Investment in Forestry is an Investment in People
by: Tiina Vahanen, Associate Secretary-General, XIV World Forestry Congress
When the world’s foresters and forest supporters come together for the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa, in September, they will have a unique opportunity to highlight the urgent need to give forests credit for the true value they provide.
Increasingly, the role that forests play in mitigating climate change is being publicly recognized, and governments and companies alike are pledging to reduce deforestation and restore forests. But we must not lose sight of the fact that more than a billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods, or that the continued, sustainable use of the world’s forests is vital for rural development.
Decreasing deforestation is not enough: we also need to commit to increasing investment in forests, both to ensure their role as a renewable source of forest products and as a means to lift rural populations out of poverty. Countries need to recognize and strengthen the multiple ways in which forests contribute to national economies, putting a price on the sometimes invisible, non-cash benefits that forests provide for people’s livelihoods, food, shelter and energy needs. Moreover, committing resources to developing and sharing knowledge is increasingly critical to fully capitalizing on those benefits.
For this reason, investing in forests as an investment in people is the cross-cutting focus of the XIV World Forestry Congress. In addition, six sub-themes will highlight the role of forests in sustaining life, acting as buffers against environmental change and inspiring new technologies and products, as well as the need to integrate forests and other land uses and to improve forest monitoring and governance.
read more: http://nr.iisd.org/guest-articles/investment-in-forestry-is-an-investment-in-people/