Key messages

  • Sustainable forest management curbs forest degradation and deforestation while increasing direct benefits to people and the environment.
  • At the local level, sustainable forest management contributes to people's livelihoods, income generation and employment. At the environmental level, it contributes to, for example, carbon sequestration and water and soil conservation.
  • In 2015, forests covered about 30.6 percent of the world's total land area; about 3 999 million hectares.
  • Forests contain more than half of the world's terrestrial biodiversity and store carbon in both above- and below-ground biomass.
  • The forest sector contributes about $600 billion annually to global GDP and provides employment to over 50 million people.
  • Extent of the world's forest continues to decline as human populations continue to grow and demand for food and land increases. Some 129 million hectares of forest - an area almost equivalent in size to South Africa - have been lost since 1990.
  • Fire, forest pests and climate change are also contributing to loss of forests around the world.


Expert interviews


Guide for planning, construction and maintenance of forest roads 2 May 2017 An introduction to forest road network planning with guidance on road construction under various site conditions. [more]
National demand for sawnwood in Cameroon 14 February 2017 The economic and social importance of domestic wood consumption is now recognized in Central Africa, but it is largely fuelled by informal timber. No one has yet developed a global understanding of these sectors in order to develop the conditions for improving the legality of such trade and practices. The objective of this report is to review the different types of demand and supply of wood products on the Cameroonian domestic market (Yaoundé and Douala) in order to identify the possibilities of promoting consumption of sawnwood and furniture of legal origin, which would enhance the sustainable management of wood resources and sustainable economic growth in the long term. [more]
Promoting Private Sector Investments in Sustainable Forestry: Expert Workshop on Financial and Institutional Innovation for Reducing the Risks of Private Sector Investments in Sustainable Forestry 24 November 2016 This workshop was organized in the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) led initiative on “Financial and institutional risk mitigation and management strategies”. This initiative stems from the lack of significant funding for the forest sector in key areas of intervention such as forest plantations, natural forest management, small and medium forest enterprises, local and community forestry, and large‐scale forest investment projects including REDD+, while private capital is available for investments. Underlying efficient business models can bring substantial financial returns to investors in all these activities, but many traditional investors are still reluctant to invest. [more]
Traceability: a management tool for business and governments 24 November 2016 Traceability is defined as the ability to trace the history, application or location of an item or activity by means of recorded identifications. this involves two main aspects: on the one hand, identification of the product by marking; and, on the other, the recording of data regarding the product all the way along the production, processing and distribution chain. The present publication will present a sample of these initiatives in order to show the advantages of efficient traceability that takes account of the user’s aim and the environment in which the system will be operating. It is intended not only for the managers of large-scale enterprises, but also for the managers of community forests and for forest service officers with the task of developing a traceability system suited to their needs. [more]
Sustainable financing for forest and landscape restoration. The role of public policy makers 24 November 2016 Public policy makers from developed and developing countries, at all levels (national, regional, local), have the opportunity to take leadership as FLR financing champions. Even without controlling private capital, they can support resource mobilization in a number of ways This publication shares the experiences of some initiatives from around the world which public policy makers can learn from and adapt. It provides recommendations to help them improve their support to FLR financing by: • Mainstreaming FLR in State budgets • Setting up appropriate financing mechanisms • Engaging the private sector • Building alliances and partnerships [more]



Planning sustainable forests
Fernando Salinas, FAO Regional Office for Africa, talks about the Convergence Plan for the Sustainable Management and Utilization of the Forest Ecosystems in West Africa.

Monitoring carbon stocks in Tanzania
Duration: 4min.27sec Format: mp3


last updated:  Monday, October 17, 2016