Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rural people key to saving the world’s forests

09.03.2002


The best way to conserve many of the world’s forests — and alleviate poverty in some of its poorest countries — is to allow rural communities to generate income by selling forest products, rather than tightly regulating forest use, according to a report released on 7 March.

Forests are vital to one quarter of the world’s poorest people, who depend on forest resources for their subsistence, the report says. It adds that improving the lives of these people through commercial forestry is essential to conservation.

The report, Making Markets Work for Forest Communities, runs counter to conventional wisdom on forest conservation.



“If we want to protect the world’s forests, let’s not lock them up,” says Sara Scherr, one of the authors of the report and senior policy analyst for the US-based organisation Forest Trends, which released the report together with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Indonesia.

Eight per cent of the world’s forests are in legally protected areas, where there are tight restrictions on the use of forest products. The report deals with the management of the vast areas of forest outside of these reserves.

“When local people get involved, they have an incentive to conserve the forest,” says Scherr.

Rural communities and indigenous people now control over one quarter of the developing world’s forests. But, the report says, local communities are often not allowed to commercially exploit forests.


In the Brazilian Amazon, for example, the government has recognised the rights of indigenous groups to about 75 million hectares of forest. But timber harvests are banned in the same area.

“This restriction creates conditions under which illegal logging becomes the only viable option, with mahogany sold for US$30 per tree to traders, who resell it for upwards of US$3,000,” says Andy White, programme director of Forest Trends and another author of the report.

“We have to make it easy for small producers to operate legally,” says Scherr. “Existing regulations are hurting the small landholders, not the large plantation owners. There is a need to level the playing field.”

But John Palmer, manager of the UK Department for International Development’s forestry research programme, argues that it is not just a ‘simple’ matter of reforming legislation.

“The capacity of most developing countries for legislative drafting is very weak, especially on environmental issues,” he says. “What most communities need to know is how to operate under the existing regimes of rampant corruption and unsuitable legislation.”

Katie Mantell | SciDev.Net

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>