worked for timber.

There are now over 3000 saw-mills in southern Brazil. In Brazil timber ranks the second to meat in terms of export. The country accounts 2% of world coniferous production and 10% of broadleaved production. It also produces quebracho wood, whose bark is used for extracting tannin. The extraction of tannin enhances the use of forests in Brazil even though not for timber. Tannin is used in the manufacturing of leather.

Problems hindering the development of timber industry in the Amazon basin (Amazonia) in Brazil

1)  Deforestation that has led to the destruction of a large part of the forest due to the shifting cultivation, ranches, establishment of settlement fuel and mining. The clearing of the forest is being supported by the government in order to solve the problem of high population in Brazil. Deforestation has accelerated the problem of leaching and soil erosion, which leads to the decline in fertility and reduction of arable land.

2)    Diseases like malaria attack people and cause death leading to the problem of labor shortage. Labor shortage is also complicated by the sparse population in the region, rural urban migration and infant mortality rates have contributed to the problem.

3)     Poor living conditions of the lumbers as well as poor supplies of power and water.

4)  There is poor accessibility due to poor transport in the region. The region has poor transport network although the government has begun the construction of highways in the amazon basin. Also, heavy rains associated with frequent floods aggravate the problem of accessibility to the forest. The Amazon’s river flow across too much vegetation undergrowth and this has also hindered the effective use of water as means of transporting logs.

5)     The Amazonia is inhabited by the wild and dangerous animals like snakes making exploitation difficult.

6)     Low capital due to poverty has made it difficult for people especially shifting cultivators and lumberers to invest in more advanced methods of land use and forest exploitation.

7)     The Amazon basin is also suffering basic services like of health, education, clean water and electricity.

Generally the amazon basin is greatly threatened by the high demand for fuel wood since there are no coal deposits or well developed oils reserves. Another problem is the population explosion, which is still taking place.



Over ½ of the area is miombo woodland and very small area is under the forest. Most of the species are hard wood such as Mninga (pterocarpus angolensis), Mvule (pericorpsis angolensis), acacia, grevillea, mpera mwitu, mkarambati, mtunda etc. softwood species are pencil cedar, pines, pinus, podo, black wattle, cypress and eucalyptus. Miombo woodlands occupy the central and western parts of Tanzania like Tabora where the Tabora misitu production mill is located
Mangrove forest is also found along the coastal parts of Tanzania where there is salty water.

Uses of timber in Tanzania;

Timber and its products are used for making furniture, building, fuel, ornaments (like ebony) honey collection and beewax extraction, making medicine (the neem and baobab trees), making tannin like the mangrove trees.

In Tanzania timber production is based on the policy of self reliance in sawn timber and at the same time sustains a small but efficient export trade in high quality timber. It holds a substantial trade in logs and charcoal with the Persian Gulf countries.

There are research centers for forestry products in Tabora and songea. More researches are being done in other parts of the country like morogoro at the Sokoine University of Agriculture.


There over 74,304 hectares of forest plantations in Tanzania, which have been established in order to provide either hardwood or softwood or both. Examples of forest plantations in Tanzania include those, which provide softwood only are buhindi, matogoro, rubare and rubya; those which provide hard wood only include kwamkoro, lunguza, loliondo and mtibwa; and those which provide both hardwood and soft wood are rondo, ruvu, kawatere, kiwira, meru, north and west Kilimanjaro, sao hill (mufindi), shume, magamba, ukaguru and usa.


Timber industry in Tanzania is largely located in the rural areas where individuals and some groups run the industry. The government also runs the timber industry but to a small extent. The of many trees, development of transport system like the central railway line and the TAZARA railway line , demand for hardwood products like furniture, demand for paper, labor availability, food supply etc. have been some factors which influenced the development of timber industry in Tanzania.

Nonetheless, timber industry in Tanzania is not well developed compared to countries like Sweden due to the following factors.

