by Silvanus lamin
It has been said that luxuriant forests and nature are rooted in the economic prosperity of any country and the welfare of the people. With a little notice, we can get a clear idea about this. How nature and luxuriant forests are serving us regularly? The answer is: This forest is the main supplier of nearly 5000 commodities that we eat as food, which we wear, which we use as a medicine or use as furniture. Not only these? Forests protect soil to erosion, keep the climate at restrained levels, protect people and resources from natural disasters, provide clean water. Besides, forests and nature are habitats of the many types of animals, insecticides and plants.
Contribution forest and nature in building green economy and services
Nature and forest play an important role in the welfare of the people of the world. 22 percent contribution of total annual income of Africa, especially West and South Africa, has come from nature and forest. If people are not able to produce grains and crops due to any reason, they can recover the losses from forests and nature. According to forest experts, those families who live in natural forests and forest area, they get a quarter of their annual family income from forest and nature. In many countries of the world, excluding woods, other various resources, food, vegetable products, medicines, perfumes and raw materials have importantly contributed to the country’s economy. Forests and nature also play an important role in creating employment. According to information from 2011, almost one billion people in the world are directly and indirectly involved in forest-based jobs.
Among them, 14 million people involved in the wood, paper mound and paper processing, 4 million in the furniture industry, 30-140 million as small forest entrepreneurs, 71-588 million with agriculture, and 500 to 1.2 million of indigenous people directly depend on forest and nature. In 2017 there may be more changes (increase or decrease) in this-this information!
In reality, forests and nature provide nutrition for the people, meet their energy needs for cooking and protect them from various calamities. The great sources of forest fruit, nuts, honey and mushroom nutrients. On the other hand, the forest conserves and purifies the water, protects the flow of water, mitigates natural disasters and protect soil form disintegrates. Besides, almost two billion people in the world are dependent on forest fuel for cooking, heat and food preservation. So, the role of nature and forestry is very important in developing Green Economy.
Forestry resources are basically used as raw materials for the production of almost all types of products. Forests help to produce low carbon products and food. It plays a role in an ecosystem, which provides adaptation strategies to protect people from various climate change disasters and calamities. Besides, in on hand, forests expanding tourism trade, produce power, work on the main control of water management. On the other hand, forests play an important role in the production of different types of services, especially food, medicines, second-generation biofuel production including industrial production.
It has been mentioned before that, about one billion people in the world are involved in nature and forest sector. Both the importance and contribution of forest are undeniable for building a green economy and introducing less carbon or carbon-neutral production. However, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates, about 13 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year.
Global investment in sustainable forest management and forest conservation
According to the information published in 2006, 64 billion dollars are invested every year in the forestry sector. In this, 28 percent of the total investment is spent on forest management and the remaining 72 percent are spent on forest-based products in production and trade. According to the Green Economy Report, this investment is not enough in the forest! Along with the total investment, an additional $40 million should be invested annually, which can be used to create forestry and forest conservation. If this extra money is invested, new forests will be created and the rate of forest conservation will increase, which is expected to earn 600 billion US dollars in the forest sector by the next 2050. Besides, when new forests and reserve of forests will increase, it creates another 10 million new jobs worldwide. In that case, not only concentrating on the production or trade of forest-based products but also to give equal attention to sustainable forest management. There should be more emphasis on ensuring the new forest creation or sustainable forest management along with natural forest conservation.
To get a better outcome from forest and nature, we have to emphasize on several issues. The topics are: Extending information and knowledge to the people on the subject of multidisciplinary uses of forest and forest resources, sustainable utilization of forest resources and interconnection of another forest resource with a forest resource; develop a participatory philosophy and compliance about sustainable management, protection and use of forests, organize dialogue with forest-dependent communities and policymakers; There will be policies and guidelines that will help sustainable use and management of forests and conservation and protection of forests and various initiatives should be taken to strengthen the private and public investment for sustainable forest management, conservation and protection.
Forest and forest resources have been contributing positively to local, national and global economies. Forest and forestry resources are helping to build sustainable management and multidimensional use through low carbon produce, high growth, comprehensive and equitable, adaptable and self-contained green economy. Forests are providing low-carbon raw materials and energy sources, mitigating climate change, and providing services to the welfare and prosperity of the people. Let’s protect natural forests and take initiative to ensure sustainable management.
**All types of information-data used in this article extract from UNEP’s 2011 report: Forest in a GREEN economy
Translated by Bahauddin Bahar