Forest Management Practices, The Bahamas Perspective: Past, Present, Future

Presented by Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell and Arien Sikken

Forest inventories on Abaco and Andros have been carried out over the past years under FAO’s TCP/BHA/3401 project from 2012 to 2014. The main objectives were capacity building and training Bahamians in sustainable forest management principles through various workshops and activities such as forest inventories. The state of the pine forest in North Andros in 1986 and 2013 is discussed by an analysis of forest inventory data that has been collected in both years under two FAO projects. Data has been collected by visiting sample plots where the DBH- diameter at breast height- and height was measured for every tree. The comparison between both inventories supported by graphs shows the development of the forest over time in terms of stocking, DBH, height, basal area, and stand volumes. The past and future of the logging industry in The Bahamas are discussed by a comparison of the forest management practices that were applied in the period 1900-1970 and forest management practices that are promoted for future initiatives. The proposed National Forest Estate is highlighted for Abaco, illustrating which activities are allowed in the various forest areas under the proposed designations of Conservation Forest, Forest Reserve and Protected Forest. The forest inventory carried out in Normans Castle, and Treasure Cay in North Abaco, indicates which data was collected and how this can be used for decision making regarding silvicultural interventions and implementation of sustainable forest management practices in the future.

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