The history of Analog Forestry

 

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The term ‘Analog Forestry’ was cornered by the Sri Lankan biologist Ranil Senanayake in 1987. His ideas of creating an agricultural system adapted to the local context has been further investigated by the Neo Synthesis Research Centre (NSRC) in Sri Lanka. In April 1994, Analog Forestry was accepted as a methodology integrating the protection of biodiversity within the context of sound landscape management by scientific experts at the Open-ended Intergovernmental Meeting of Scientific Experts on Biological Diversity (sponsored by the UN) in Mexico City.

The practical value of this system has now been demonstrated with over 19 years of research that is being translated into community projects. Today there are over 35 villages in Sri Lanka with over 250 individual farmers involved in extension projects. The approach has also been successfully adopted elsewhere in Asia and Latin America, under various ecological and climatic conditions.

The commercial value of Analog Forestry is being realised by the development of a system of crop certification. Producers of crops who follow the principles of Analog Forestry get their crops certified as ‘Forest Garden Products’, a government-approved label with independent certification which enables better marketing.

The First International Workshop on Analog Forestry was April 3rd -7th , 1995 in Sri Lanka. Attended by 11 participants from seven countries, the workshop consisted of lectures, discussions and visits to field experiments. In May 1995 the First Analog Forestry Network Newsletter was distributed. From September 8th to 11th, 1999 an Analog Forestry Workshop was organized in Catemaco, Veracruz, México.