Lier la sylviculture tropicale à la gestion forestière durable

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Sven Günter
Michael Weber
Bernd Stimm
Reinhard Mosandl

Résumé

Depuis l'émergence du concept de la " gestion durable des ressources " dans les dernières décennies du XXe siècle, les aspects écologiques, technologiques et socio-économiques constituent les piliers de la gestion forestière durable. Alors que la production de bois et de produits forestiers non ligneux (PFNL) a longtemps été l'objectif premier de la gestion forestière, la demande de services forestiers écologiques s'accroît aujourd'hui en parallèle. Cependant, les systèmes de gestion forestière tropicale ont été conçus pour la plupart il y a fort longtemps, avec pour but principal la production de bois. Cet article présente une approche en six étapes pour passer de la sylviculture tropicale classique axée sur la production de bois à des approches plus globales visant à assurer une gestion réellement durable des ressources forestières. Cet objectif est particulièrement important sous les tropiques, où la production de bois est désormais menacée par un rythme de déforestation alarmant et par l'importance accrue des ressources forestières pour assurer la subsistance des populations locales. L'augmentation des superficies forestières concurrence fortement les autres objectifs d'utilisation des terres, et l'intensification permettant d'accroître la production à l'hectare est donc une approche prometteuse pour résoudre ce problème majeur, par exemple par la mise en oeuvre des techniques sylvicoles à rotations courtes, la domestication d'essences ou l'aménagement des sites. La diversification des structures et des services forestiers est une stratégie complémentaire importante visant à remédier à la dégradation éventuelle des forêts et aux pénuries d'autres biens ou services, et de ce fait à contribuer à la gestion durable à l'échelle d'un paysage. Les échelles de gestion, temporelles et spatiales, doivent donc être adaptées aux besoins des exploitants forestiers individuels (pour la production de bois, par exemple) mais aussi à ceux de la collectivité (eau, biodiversité, stockage du carbone...). La gestion forestière durable dépend fortement de son acceptation par l'ensemble des intéressés, et les approches participatives peuvent y contribuer de façon significative. Cet article présente des exemples montrant comment l'intégration de la sylviculture et de la gestion forestière permet, en englobant tous les aspects indiqués ci-dessus, de contrer la gestion de conception purement extractive pour aboutir à une approche sylvicole moderne en termes de gestion adaptive de l'écosystème. L'autonomie des acteurs sociaux et des mécanismes de marché opérationnels pour les produits et services autres que le bois sont des éléments incontournables de la planification sylvicole moderne, mais n'ont aucune utilité pour la gestion forestière durable tant qu'ils ne s'accompagnent pas d'une solide connaissance des fonctions et processus écologiques et d'une bonne compréhension des impacts des interventions humaines. La sylviculture tropicale et la gestion durable des forêts dépendent l'une comme l'autre de la connaissance des écosystèmes et de son application pratique sur le terrain.

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