Interactive Suitable Tree Species Selection and Management Tool for East Africa- Rwanda uri icon


  • 1. The tool aims at promoting tree diversity on farm and in landscapes, including useful exotic tree species that the existing vegetation maps do not capture. The tool currently consists of 115 (54 native and 61 exotic) tree species in Rwanda, disaggregated according to agro-ecological zone suitability. The database enables the user to easily access information either based on tree species, their agro-ecological zone suitability, products, environmental services, origin (native or exotic) and niche. The tool also provides specific details on the trees' biophysical growth conditions and management requirements as well as links to other agroforestry databases. 2. The tool contains rich information from knowledge-intensive and detailed tree diversity studies: The tool is a composite of different studies and surveys done by working with different stakeholders such as researchers, farmers, extension workers and local partner organizations. These include: o Tree diversity studies- shows the current tree diversity trends o Local knowledge studies- captures tree species according to niche locations, most important tree and preferred tree niches. Historical timelines captures tree species that have been lost or are close to extinction, as well as reasons for these trends. o Baseline studies- captures patterns of tree adoption on farms o Seed and Seedling System surveys- captures what tree species farmers are planting currently, including the most popular tree species, which implies future trends o Land Degradation Surveillance Framework: presents biophysical assessment of tree distribution, including tree density o Literature review- such as the Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia- was used to provide additional information such as: biophysical growth conditions, management practices etc and in addition to triangulate information already captured through the other approaches 3. Tracking tree species' trends: The tools provide an insight into the past, present and future tree species trends on landscapes. Source of information for each tree species, which is guided by the studies named in 2 above is provided (by an asterisk). Double asterisk signifies trees that are deemed most important by farmers in a given area. 4. Scalability: Information provided in the tool can be easily used to select suitable tree species for scaling up and scaling out agroforestry interventions to similar agro-ecologies. 5. Further it is possible to update information on the tool as more tree species are encountered. Science with grass-root impacts: The tool is interactive and targets a wider audience for promoting ‘Research in Development' agenda: The tool is easy to use and targets not only researchers but also local extension workers, who are key in scaling up and out agroforestry in interventions. It provides local names of tree species that can easily guide the users at the local level to identify the tree species. We hope to explore ways of packaging the information in forms that can be readily available to local partners like CDs etc

publication date

  • 2018