Developing a Forest Management Plan (DFMP) for Gatsibo District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda
Kinyanjui, Mwangi James
Habiyaremye, Gaspard Nelson
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In support of conservation of its fragile land resource, the government of Rwanda has proposed the management of all forests in the country under a specific management plan. This assignment sought to develop a management plan for the public productive forests of Gatsibo District in Eastern province of Rwanda. Data was collected from 1468 plots, proportionally allocated by size to the 375 forest stands. Information about the forest (qualitative data) was recorded and then forest measurements (inventory) done in a concentric cycle of 9.77 m and 3.99 m radius and all data recorded in a digital format using the survey CTO platform. The data was summarized and analyzed in a harmonized forest management tool for Rwanda comprising of six interlinked excel files based on Rwanda’s silvicultural regimes and treatments. This analysis resulted to planning for silvicultural activities in each forest up to the year 2070. Results show that the public plantation forests of Gatsibo are poorly stocked mainly due to poor management and the best stocked forest had a basal area of only 13.3 m2/ha. This implied low forest volumes for each of the wood requirements; timber wood, service wood and energy wood. Eucalyptus forests are the most common but are poorly stocked compared to the Pinus patula forests which are even aged by plantation. A projection of stocks shows that the forests can be sustained with an average wood volume of 73 m3/ha, to provide harvests yearly and reduce the wood supply and demand gap in the district. A viability analysis indicates that some forests are viable for leasingwith good profits in the short term (10 years) and full term planning (40 years). However, some forests may not be commercially viable due to their current stocks and agro bioclimatic conditions, and these would be rehabilitated for ecosystem services. This plan supports the restoration of the forests of Gatsibo district through provision of specific guidelines for the management of the forests.