Coppice management of Sal (Shorea robusta) forest [Bangladesh]

Sal bon bebosthapona

technologies_4830 - Bangladesh

Completeness: 92%

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)

SLM specialist:

Mohammed Nur

Bangladesh Forest Department


land user:

Abedin Md. Joynal


land user:

Rahman Md. Mojibur


{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 1, 'label': 'Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Decision Support for Mainstreaming and Scaling out Sustainable Land Management (GEF-FAO / DS-SLM)', 'template': 'raw'} {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 697, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Bangladesh Forest Department (Bangladesh Forest Department) - Bangladesh', 'template': 'raw'}

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:

The coppice management of Sal (Shorea robusta) tree is a forest management practice to regain the natural forest resources in central and northern parts of Bangladesh.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Sal forests have a fairly wide and interrupted distribution in the drier central and northern parts of the country. These tropical moist deciduous forests are popularly known as Sal forest as the predominant species is Sal (Shorea robusta). The importance of Sal forests lies in the fact that these are the only natural forest resources of the central and northern parts of Bangladesh where the majority of the country’s population lives. Historically, the agrarian rural people around the forests have been heavily dependent on Sal forests for their livelihood. Until the beginning of the 20th century, Sal forests existed as a large continuous belt with rich biological resources but increasing pressure from population growth has been placed on them ever since. Most of the Sal forests have either become degraded in quality or reduces by conversion to agricultural land.
The Forest Department introduced coppice management with natural regeneration in Sal forest that have a rotation of 20-30 years to regain the forest structure and biomass. Coppicing is a traditional method of forest management, which exploits the capacity of tree species to put out new shoots from their stump or roots if cut down. Due to the fact that shoots perform better than seedlings, because they obtain water, nutrients and carbohydrates from a well-developed root system of the parent tree, they are more resilient to human disturbances that affect tree growth and survival. As new growth emerges after a number of years, the coppiced tree is harvested, and the cycle begins again. Therefore, coppicing is considered an efficient mechanism by which trees regain above-ground biomass immediately after disturbance.
The Gazipur Sal forest is located in lowland plain areas of the central parts of Bangladesh. The average temperature in Gazipur is 25.8 °C and the annual rainfall is 2036 mm. The area is densely populated with a population density of 2,505 per square km. The dominant land use is still agriculture, but industrialization rate is higher in the area as it is only 25km away from capital Dhaka. The Sal forest area is managed by Bangladesh Forest division. Co-management approach is introduced in some buffer areas for the coppice management of Shorea robusta with a profit-sharing ratio of 65:25 between forest department and community beneficiaries. The rest of 10% money allocated for further tree farming activities.
No new planting of Sal seedlings is necessary for this practice. In the first year a relatively poor-quality Sal stand of Gazipur site were selected where coppice regeneration took place from stumps. Then, the multiple shoots regenerated from the stump were singled to three best shoots per stump and the rest were harvested. These three shoots were maintained in the following years and new shoots were removed if there were any. In addition, regular weeding was needed to maintain the technology. Local community people engaged to the maintenance and surveillance activities through co-management modalities and they will get their profit share after harvesting of the mature stand.
Where the density of Sal stumps is between 200-400 stems/ha, coppice management potentially protects and promotes the growth of new Sal seedling and other natural species in open areas. The native species regeneration under coppice management helps protect biodiversity value in a cost-effective manner. Coppice Sal Forests have the capacity to regenerate a rich variety of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). The major NTFPs collected by the co-management beneficiaries include fuelwood, dry leaves for fuel, and medicinal plants. Apart from this, they also collect mushroom, tuber crops, wild fruits, cane, honey and resin from coppice forests. As the area is under permanently protected area the beneficiaries cannot harvest any timber from the stand.
As the artificial regeneration of Sal is difficult, the sustainable forest management can be ensured through coppice management of Sal. In Gazipur, the depleted Sal forest are now slowly regaining its health and habitats for wildlife are improving as well. These forests, which historically were seen as timber sources, are now managed for multiple products through coppice management. The forest now supports alternate income for community people and also playing important role for ecological balance of this region.

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:

Dhaka 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:
  • 10-100 km2
Is/are the technology site(s) located in a permanently protected area?


If yes, specify:

The Gazipur Sal forest is located in a permanent protected area where local communities cannot collect any timber other than fuel wood and NTFP

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • as part of a traditional system (> 50 years)

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • conserve ecosystem
  • create beneficial economic impact
  • 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

  • (Semi-)natural forests/ woodlands
(Semi-)natural forests/ woodlands: Specify management type:
  • Dead wood/ prunings removal
Type of (semi-)natural forest:
  • tropical moist deciduous forest natural vegetation
  • Shorea robusta; Terminalia bellirica; Phyllanthus emblica; Albizia saman
Are the trees specified above deciduous or evergreen?
  • mixed deciduous/ evergreen
Products and services:
  • Timber
  • Fuelwood
  • Fruits and nuts
  • Other forest products
  • Nature conservation/ protection
  • Recreation/ tourism

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

Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?
  • No (Continue with question 3.4)

The original Sal forest stand faced rapid reduction through over-exploitation, deforestation, excessive leaf-litter collection, encroachment, indiscriminate collection of specific economically important plant species (i.e medicinal, fodder etc), and other form of human interference. This was degraded forest with some scatter trees.

