Mixed plantation with slow growing indigenous species to protect land degradation [Bangladesh]

Desi Projatir Misro Bagan

technologies_4329 - Bangladesh

Completeness: 88%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Hossain Md. Akhter

Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong


land user:

Alam Md. Bodiul

University of Chittagong


Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Decision Support for Mainstreaming and Scaling out Sustainable Land Management (GEF-FAO / DS-SLM)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Bangladesh Forest Department (Bangladesh Forest Department) - Bangladesh

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Mixed plantation technique with slow growing indigenous plant species in hill slope, that plays an important role to protect land degradation.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Mixed-species plantations can play an important role in regulating land degradation and sustainable management of degraded forest areas. Among the various forestry practices, planting fast-growing species (used in mono-culture plantation) with slow-growing and indigenous species has a positive long-term impact on forest land management. Mixed species tree plantations have the potential to improve forest soils, forest cover and biological diversity, and facilitate forest succession in degraded ecosystems. In addition to carbon accumulation, mixed plantations also increase understory plant regeneration, and in some cases, reduce diseases and pests infestation in plantation. This technology is applied in hill-forest areas in Bangladesh for preventing erosion and risk of landslides, and to provide a sustainable supply of timber and fuel wood.
The plantation site located in Hathazari area of Chittagong division and inside the periphery of University of Chittagong. The landform is hill slope with 16-30% slopes on average. The annual rainfall is around 2500 mm and the soil texture is loamy to silty. The species used at the Hathazari plantation site were: Garjan (Dipterocarpus turbinatus), Telsur (Hopea odorata), Chapalish (Artocarpus chaplasha), Pithraj (Aphanamixis polystachya), and Minjiri (Senna siamea). All are deep-rooted, slow growing indigenous plant species with a felling rotation of 25-30 years. The Dipterocarpus species grows well on top of hill whereas Artocarpus chaplasha and Hopea odorata grows well in mid slope. Aphanamixis polystachya and Senna siamea perform well in bottom layer of hill. The sequence has positive mutual effects on tree growing. The plantation was established and managed by the authority of University of Chittagong (owner of the land) in 1990 with 2500 trees planted per hectare area (spacing interval 2m x 2m). The average slope of the site is around 30%. Before reforestation, the land was degraded and unproductive. As only a few scattered trees grow due to a huge demand of fuel wood the resulting insufficient coverage by tree crowns frequently led to landslides in the area. The local communities are only allowed to collect the dead branches as fuel and other non-wood forest products like honey, mushrooms, fruits and fodders from the plantation site.
The major activities required to establish the plantation are: seed collection, nursery preparation, site preparation, pit preparation, planting, tying of plants to stick for support, application of fertilizer, compost and biocide. After first establishment, the plantation needs ongoing maintenance activities such as weeding, refilling of vacancies, thinning, pruning, application of fertilizers and biocides (if necessary) and cutting of climbers. The timber species undergo a variety of thinning practices before the entire stand reaches maturity. These trees are progressively thinned out to provide fuel wood and timber, while allowing room for the natural regeneration of native species. The university authority carried out the maintenance activities and such a practice is advantageous to adjacent local communities since it meets their fuel wood demand.
Prior to establishment of the plantation, the area was barren and unproductive, and was hardly a suitable habitat for wildlife. More critically, during the annual monsoons, landslides were a regular phenomenon. The natural regeneration of the deforested area was additionally hampered by incendiary fires set by local communities for agricultural purpose. After the establishment of the plantation and the subsequent improvement of forest/land cover, it is now a habit for various species of bird, monkeys, deer, wild pigs, and rabbits. Furthermore, in humid tropical regions like Bangladesh, the frequent litterfall from indigenous plant species in mixed plantations constitutes the bulk of soil organic matter, and improved nutrient availability and soil fertility.
Though the mixed plantation required intensive management in the early stage, the example of this plantation shows that the mixed plantation with indigenous species is worthwhile and a degraded area can fully recover after 20 years. However, illicit felling of timber trees and illegal removal of litters from the ground for fuel by the local communities are still remains as a management challenge. The practice retains ecological integrity and enhances human well-being (through ‘cultural’ ecosystem services such as aesthetic beauty, ecotourism etc.) and livelihood (timber, fuelwood, non-timber forest products) as well.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Chittagong division

Further specification of location:


Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 0.1-1 km2
Is/are the technology site(s) located in a permanently protected area?


