If all countries in the world allocated a small portion of their national budgets to investing in sustainable forest management, 10 million new jobs would be created.
The Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement issued today that sustainable forest management could become a means of creating millions of jobs that would help reduce poverty during the current economic downturn. Jan Heino, Assistant Director-General the organization's Forestry Department, added that wince forests and trees are vital storehouses of carbon, such an investment could also make a major contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
According to a recent study by the International Labor Organization, unemployment worldwide could increase from 179 million in 2007 to 198 million in 2009 under the best case scenario. Under the worst case scenario, it could go as high as 230 million.
Increased investment in forestry could provide jobs in forest management, agroforestry and farm forestry, improved fire management, development and management of trails and recreation sites. Activities can be tailored to local circumstances, including availability of labor, skill levels and local social, economic and ecological conditions.
How sustainable forest management can help build a green future and meet society's changing demand for forest-derived goods and services will be the main thrust of World Forest Week that started today.
The meeting takes place against the backdrop of an unprecedented global economic crisis.
The Food and Agriculture Organization 2009 report on the State of the World's Forests released today says the forest sector has also been affected severely.
Uganda has not been spared the damage done to forests around the world. According to the State of the World's Forest report, between 1990 and 2005, Uganda lost 26.3 percent of its remaining forest cover. Deforestation in the country continues today at a rate of 2.2 percent per year, mostly due to subsistence farming, cutting for fuel wood, and colonization by the burgeoning population.
Conservationists are concerned about the loss of forest cover in Uganda because it is home to some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in Africa. More than 5,000 plant species are found in Uganda country along with 345 mammals, 1,015 birds, 165 reptiles, and 43 amphibians.