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

  • natural and semi-natural forest management
  • forest plantation management
  • improved ground/ vegetation cover

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover
management measures

management measures

  • M2: Change of management/ intensity level

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
soil erosion by wind

soil erosion by wind

  • Et: loss of topsoil
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bh: loss of habitats
  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
  • Bs: quality and species composition/ diversity decline
  • Bl: loss of soil life

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

{'additional_translations': {}, 'content_type': 'image/jpeg', 'preview_image': '/media/c7/e/c7e78c9a-bb0d-4a10-95d3-3a4014feb9bc.jpg', 'key': 'Technical drawing', 'value': '/media/c0/6/c06f751e-23c0-4603-8fe2-6051e218637a.jpg', 'template': 'raw'}
Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The left hand of the picture represents a depleted Sal forest where only few trees remain and multiple shoots regenerated from the stumps of chopped down Sal trees. The right hand of the picture shows the coppice management in the depleted forest stand. From the regenerated multiple shoots of only one to three best shoots per stump are allowed to grow and other shoots removed. These three shoots were maintained in the following years and new shoots were removed if there were any.


Nazrin Sultana



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:

1 ha

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:

500 BDT

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Site preparation (prepare plantation site map with GPS, jungle cutting, debris collection) June-July
2. Thinning (removal of unwanted shoots from stumps) June-July
3. Application of fertilizer (compost) 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 Site preparation (prepare plantation site map with GPS, jungle cutting, debris collection) person-days 5.0 500.0 2500.0 100.0
Labour Thinning (removal of unwanted shoots from stumps) person-days 12.0 500.0 6000.0 100.0
Labour Application of fertilizer person-days 5.0 500.0 2500.0 100.0
Equipment Spade, saw, bucket, knife, etc. lump sum 1.0 2000.0 2000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Compost fertilizer kg 2000.0 4.0 8000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 21000.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 250.0

Bangladesh Forest Department is the land owner and bear the cost of this practice

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. 1st year weeding 3 times
2. 2nd year weeding 3 times
3. 3rd year weeding 2 times
4. 4th year weeding 1 time

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 person-days 12.0 500.0 6000.0 100.0
Labour 2nd year weeding person-days 12.0 500.0 6000.0 100.0
Labour 3rd year weeding person-days 8.0 500.0 4000.0 100.0
Labour 4th year weeding person-days 4.0 500.0 2000.0 100.0
Equipment Spade, saw, bucket, knife, etc. Lump-sum 1.0 2000.0 2000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 20000.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 238.1

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
  • sub-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):
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • high (>3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

for agricultural use only (irrigation)

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:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% 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
  • elderly

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:
  • communal (organized)
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
Are land use rights based on a traditional legal system?



Participatory forest management in coppice Sal forest with local commuities

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


risk of production failure


product diversity

Comments/ specify:

Some agroforestry products also derived from the practice of local communities

Income and costs

diversity of income sources


Socio-cultural impacts

land use/ water rights

Comments/ specify:

re-establishment of Sal forest through coppice management with involving local community allowed them to collect NTFP from the forest

cultural opportunities


recreational opportunities

Comments/ specify:

Ecotourism has benn promoted in the area

community institutions

Comments/ specify:

Through co-management of Sal forest the local community institutions strengthened

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

The scattered degraded forest is now managed in a sustainable manner

conflict mitigation

Comments/ specify:

Conflict on forest land use has been reduced due to co-management

situation of socially and economically disadvantaged groups

Comments/ specify:

the extreme poor people who were depended on forest now are member of the co-management group under the profit sharing approach

Ecological impacts


soil moisture


soil cover


soil loss


soil accumulation


soil compaction


nutrient cycling/ recharge


soil organic matter/ below ground C

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

Vegetation cover


biomass/ above ground C


plant diversity


beneficial species


habitat diversity

Climate and disaster risk reduction

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases


wind velocity




6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability

Comments/ specify:

groundwater aquifer recharges due to presence of forest canopy cover

buffering/ filtering capacity


wind transported sediments


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
seasonal temperature summer increase well
annual rainfall decrease well
seasonal rainfall wet/ rainy season increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm well
local thunderstorm well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought moderately

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:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • > 50%
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

Forest department adopted the technology and replicate it in other Sal forest area with co-management approach

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
Establishment and maintenance costs arelow.
Artificial regeneration of Sal is difficult. Through coppice management forest coverage can be ensured for long period.
The population of the community can cover their fuel needs from the Sal forests.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Increases the soil fertility of the degraded land through nutrient cycle.
Biodiversity conservation through habitat improvement.
Increase of carbon sequestration.

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?
Protection from illicit felling of Sal is difficult. Community people need to be engage in patrolling
Occurrence of fire in dry seasons hampered Sal coppice stand
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Timber yield from coppice stand of Sal is inferior in comparison with original stand of Sal. Vacancy filling can be done with high value timber species

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

Number of informants: 5 persons

  • interviews with land users

Number of informants: 4 persons

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

Number of informants: 2 persons

  • compilation from reports and other existing documentation

Number of scientific articles: 3

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Islam KK, Sato N, 2012. Deforestation, land conversion and illegal logging in Bangladesh: the case of the Sal (Shorea robusta) forests. iForest 5: 171-178 [online 2012-06-25]

Available from where? Costs? id=ifor0578-005

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Hossain, M.K. 2015. Silviculture of Plantaion Trees of Bangladesh, ISBN:978-984-33-9767-6

Available from where? Costs?

Arannayk Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh. US$ 15

7.3 Links to relevant online information

Title/ description:

Joint Forest Management and Adaptation of Sal (Shorea robusta) and Its Flexibility in Wide Range of Ecological factors in Forest Gardens


7.4 General comments

The questionnaire covers all the aspect of the practice

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all