1)     Most of the species are hardwood while there is a very great demand for softwood in the world.

2)     Poor transport network is another hindrance. Most of the roads are impossible during the rainy season and the railway lines are not enough since they pass in areas  which are far from the timber producing zones.

3)     Low capital to be invested in the development of the industry is a big problem. Most of the capital is borrowed from other countries, which are economically developed.

4)     Poor local market because most of the people in the country are poor and most of them have very low per capita income.

5)  Much concentration on cash crop and food crop production as well as mining has made the timber industry keep on dwindling.

6)     Low level of technology leading to poor quality products which do not compete in the world market.

7)    Deforestation or depletion of the forest is another limitation. Most of species have been destroyed and are still being destroyed because of fires, over cutting for timber production. Cutting for curing tobacco like in Tabora, Mpanda, Ruvuma, and chunya, overgrazing etc

Fires have become a common problem in mufindi and the mbeya range forest. Some of the forest areas have been cleared for settlement following the explosion of population. Generally Tanzania loses between 30,000 and 40,000 hectares of forest land every year and tree planting efforts add only about 20,000 hectares. This is less than 10% of the area supposed to be planted with trees every year in order to balance demand and supply. Most is cut for fuel.

8)     Food supply is another problem. The central parts of Tanzania where hard timber is being produced experience some problem of food. The food available is usually expensive leading to inefficiency.

9)     Labor shortage as a result of massive exodus of young and energetic people from the rural areas to urban areas in search of jobs in the offices and industries.

10)The tropical condition of Tanzania does not favor the establishment of many plantations for softwood species. These species are confined in the highland areas only.

Effects done in Tanzania to promote the forestry and timber industry in Tanzania.

1)  Conserving the forest through planting more trees. Different reforestation and afforestation programs have been established in Tanzania in which trees are being planted. Some areas have been declared as reserved in which cutting of trees is strictly prohibited, e.g. amani nature reserve in Tanga. Fires are being controlled by involving the local communities especially in Iringa and Arusha- Babati. Special education is being offered in schools, through mass media and campaigns focusing on the necessity of conserving the forest. The government has also been encouraging the planting of trees for example in the year 200, president Mkapa and her honorable former minister of natural resources and tourism Mrs. Zakia Menghji demonstrated the planting of trees so as to encourage such efforts throughout the country. The national wide tree planting campaign began vehemently under president Mkapa in April 1999. The millennium tree which was landed by president Mkapa is known as sclerocarya birrea (mung’ongo) or the marula tree which is a good supplier of fuel wood, animal fodder, timber, edible fruits, carving material s, bee forage, medicinal product, and local brew as well as making the famous anarula wine.

2)     Forest research centers have been established to conduct more research on the forest and forest products this was under the national forestry research master plan, which was prepared in 1991-1992 which aimed at promoting forest research activities through cost sharing mechanisms. There is silvicultural research center established in Lushoto.

3)Forestry training has started and there special training centers like Tengeru in Arusha and the Sokoine university of agriculture recruitment of qualified and competent staff for local governments is being emphasized and the in service training is being promoted.


Most of the timber industries are located in the forest to cut costs of transport since the logs are used are bulky and heavy. Some like furniture and paper industries can be located far away from the forests and especially near the markets. Their raw materials have reduced bulkiness after sawing and pulping have taken place.

Examples of timber industries in Tanzania include the following.

Furniture and fixtures industries

There are so many industries of this category in Tanzania. They are still small in scale some are run by individuals in their home steads while others are run by organized groups of people like the one in keko and in manzese at Dare s salaam.

Pulp and paper plants;

They were established in dare s salaam (kibo paper mill) and mufindi pulp and paper mill in Iringa. But the paper industry but the paper industry is small and is not running properly because of the following factors such as Poor management, poor capital availability and the industry requires a lot of capital, poor water supply due to drought conditions which have constantly been hitting Tanzania., destruction of trees as a result of fires that ravage the plantations especially the sao hills plantation in mufindi, poor power supply from the available power stations especially the mtera dam, poor skills for producing good quality paper, and poor local markets since people prefer paper that is manufactured abroad.  The mufindi pulp and paper industry was established at the cost which is Over Tshs. 250 million. The pulp produced is used for making a variety of paper-wrapping, newsprint, cartons, writing etc.

