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It’s well understood that forests are worth more than the sum of their trees. As an ecosystem, forests provide an astonishing array of benefits, from the more obvious ones like timber, fruits and nuts, to the intangible ones like maintaining reliable flows of clean water. But how much are these benefits actually worth? And are forests really so much better at providing these services than, say, human-engineered technology?
According to a new study in the Philippines, reforestation and forest...
For a forest-rich country, Colombia faces a surprising economic dilemma. More than half of the country is covered by forest, and yet the growing demand for wood products is being supplied by imports – not local industry.
While the construction sector – the largest consumer of wood in Colombia – has grown by an impressive 7 percent between 2005 and 2014, the contribution of the forestry sector to national GDP has actually fallen over this time period, from 1.4 percent to 1.1 percent. Meanwhile, Colombian exports of...
By Patti Kristjanson (PROFOR) with thanks to Anne Kuriakose (CIF), Meerim Shakirova (FIP), Carlos Cordova (ENR/FIP), Tamara Bah (FCPF), Nicholas Soikan (SURR/FCPF), Haddy Sey (SURR), Margaux Granat (IUCN), Thu Thuy Pham (CIFOR), and Bimbika Basnett (CIFOR)
I recently took this photo of a Laotian woman throwing around pieces of teak wood in a small-scale forest enterprise. This, despite the widespread myth that women are seldom involved in timber and are mostly relegated to gathering forest products. The fact is, we still don’t know much about where and how much women are involved, and more...
By Gerardo Segura Warnholtz. Originally published by the World Bank.
In Science magazine, earlier this year, researchers revealed that ancient forest peoples of the Amazon helped create much of the imposing forest landscape that the world inherits today.
A growing body of evidence shows that the indigenous peoples and other rural communities who now inhabit ...
By Joaquim Levy, World Bank Group Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer
Why is ecological restoration so critical to the World Bank’s mission of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity? Quite simply, because environmental degradation is devastating to the most vulnerable communities and perpetuates poverty around the world.
Over the past decade, commitments and support for Forest Landscape Restoration have grown significantly. As part of the Bonn Challenge, for instance, some 40 countries, sub-national jurisdictions, and non-governmental entities have now pledged to restore forest landscapes across 148 million hectares. Although the environmental benefits in terms of ecosystem services, soil restoration, water, biodiversity and climate resilience are evident, the tremendous economic arguments and the value proposition for poor people living in, or nearby, the...
Across the globe, demand for wood products is increasing and expected to quadruple by 2050. This trend is exacerbating deforestation and forest degradation. But it also presents an opportunity for a better approach to farming and managing forests.
A new report, Harnessing the Potential of Private Sector Engagement in Productive Forests for Green Growth, shows how sustainably harvesting wood products can help meet growing demand while providing jobs, mitigating climate change and conserving primary forests.
While it’s well known that trees and forests provide an important carbon sink, the...
It is well documented that the expansion of commercial and subsistence agriculture is the main driver of deforestation worldwide, responsible for about 80 percent of forest loss. The extractive industries, however, also contribute to deforestation, at about 5 percent globally. Given the difference between these sectors, is it still worth spending valuable time and funding for reducing the impacts of mining on forests? Early results from a Program on Forests...
Most development projects start out with a particular assumption about scale: the first order of business is to run a pilot to test a particular intervention, and then, if the results are promising, go on to duplicate the intervention to reach a greater number of people.
This assumption makes sense in a good number of situations – but not always. For a PROFOR-supported research team looking at the practice of growing trees on cropland, the logical approach actually started with thinking big.
As team leader and World Bank Sr. Natural Resources Economist Diji Chandrasekharan explained, “...
When it comes to protecting our planet’s biodiversity, we can’t afford to not have a plan – especially where environmental impacts are inevitable.
In conservation, the “last resort” option is an approach known as biodiversity offsets. It involves preserving habitat in one area to compensate for unavoidable environmental damage elsewhere, usually as a result of large projects, such as those involving mining or oil and gas development.
“Offsets are based on the ‘mitigation hierarchy’ approach to environmental damage,” explained World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist Douglas J. Graham. “...