Community forestry can be a feasible strategy for reducing poverty and achieving environmental conservation

24 Sep

By David Holland

Forest products have sustained communities associated with forests for millennia, however, as these peoples have engaged in their regional economic system and the region has opened up to the world economic system, some groups have been left behind due to essential resources relied on by past generations lost due to a change because of war or unfair capitalist practices taking resource access away. (“State of the world’s Forests 2005” 2005)

Whatever the reason, we have people in poverty now attempting to find opportunities in the forest for survival and advancement in an economic world. This situation is a major cause of an over exploitation of forest resources.

In a crude argument we could say that the forests support the biosphere and the biosphere supports human live, therefore we all have a part to play in ensuring our future as a species and we collectively should take a role in the protection of the world’s forest resources.

So is there scope for the poorer communities of the world to help us all better manage the biosphere, and our forests?

The answer would be yes, provided that we, as the world, pay for the services these people can potentially provide. (Gilmour & Nurse 2004) But first we need to support them through education. Education on what forest resources could be sent to a market, and how to sustainably manage the forest and all its potential resources.

Unfortunately markets are not always good at providing the right incentives to produce these results. It will be up to national governments to carefully craft national environmental laws, and in addition for the United Nation to produce forward looking policies to encourage individual nations to support poorer nations to implement appropriate laws. (Wootliff 2010)

It is not about reducing poverty, as noble as it may be to do so, it is simply about maintaining and enhancing the underpinning ecological and biospherical mechanisms this globe has to support our existence and the existence of every living thing on this planet. (El-Lakany 2005)

We have a responsibility to future generations to share the cost of these measures across the globe. If the major cost of these measures can be achieved through a market then so be it, however if not, the governments of the world should consider their position.

The Paris climate change conference has embraced this principal through the compensation of low-lying countries subject to sea level rise. With the recent withdrawal of the US from the agreement it seems that the US is some how able to be immune from the effects that the rest of the world will suffer from climate change or deforestation.

 

References:

El-Lakany M. Hosny¬† (2005), Forward – State of the world’s Forests 2005, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, Retrieved from ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/y5574e/y5574e01.pdf, May 2017.

Gilmour, D., Malla, Y & Nurse, M. (2004), Linkages between Community Forestry and Poverty, Regional Community Forestry Training Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand, Retrieved from https://www.recoftc.org/sites/default/files/old/uploads/content/pdf/Community_forestry_and_poverty_69.pdf, May 2017.

“State of the world’s Forests 2005” (2005), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, Retrieved from ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/y5574e/y5574e00.pdf, June 2017.

Wootliff Jonathan (2010 March 30), Good forest governance is good for economy, environment, Jakarta Post, Retrieved from https://www.pressreader.com/indonesia/the-jakarta-post/20100330/282196532138047,

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