Jorge Hugo García Sierra, Miguel Angel Dossman Gil, Ligia Maria Arias Giraldo, Juan Carlos Camargo:
Planning of Guadua Forest Based on Land Assessmnent and Site Quality


Technological University of Pereira, Research Group on Management of Tropical Agroecosystems, Colombia

In the Colombian coffee region the woody bamboo species Guadua angustifolia Kunth represents an important natural resource traditionally used by farmers for many purposes such as construction, furniture and handicrafts. Due to the variety of uses the commercial value of Guadua culms has recently increased. Therefore, this resource has potential productive and protective functions essential for the sustainable development of this important region of Colombia.

Planning of Guadua bamboo forest is still a priority for government institutions responsible of giving principles for forest management. However, information collected in inventories and forest plans usually are unarticulated. Consequently, institutions can not provide a good guide to an adequate management of Guadua bamboo forest in the Colombian coffee region.

A general spatial decision model based on land evaluation process was developed to define potential areas for establishing Guadua plantations in five states of the Colombian coffee region. Thereafter, areas so called units of forest management (UFM) were defined for sixteen municipalities. To develop spatial decision model was used information from Guadua forest inventories and a baseline information on soils, climate conditions, geomorphology, environmental services and socioeconomic aspects. The software Arc View 3.3 and its extensions spatial analyst and 3D analyst were used. Also the extension Model Builder included within spatial analyst 2.0 provided tools to develop the model.

UFM represent areas with highest potential for establishing Guadua plantations. In addition, Guadua stands located within each nucleus were qualified in terms of productivity, quality and their potential to conform protected areas. Plans of management and strategies of marketing are now done according to the specific characteristics of nuclei.

The issues of this work are an important tool for planning Guadua forest and contribute to an adequate management of this natural resource in the Colombian coffee region. Also this experience could be replied in areas with fragmented forests.

Keywords: Forest planning, site quality, units of forest management

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Contact Address: Jorge Hugo García Sierra, Technological University of Pereira, Research Group on Management of Tropical AgroecosystemsLa Julita, Pereira, Colombia, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, November 2007