What is Analog Forestry?


Saha Astitva is looking to begin an Analog Forestry demonstration starting on a barren land.  We are currently looking for a project manager to intern for this position.

We are running an event on 12th May 2013 to promote the concept of Analog Forestry, welcoming the pioneers of the system Ranil Senanayake and Lorena Gamboa.

For more information on the event click here

(The following content from http://www.rainforestrescueinternational.org/rri/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=97)

Analog Forestry is a system of silviculture, which aims to restore the local biodiversity while providing economic opportunities to small-scale farmers. Inspired by Sri Lanka’s tradition ofhome-gardens it encourages (but is not limited to) the use of economically viable crops such as tea, spices, fruit and vegetables, as well as ecologically important species.

Where Analog Forestry differs from other systems is in the planting design, which mimics both the structure of a natural forest (i.e. different canopy layers) and the ecological functions of a natural forest (i.e. watershed management).

Combing local forest biodiversity with organic crop cultivation has a number of advantages. Using ecologically sustainable farming practices:

  • Encourages high biodiversity

  • Produces clean water and soil

  • Gives watershed protection

  • Conserves soil

While the first few years of converting a system to Analog Forestry can be intensive, the long-term economic and biodiversity gains make this a sustainable system. Although crops give lower yields than in more intensive farming practices, their diversity provides economic stability. For example, if one crop fails or market prices fall for one commodity, the other crops can still be sold to provide a stable income. Organic farming techniques also require less expenditure on external inputs such as chemical fertilisers, as there is a higher resilience against plagues and diseases.

The practical value of this system is demonstrated in over 25 years of research that is being translated into community projects across the world.

The history of Analog Forestry

Over 30 years ago, a group of environmentalists from the NeoSynthesis Research Centre (NSRC), developed an agricultural method which would encourage native biodiversity to flourish. This system provided an alternative to monocrops which were being widely promoted for “reforestation” purposes.

Led by Sri Lankan Systems Ecologist Dr. Ranil Senanayake, (present Chairman of Rainforest Rescue International), NSRC first applied this system on the abandoned Belipola tea estate in the Sri Lankan hills, in Mirahawatte, near Bandarawela, successfully restoring the ecosystem and its functions as well as the estate’s income generation potential.

The name Analog Forestry was coined in 1987, and in April 1994 it 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.

A world-wide network


The International Analog Forestry Network (IFAN), based in Costa Rica, was established in 1996 as a worldwide forum for Analog Forestry practitioners. With members in over 15 countries spanning 3 continents, this movement has reached thousands of beneficiaries.


Forest Garden Certification (FGP)


The FGP inspection system began in Sri Lanka as a method of evaluating the effectiveness of Analog Forestry. The inspection service certifies products ‘beyond organic’. Not only do products need to be organic in origin, they also need to comply with social, biodiversity, landscape and carbon criteria, ensuring all FGP producers are responsible and effective in restoring their ecosystems.