Special section: land use options in dry tropical woodland ecosystems in Zimbabwe
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This articles included in this special section focus on the ecological and economic interactions of woodland use in Western Zimbabwe. One of the aims was to investigate the use of modeling to achieve integration among disciplines. The integrated model draws on the models in the different papers comprising the special section. The model has five ecological sectors, five sectors covering woodland use by local people amd the state forestry organization, two sectors to cover agriculture, one sector for population growth and land use, a sector to cover carbon sequestration, and a sector to calculate net present values of the various uses. The state has usually attempted to keep people and their livestock out of the forest. We show that the private benefits of cropland may be greater than those related to state or local use of the woodland, but further work is required to incorporate the public costs of subsidies to cropland, and the public benefits of woodland services. Livestock production in the woodlands is compatible with woodland management, both from economic and ecological perspectives. Expulsion of forest dwellers from the state forest makes little ecological impact on the woodland, and does not improve the economic value of the woodland to the state. However, if the Forestry Commission relaxes the current control on in-migration, it is likely that the woodland be rapidly depleted in the face of massive in-migration. Modeling is seen as a framework for integration of ecological and economic issues, but further work is required to incorporate institutional perspectives from the sociological and anthropological disciplines.
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