The establishment of Mufindi pulp & paper plant was stimulated by

1) The governments need to be self sufficient in the supply of paper, etc.

2)  High demand for paper and books after the great rise in school enrollment.

3)   The presence of the forest plantation of sao hill that could supply the raw materials.

–      Plywood factories located in Mwanza and Tanga

–      Tanning industries like the one in Kilimnjaro (moshi)

Importance of timber industries in Tanzania

Timber industry is important for.

1)     Providing employment.

2)     Importation of timber is unnecessary thus saving foreign currency.

3)     Environmental awareness has increased in the nation thus promoting forest conservation.

4)     Stimulated the development of transport into forests so as to exploit the products easily, such as the road in southern highlands where the forest with softwood covers 33,200kms.

5)     Promotion of living standards of people through the process of making furniture

6)     It has also promoted the conducive learning environment in schools in the country through the supply of paper construction and furniture.

7)    Timber products especially traditional carvings have become one of the tourist’s attractions in the country. Some tourist admires and buys the carvings.

8)     It has also stimulated  the market for food crops since the workers in the timber industry need a lot of food so that they can be able to work effectively

9)     The industry has also contributed the generation of government revenue through selling some of the products locally and exporting some of them abroad. For example Tanzania sustains a small but efficient export trade in high quality timber. It holds a substantial trade in charcoal and logs with the Persian Gulf countries.

Negative impacts of timber industries in Tanzania

The timber industry has several negative impacts including:

1)  Encouraging deforestation since tree planting speed is lower than the rate of destruction and even the rate of recovery is very slow.

2) It has contributed to environmental pollution especially the tanning industry, which is the major contributor in water pollution.

3) High capital involved in the establishment of the timber industry leads to the abandonment of other important projects.

4)  It leads to the destruction of animals and birds habitation.

The future of the timber industry in Tanzania depends on the proper management of the existing forest and woodland areas, the current tree planting and caring efforts, the degree of awareness among the people on forest conservation, population growth rate, financial position  and the commitment as well as the cooperation between the people and the government.

Problems facing forestry world wide;

1) The forests have been felled indiscriminately and wastefully.
2) Man has, intentionally or accidentally started fires that destroy the forest.
3) Lightning has started fires in the forest or damaged the trees.
4) Increasing world population causes a demand for forest products and hence encourages excessive exploitation.
5) Economic activities such as agriculture are putting pressure on the existing land.
6) Political unrest in most parts of the world has caused random felling of trees.
7) Diseases and pest attack the trees leading to a large- scale destruction.
8) Where the industries have been set up near the forests, tree leaves have been stunted and destroyed.

Solutions towards these problems;

Today the government and nongovernmental and international bodies have attempted to offer solutions to problems facing forestry through different ways like:

1)  Introducing afforestation and reforestation programs and this under high tune in Tanzania where the national tree planting campaign has been launched and is being insisted by the government officials.

2)  Spraying of forests with pesticides and fungicide so as to combat the problem of diseases and pests.

3)  Removing the infected trees in order that they cannot affect the others.

4)  There has been improvement of fire fighting technique and equipment.

5)  Training personnel in forest management.

6)  Clearing around forest as a means to guide against fires.

7)  Legislation on non- interference with forest areas.

8)  Mass education through different media on the importance of trees and necessity of conserving them.

9)  Reclaiming land from swamps and arid areas so as to ease the pressure on forest zones.

10) Conducting research on characteristics of trees to establish the suitable species that can be grown in specific areas.

11)Ensuring maximum utilization of the trees that have been cut.

4/ 5

No comments: