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“Enabling Productive Uses of Forests that Reduce Poverty, Create Jobs and Build Resilience” - a PROFOR Side Event at the IUFRO World Congress

On Thursday, October 9, the Program on Forests (PROFOR) convened a side event at the IUFRO World Congress on “Enabling Productive Uses of Forests that Reduce Poverty, Create Jobs, and Build Resilience” that addressed the challenge of meeting growing forest product demand in a manner that benefits the poor and manages resources in a sustainably. Diji Chandrasekharan Behr, PROFOR Manager and Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist, moderated a panel discussion among:

  • Putera Parthama, Senior Adviser to the Indonesian Minister of Forestry on Economic Affairs and International Trade;
  • Luis Neves Silva, Manager, New Generation Plantations WWF International;
  • Pablo Pacheco, Principal Scientist, Forests and Governance Portfolio, CIFOR; and
  • Jamie Barbour, National Implementation Lead for Inventory, Monitoring, & Assessment, United States Forest Service (USFS).

Discussion centered on how productive uses of forests can grow local, national and regional economies, and the roll of natural and planted forests in meeting growing demand for wood and wood products in an inclusive way that diversifies local economies, contributes to poverty reduction and economic growth, and helps build resilience in the sector and among forest dependent households. Panelists discussed the need to balance growing forest product demand with similarly burgeoning demand for other commodities, and the trade-offs of meeting these sometimes competing demands, especially if the value of forests is not readily evident.

Panelists emphasized the need to meet growing demand through legal markets, the value of certification in tackling illegal logging, the need to attract business investors, and opportunities in the value chain such as furniture production. The following actions were identified to seize the economic development opportunities associated with the growing forest product demand in an inclusive manner: create opportunities for non-industrial timber producers to have market access through new manufacturing or aggregating to a critical mass; promote inclusive business models that create opportunities for local communities; use innovative technology to support sustainable forest management; establish greater equity in benefit sharing arrangements; and foster sustainable forest intensification.


IUFRO World Congress
Sub Title: 
PROFOR Side Event at the IUFRO World Congress
Event Date: 
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 20:00
Event Image: 

Productive uses of forests can contribute to growing local, national and regional economies. We need to seize opportunities for expanding the contribution of productive uses of forests to green, inclusive and resilient growth. Join a panel of experts to learn more about the opportunities and potential for forests to contribute to economic growth and discuss how we can collectively engage in this area of work.