Forests and forestry in Small Island Developing States
FAO's Plan for agriculture in SIDS
A Plan of Action for ensuring sustainable management of land, water and forestry resources and environmental protection of SIDS has been formulated within the framework of the World Food Summit follow-up and was adopted by the FAO Council in June 1999.
The Plan comprises the following five main areas of action:
- adjusting to changes in the global trading environment;
- towards more intensified, diversified and sustainable agriculture;
- meeting fisheries needs;
- ensuring sustainable management of land, water and forestry resources and environmental protection; and
- capacity building and institutional strengthening.
The main forestry-related objectives and activities of the proposed plan of action are presented below.
Objective 4.1 : To promote the conservation and sustainable use of land and water resources and manage forest resources sustainably
- Promote the adoption and implementation of a land- and water- use planning approach, which takes into consideration the linkages and interaction between the various ecosystems and economic sectors;
- pursue a holistic and integrated approach to the conservation and sustainable use of forest resources taking into account the multiple role of forests and trees;
- promote rehabilitation and conservation of forest lands and watersheds and, where necessary and sustainable, upgrade the productive capacity of these resources and ensure sustainable forest management and sound harvesting practices;
- combat land degradation and enhance coastal protection through, inter alia, intensified soil conservation, afforestation and reforestation activities;
- promote agroforestry systems and the development of multipurpose tree species which are resistant to pests, diseases and cyclones; and
- pursue integrated planning of both terrestrial and marine environments to prevent their degradation and to utilize the full potential of the natural resource base soundly, particularly for ecotourism.
Objective 4.2: To enhance environmental protection
- Strengthen the information basis for environmental monitoring and integrate environmental values and concerns into the development process;
- develop new or amend existing national legislation, as appropriate, to ensure that a comprehensive, updated and coordinated legal framework on natural resource management and environmental protection is in place; and
- enforce, ratify or conclude, as appropriate, international conventions, such as the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol; if required, adopt national legislation to implement these conventions and promote collaboration mechanisms for their implementation.
Objective 4.3: To improve disaster preparedness
- Minimize the vulnerability to and impact of natural hazards, climate fluctuations, forest fires, pests and diseases through the formulation of disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies; and
- undertake efforts to protect mangrove areas which provide protection against tidal surges and storm damage.
Objective 5.1: To develop and/or strengthen national capacities in the context of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture
- Build up national policy formulation capacity in agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors and adequate analytical capacity to assess the impact of policy changes being proposed at WTO.
Objective 5.2: To strengthen agricultural support services
- Improve the availability and accessibility of credit which is critical to promoting non-traditional commodities;
- establish joint marketing services with strong private sector participation; and
- strengthen national forest agencies and improve coordination among national forestry and related agencies in their work and in relation to foreign funded assistance programmes.
Objective 5.3: To provide a coherent framework for sustainable natural resource management and environmental protection
- Provide, strengthen and ensure implementation of appropriate legislation on environmental protection and natural resource management, including land, water and forest resources, plant protection and animal health, climate change, desertification, biodiversity, wildlife and genetic resources, protected areas and critical habitats, integrated coastal area management [...];
- promote integrated approaches to natural resources management, in order to mitigate adverse intersectoral impacts [...];
- integrate national forest policies into a larger natural resources management framework at national level;
- discourage unsustainable agricultural practices, uncontrolled deforestation, destructive fishing practices and overfishing;
- elaborate measures to mitigate biodiversity losses, making full use of local knowledge very often retained by women; and
- establish, as appropriate, relevant databases, information systems and support regional collaboration, including inter-island information and technology sharing.