2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • during experiments/ research

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • conserve ecosystem
  • reduce risk of disasters
  • create beneficial social impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Land use mixed within the same land unit:


Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

  • Tree plantation, afforestation
Tree plantation, afforestation: Specify origin and composition of species:
  • Mixed varieties
Type of tree plantation, afforestation:
  • tropical rain forest plantation
  • Garjan (Dipterocarpus turbinatus), Telsur (Hopea odorata), Chapalish (Artocarpus Chaplasha), Pithraj (Aphanamixis polystachya), Minjiri (Senna siamea), etc.
Are the trees specified above deciduous or evergreen?
  • mixed deciduous/ evergreen
Products and services:
  • Timber
  • Fuelwood
  • Nature conservation/ protection
  • Recreation/ tourism
  • Protection against natural hazards

3.3 Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?

Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?
  • Yes (Please fill out the questions below with regard to the land use before implementation of the Technology)
Land use mixed within the same land unit:


Unproductive land

Unproductive land


The area was unproductive with some scatter trees that grows naturally. Due to huge demand of fuel wood the few natural stands also faced tremendous pressure. As the canopy coverage was exposed, landslides occurred frequently in that area.

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • forest plantation management
  • improved ground/ vegetation cover
  • ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
  • Wm: mass movements/ landslides

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The dimensions of structures are explained in the description part.


Md. Fazlay Arafat



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Indicate size and area unit:


If using a local area unit, indicate conversion factor to one hectare (e.g. 1 ha = 2.47 acres): 1 ha =:

2.47 acres

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Nursery preparation (seed collection, site clearing, leveling and fencing, drainage arrangement, bed preparation, making overhead shed, poly-bag preparation, potting seeds, manuring, irrigation, weed control) October
2. Site preparation (prepare plantation site map with GPS, jungle cutting, debris collection and staging, preparation of inspection paths and fire lines) May
3. Plantation (pit preparation, tying up of plants, application of fertilizers, compost and biocide, stick for support) June-July

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Nursery work Person day 32.0 500.0 16000.0 100.0
Labour Site preparation Person day 20.0 500.0 10000.0 100.0
Labour Plantation Person day 40.0 500.0 20000.0 100.0
Equipment Polybags Pieces 3000.0 1.0 3000.0 100.0
Equipment Loamy soil Cubic meter 6.0 400.0 2400.0 100.0
Equipment Bamboo Pieces 7.0 600.0 4200.0 100.0
Equipment Stick Pieces 2600.0 2.0 5200.0 100.0
Equipment Rope Lump sum 1.0 200.0 200.0 100.0
Equipment Bucket, Spade, Knife Lump sum 1.0 1000.0 1000.0 100.0
Plant material Seeds Kg 2.0 500.0 1000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Urea Kg 12.0 35.0 420.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides TSP Kg 12.0 40.0 480.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides MoP Kg 12.0 30.0 360.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Compost Kg 3200.0 4.0 12800.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Biocide Lump Sum 1.0 200.0 200.0 100.0
Construction material Signboard (to demarcate plantation area, number of species planted and year of plantation) Pieces 1.0 1000.0 1000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 78260.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 942.89

The University of Chittagong is the land user here.

