Treated poles. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes:Uses, problems and solutions of commercial forests

  • Commercial forests have different uses.
  • Some of which include:
    1. The pine and eucalyptus are mainly used for construction purposes, furniture making as well as in the pulp and paper industry.
    2. Treated eucalyptus poles are also used for fencing, electricity and telephone posts.
    3. These forests also supply wood fuel to local communities.
    4. The wattle is used to produce tannin for the local leather industry and for export.


  • Exotic forests are however threatened by:
    1. Uncontrolled forest fires.
    2. Tree diseases and fungi.
    3. Constant droughts.
    4. Strong winds.
    5. Competition for land with other land uses for example fruit farming, tea, coffee production.
    6. Growth of population which leads to demand for settlement and crop farming areas.
    7. Resettlement schemes
    8. Firewood sellers


  • The following are suggested solutions to some of the problems stated above:
    1. A forestry training school has been opened at Mutare to train both local people and other people from other SADC countries in the sustainable use of forestry resources.
    2. Legislation such as by-laws forbid removal of trees and the use of fines when laws are broken.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page