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BLUE TARGET TOOL – a practical way to design a riparian buffer zone


Futa River

Wednesday 07 November · 1/2 day

Total Duration 4 hours

Includes: transportation and snack.


This Field Trip is focused on the Blue Target Tool in a forested area near Futa River, circa 30 min from Valdivia. An introduction to the tool will be given in field and there will be possibility to test the tool in small groups, walking alongside a stream. The groups will test the tool practically with paper and pencil. A discussion will be held in how to adapt the tool for different conditions and natural given circumstances.

The Blue Targeting Tool (a paper checklist) was developed in Sweden by forest companies in collaboration with the WWF. The purpose of the tool is to give support in designing the optimal riparian buffer zone alongside small and medium water courses in a forest landscape. It consists of a field sheet paper with binary yes and no questions. The questions are answered during visually observation of the water course and its surroundings. This will lead to a point system and the points given will provide a suggestion for the width and design of the riparian buffer zone while performing forestry operations. During last years, the tool has been adapted to fit into other conditions than Swedish. The tool was recently scientifically validated with good results. More information will be given during the field trip. There will also be a possibility to test the Brazilian version of the tool.

The landscape is dominated by forest plantations of exotic Eucalypt and Pine plantations for the production of pulp and sawn timber. Streamside vegetation buffers have a variable width and condition, with an effect on water quality and stream banks.

The visit considers a) an introduction to the tool, as well as practically testing it in small groups; b) Discussing how the tool can be adapted into other naturally given conditions, other biomes; c) Discussing differences between a “disturbed” riparian zone with a challenge/problem, and a more natural and wider riparian zone along a selected stream, and how the tool works in these different cases; d) coffee-break and a snack, e) visit to a streamflow gauge.

The field excursion is lead by Mrs Linnéa Jägrud from the Swedish Forest Agency, and Dr Lennart Henrikson from Man&Nature.

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