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. 1st year weeding and climber cutting 3 times in a year
2. 2nd year weeding, climber cutting and thinning 3 times in a year
3. 3rd year weeding, climber cutting, thinning and pruning 3 times in a year
4. 1st year Vacancy filling, fertilizer and compost application June-July
5. 2nd year Vacancy filling, fertilizer and compost application June-July

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour 1st year weeding and climber cutting person-day 21.0 500.0 10500.0 100.0
Labour 2nd year weeding, climber cutting and thinning person-day 21.0 500.0 10500.0 100.0
Labour 3rd year weeding, climber cutting, thinning and pruning person-day 12.0 500.0 6000.0 100.0
Labour Vacancy filling, fertilizer and compost application 2 times person-day 30.0 500.0 15000.0 100.0
Plant material Seedlings pieces 500.0 10.0 5000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Urea, TSP, MoP, Compost Lump sum 1.0 1000.0 1000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 48000.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 578.31

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Labor cost

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • humid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

poor drinking water (treatment required)

Water quality refers to:

surface water

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • employee (company, government)
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • state
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
Are land use rights based on a traditional legal system?


5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


wood production


forest/ woodland quality


non-wood forest production

Comments/ specify:

honey, mushrooms and fruits for wildlife

risk of production failure

Comments/ specify:

mixed plantation is more pest resistant

product diversity

Comments/ specify:

Along with timber these mixed plantation yields oil, fruits, fodder, fuel and herbal medicines

production area


land management

Comments/ specify:

The degraded land which was vulnerable for landslides now convert to a native plantation area

Water availability and quality

irrigation water availability

Comments/ specify:

Increase of the stream flow that used for irrigation in adjacent crop lands

irrigation water quality

Income and costs

diversity of income sources

Comments/ specify:

tourism promoted in the area


Comments/ specify:

The workload increased at the initial stage but in the long run it will protect from the hassle of landslides

Socio-cultural impacts

land use/ water rights


recreational opportunities

Comments/ specify:

tourism increased in the area

SLM/ land degradation knowledge


Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quantity

Comments/ specify:

water holding capacity of soil increased due to the increase organic matter in the soil and canopy coverage

water quality


surface runoff


excess water drainage


groundwater table/ aquifer

Comments/ specify:

aquifer recharge positively influenced due to the canopy coverage and reduction of surface runoff


soil moisture


soil cover


soil loss


soil accumulation


nutrient cycling/ recharge


soil organic matter/ below ground C

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

Vegetation cover


biomass/ above ground C


plant diversity


invasive alien species

Comments/ specify:

as the plantation established and maintained with native plant species, the alien invasive plant species are not able to spread much here

animal diversity


beneficial species


habitat diversity

Comments/ specify:

The before bare, unproductive and degraded land now supports habitat for various wildlife

pest/ disease control

Climate and disaster risk reduction

landslides/ debris flows


impacts of cyclones, rain storms


emission of carbon and greenhouse gases


wind velocity


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability


reliable and stable stream flows in dry season


downstream siltation

Comments/ specify:

downstream siltation decreased due to reduction of surface runoff

impact of greenhouse gases


6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well
annual rainfall decrease well
seasonal rainfall wet/ rainy season increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Biological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
insect/ worm infestation well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly negative

Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly negative

Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 1-10%
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
This practice reduces 80% of landslides in this area.
Increases the soil fertility of the degraded land through improved nutrient cycling.
Enhances biodiversity conservation through habitat improvement.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Increase carbon sequestration
Provide a sustainable source of fuel wood and timber to the land user

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Protecting mixed-species plantations from illicit felling is difficult Regular patrolling need to be introduced
Silvicultural practices like thinning and pruning are not systematically practiced as local community collect dead branches for fuel
Local community collect litter from the ground to meet their fuel demand and this reduces the soil fertility Collecting litter from ground should be banned to protect soil fertility
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Due to the slow-growing nature of indigenous plant species, there is a long lag period before harvest gets possible (which has impacts on income). Alternate income generation activity need to be introduced

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

Number of informants were five including the plantation co-coordinator and plantation monitoring officer.

  • interviews with land users

Interview of four land user

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

One professor and one assistant professor of forestry discipline.

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


7.4 General comments

The questionnaire addressed all the specifications of the technology

Links and modules

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