IPSI Collaborative Activities

The role of woodlands and coppices in socio-ecological production landscapes ‘Embracing multifunctionality’

Lead organization: International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)

Other participating organizations: 
Kathmandu Forestry College, FPP, Kanuri Development Association (KDA)

The role of woodlands and coppices in socio-ecological production landscapes ‘Embracing multifunctionality’

Cluster 1 (case study); Cluster 2-iv (policies to revitalize and innovate); and Cluster 5 (on the ground activities)

Proposed by INBAR on 22 August 2010 as part of the Satoyama workshop in Fujiyoshida, Japan

This activity would focus on the role of woodlands and coppices in socio-ecological production landscapes, and through pilot projects and policy development protect and enhance their contribution to the multifunctionality that ‘Satoyamas’ have to offer to biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and development.


Woodlands and coppices are forests, but managed forests, and an integral part of ‘Satoyamas’. When managed properly, they provide both a source of income, and contribute significantly to ecosystem services, such as biodiversity conservation, erosion control and water retention. Although these woodlands and coppices are in fact man-made ‘forests’, balanced ‘Satoyamastyle’
woodlands and coppices play an important role in conserving biodiversity by providing shelter and refuge to many species and maintaining integration, complexity and stability of the whole woodland production ecosystems, and thereby acting as a bridge to natural forests outside the farming system. They are an essential part of the multifunctional role that ‘Satoyamas’ can play in a world that is loosing its biodiversity. However, although the importance of these woodlands is still being recognized (agroforesters, indigenous people), at the same time many of them are under threat, either from being not used anymore and/or neglected, for example because of urbanization, or from being over-harvested and over-used, for example because of the need for construction material of fuel wood.


It is suggested to focus the activity initially on the three categories mentioned: (1) neglected, (2) in sustainable use, and (3) disappearing. It also proposed to limit the case studies initially, e.g. to 3-5 countries.

Suggested work:

  1. Survey, collect and synthesize data on the economical and environmental viability of managing woodlands and coppices as part of socio-economic production systems, looking both for successful experiences and remaining constrains concerning biodiversity and ecosystems service in managing the production landscapes. Carry out an analysis and diagnosis of the landscapes with problems, where woodlands and coppices have become 2 unmanaged and are deteriorating, e.g. in developed countries, and the valuable but highly endangered landscapes with woodlands and coppices, e.g. in Africa.
  2. Analyze and provide advice for (re)formulation of international, national and local policies on revitalizing and innovating production woodlands and coppices landscape management by strengthening its environmental contribution through biodiversity conservation and promoting paid environmental services.
  3. Study and demonstrate sustainable woodlands and coppices management practices and develop technical guidelines and models for experience sharing, capacity building and upscaling outside the pilot countries.

Call for Partners:

Partners are needed that represent and/or provide:

  1. Regional presence and expertise, in particular with local ‘Satoyamas’
  2. Expertise of woodland and coppices in multifunctional socio-economic production systems
  3. Expertise with policies for payment for ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation
Box: Bamboo as an example
Bamboo groves are typical and common in socio-economic production landscapes in Asia, Africa and Latin America. There are modern and economically viable socio-economic production landscapes with bamboo in East Asia, landscapes where bamboo has become unmanaged and now threatens to become a problematic invasive species (Japan) and there are valuable but highly endangered landscapes with bamboo in e.g. the rift valleys of East Africa, where the need for wood and deficient land tenure policies endanger the so-called ‘water towers’, the woodlands on the mountains which encompass important bamboo groves, which traditionally have been used by the local community.

Potential partners are requested to contact:

Dr Lou Yiping
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)