Successful examples of community-based forestry from around the world

Photo credit: FAO

Women in Mozambique are carrying fuelwood that will be sold by the roadside to create additional income for the rural forest community.


Community-based forestry can be a driving force in boosting sustainability and people’s livelihoods

FAO calls on governments to take steps to unleash its full potential

Community-based forestry has shown itself to be a potent vehicle for promoting sustainable forest management, reducing poverty and generating jobs and income for rural communities, but unlocking its true potential will require greater support by governments through policy reforms and other measures.

Many community-based forestry regimes are showing great promise as engines for sustainable development but are still performing below their potential, a new FAO report released today at the start of Asia-Pacific Forestry Week says.

Under the approach, local communities partner with governments to play a lead role in making land-use decisions and managing the forestry resources they depend on for their livelihoods.

According to “Forty years of community based forestry: A review of extent and effectiveness”, almost one-third of the world’s forest area is now estimated to be under some form of community-based management.

Yet in many cases, while in practice policies may exist for the decentralization and devolution of rights and responsibilities to communities, the right conditions may not yet be in place for them to fully exercise their rights.

The report outlines a series of actions needed to make community-based forestry more effective, including providing communities with secure forest tenure, improving regulatory frameworks, and transferring appropriate and viable skills and technology.

Access to markets and knowledge of market mechanisms are also essential if communities and smallholders are to commercialize their forest products, which can significantly contribute to poverty reduction.

“Indigenous peoples, local communities and family smallholders stand ready to maintain and restore forests, respond to climate change, conserve biodiversity and sustain livelihoods on a vast scale”, said Eva Müller, Director of FAO’s Forestry Policy and Resources Division. “What is missing in most cases is the political will to make it happen. Political leaders and policy makers should open the door to unleash the potential of hundreds of millions of people to manage the forests on which the whole world depends for a better and sustainable future”.

Sharing best practices

The report also cites a number of successful examples of community-based forestry from around the world.

Read the full article: FAO

Significant progress in fighting desertification by reforestation in China

More than 400 million people in China are still affected by desertification. It would be nice to see published satellite images showing this progress


Progress in fighting desertification

by CNC

China’s forestry authority says the country has made significant progress in fighting desertification.
The area of land desertified or sandified has been decreasing for 10 consecutive years.
Expanding deserts are a global problem. And China is also a victim. Around one-third of the country’s land faces degradation. But it may not necessarily be a losing battle.
After three decades of efforts, the country has made significant progress in stopping the spread of deserts.
On Tuesday, the country’s forestry authority said the area of land desertified or sandificated has been on the decline for 10 consecutive years.
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): ZHANG JIANLONG, Head of State Forestry Administration
“By the end of 2014, 2.61 million square kilometers of land was desertified across China, 12,120 square kilometers down from in 2009. A total of 1.72 million square kilometers of land was sandified, 9,902 square kilometers less from in 2009. This is the 10th consecutive year that the figures have dropped.”
Despite the progress, the State Forestry Administration has admitted that desertification remains a serious challenge.
More than 400 million people in China are still affected by desertification, struggling to cope with water shortages, unproductive land and the breakdown of ecological systems.

Net global deforestation has slowed down by more than 50 percent

Photo credit: Google

World deforestation slows down as more forests are better managed

FAO publishes key findings of global forest resources assessment

The world’s forests continue to shrink as populations increase and forest land is converted to agriculture and other uses, but over the past 25 years the rate of net global deforestation has slowed down by more than 50 percent, FAO said in a report published today.

Some 129 million hectares of forest – an area almost equivalent in size to South Africa – have been lost since 1990, according to FAO’s most comprehensive forest review to date, The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.

It noted however, that an increasing amount of forest areas have come under protection while more countries are improving forest management. This is often done through legislation and includes the measuring and monitoring of forest resources and a greater involvement of local communities in planning and in developing policies.

The FAO study covers 234 countries and territories and was presented at this week’s World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa.

Read the full article: FAO

Massive “greening” of the Arctic

Photo credit: Science Heathen

Massive Arctic Greening Within Only A Few Decades? Transformation Could Make The Arctic The Center Of Human Activity

The Arctic will experience a massive “greening” in the coming decades as a result of rising temperatures and climate change, new research from the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation has found. The research shows that rising temperatures will cause total plant cover area in the Arctic to increase significantly, with wooded areas increasing in size by as much as 50% in only a few decades. This rapid increase in vegetation will result in accelerated warming within the region and also globally.

Read the full article: Science Heathen

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