Research under this Sub-Programme aims at carrying out activities that are related to timber harvesting. Such activities are necessary for gaining benefits from a forest enterprise as well as its effects on soils, water regimes, wildlife, aquatic resources and other vegetation.
Under this Sub-Programme the following research activities will be undertaken:
- Undertake comprehensive plans to optimize productivity for various terrain, timber characteristics and harvesting system specifications and minimize costs, subject to constraints imposed by silvicultural, environmental and social considerations;
- Improve forest operations staff working conditions and health;
- Revise the current road design guidelines to determine optimal road grade (i.e. the grade which minimizes road construction costs, truck hauling costs and both road and vehicle maintenance costs), spacing and landing spacing to minimize total transport costs;
- Make comparisons of alternative cutting and extraction systems with the aim of adopting the appropriate technologies;
- Undertake studies on log and timber hauling technologies, costs and their impacts on roads;
- Undertake harvesting impact assessment to reduce timber and economic losses as well as environmental degradation resulting from unsuitable harvesting practices;
- Apply ergonomic principles to determine and evaluate the situational, workplace and other factors and propose improvements to attain higher productivity at reduced costs and increased job satisfaction; and
- Undertake studies and develop reduced impact timber harvesting guidelines for plantations and natural forests.
Research under this sub-programme aims at carrying out activities that improve the processing and utilisation of timber products and NTFPs. Many of the timber products and NTFPs have tradable goods and have recognised market values in the local and global markets.
Research activities under this Sub-Programme include:
- Determine anatomical, physical, mechanical and strength properties, and natural durability of lesser utilized tree species;
- Develop wood recycling technologies;
- Develop in-situ and ex-situ conservation and management of NTFP plants, including product processing, storage and marketing;
- Carry out studies on marketing potential of lesser utilized tree species, and other plants such as bamboos and rattan;
- Conduct studies on wood industries’ processing techniques e.g. use of different biomass materials for pulp and paper production, use of proven technologies for pulp and paper production, production of bio-composites’ etc;
- Conduct studies on popularisation and development of drying, processing, packaging, storage, and marketing of NTFPs;
- Carry out studies on charcoal quality from different tree species;
- Develop technologies of production of briquettes from wood and crop residues;
- Conduct studies on briquette qualities from different biomass resources;
- Develop technologies on gaseous and liquid fuels from biomass;
- Develop forest certification schemes; and
- Evaluate environmental friendly wood treatment/product treatment technologies, including use of indigenous knowledge for efficacy tests of various plants.