A pan-African initiative on “Sustainable Forest Management in Africa (SFM)” was implemented between 2003 and 2008, with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The overall aim of the initiative was to learn from experiences in implementing SFM in Africa and evaluate how to upscale the positive lessons. The initiative was jointly implemented by the African Forest Research Network (AFORNET) at the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, in collaboration with many national and regional institutions in Africa as well as some other international institutions.
One of the key findings from this initiative is that Africa continues to have serious problems with generating new information and innovations in forestry, accessing externally available information, as well as with analysing and adopting such information and innovation into practical forest management. There are pockets of information in many institutions, networks and individuals. However, a mechanism to systematically collect, collate, synthesise (where necessary) and share the information is lacking. Such information would not only enrich educational establishments, which mould future foresters, agriculturalists, environmentalists and other stakeholders in forestry, but will also be useful for decision-makers and practitioners in forestry, environmental protection, rural development, and related areas.
In this regard the SFM initiative collected a substantial amount of information on Non-Wood Forest Products and Services (NWFPS). It was felt that this information was not available in a way that could facilitate its use by educational and training institutions for technical and professional education in forestry and related areas. A team composed of the following members examined the information and proposed ways of enriching and developing it into a teaching compendium for both technical and professional training: Prof. Daniel N. Sifuna, Dr. James B. Kung’u and Dr. Teresa Aloo (Kenyatta University, Kenya); Dr. Joel Laigong and Dr. Kingiri Senelwa (Moi University, Kenya); Ms. Jane K. Kaaria (Kenya Forestry College, Londiani, Kenya); Dr. Tsegaye Bekele (Wondo Genet College of Forestry, Ethiopia); Dr. Abdalla A. Elfeel (College of Forestry and Range Science, Khartoum, Sudan); Mr. Bennet Mataya (Mzuzu University, Malawi); Prof. John Kaboggoza (Makerere University, Uganda); Mr. Isaya Mnang’wone (Forestry Training Institute, Olmotonyi, Tanzania); Prof. August Temu (World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya) and; Ms Agnes Lusweti and Prof. Godwin Kowero (Sustainable Forest Management in Africa Initiative, Nairobi, Kenya). Prof. Sifuna provided the pedagogical guidance in writing the compendium.
The initial draft of the compendium was put up by Dr. Kingiri Senelwa (Moi University, Kenya), Mr. Bennet Mataya (Mzuzu University, Malawi) and Dr. Suzana Augustino (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania). They are collectively responsible for the contents of the compendium. The African Forest Forum (AFF), upon expiry of the SFM initiative, took up the responsibility for moving this process forward. The draft compendium was reviewed by Dr. Phosiso Sola (Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources), Dr. Jean Lagarde Betti (University of Douala, Cameroon), Prof. Labode Popoola (University of Ibadan), Dr. Julius Chupezi (FAO-Cameroon), Dr. Abasse Tougiani (INRAN/CERRA, Maradi, Niger), Dr. Ben Chikamai (Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya); Dr.
Yonas Yemshaw, Dr. Mahamane Larwanou and Prof. Godwin Kowero (African Forest Forum). The final editing, graphics reproduction, layout, and production were done by Dr. Enoch Achigan-Dako (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa-PROTANairobi).
This compendium is not written as a paper for scientific journal publication, but as scientific information drawn from various sources and presented in a pedagogical manner to facilitate uptake of the same by students and their instructors. Information dispersed in various writings on the subject has been collated and systematically synthesised into chapters that focus on certain topics and in a sequence that facilitates the understanding of the industry of Non-Wood Forest Products and Services. Hopefully this compendium will provide incentives for others to write books that will address the needs of teachers and students on the same and similar issues. The compendium aims at enabling students and other interested groups including government officials, producers, exporters, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research institutes and other stakeholders to acquire knowledge, skills, and values in the identification, development, management, utilisation and promotion of opportunities in NWFPS. It will enable the reader to: