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UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI Viikki Tropical Resources Institute VITRI

TROPICAL FORESTRY REPORTS 32

Jörn Laxén
Is prosopis a curse or a blessing? – An ecological-economic analysis of an invasive alien tree species in Sudan

UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI Viikki Tropical Resources Institute VITRI

TROPICAL FORESTRY REPORTS
TROPICAL FORESTRY REPORTS contains (mainly in English) doctoral dissertations, original research reports, seminar proceedings and research project reviews connected with Finnish-supported international development cooperation in the field of forestry. Publisher Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI) P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland (address for exchange, sale and inquiries) Olavi Luukkanen +358-9-191 58643 +358-9-191 58646 Olavi.Luukkanen@helsinki.fi www.mm.helsinki.fi/mmeko/vitri

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Is prosopis a curse or a blessing? – An ecological-economic analysis of an invasive alien tree species in Sudan

Jörn Laxén

Academic dissertation

To be presented, with the permission of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of the University of Helsinki, for public discussion in Auditorium XII of the University Main Building, Fabianinkatu 34, on Friday 27 April at 12 o’clock noon

Helsinki 2007

Supervisors:

Professor Olavi Luukkanen Director Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI) Department of Forest Ecology University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland Professor John Sumelius Department of Economics and Management University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland

Reviewers:

Professor Jussi Uusivuori Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA) Helsinki, Finland Ph.D. Marko Katila Economic Adviser Ministry for Foreign Affairs Helsinki, Finland

Opponent:

Professor Arild Vatn Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) Aas, Norway

2

ABSTRACT The overall aim of this work was to develop scientifically verified and realistic solutions for the quantification of impacts and a further ecological (environmental) economic valuation of benefits and social costs of prosopis (Prosopis juliflora) in Sudan. A Presidential Decree from 1995 to eradicate the prosopis tree from everywhere in Sudan due to its conceived overall net detrimental impacts constituted a demanding challenge to investigate whether this view on the species is true or false. This is a long-standing issue of hot debates in numerous other countries in the tropics and sub-tropics as well. The research methodology primarily, consisted of a problem-based approach that emphasized economic analyses which utilized, where available, the market economic values at two case study sites framed inside the New Halfa and the Gandato Irrigation Schemes, respectively. Additionally, the derivation of non-market values was captured using ecological economic tools, so as to reach a deeper understanding on how prosopis impacts on the environment and on the human well-being at the two study sites. The main data collection in the New Halfa Scheme framed area in Kassala State was first conducted as four separate household surveys (totally with 110 sample households) for the tenant farmers, the western and the eastern Sudanese landless people, as well as for the nomad population group, respectively. The latter three comprised several ethnic groups. Due to the complexity caused by a diversity of the population groups, the main aim at New Halfa was to study the magnitude of environmental economic benefits and costs, derived from the invasion of prosopis in a large agricultural irrigation scheme on clay soils. A comparison was also made between a prosopisinvaded framed area and an area totally devoid of prosopis in the same scheme. In New Halfa, there was a distinct and slowly decreasing trend from the poorest towards the richest households in the dependence on prosopis among the western and eastern...
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