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Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox

Health Benefits from Forests

This module will be of interest to the general public because it provides basic and more detailed information on the ways in which forests and trees influence human health and well-being. It also gives links to tools, case studies, websites and literature to further assist users in understanding the relationships between forests, trees and human health. 

As pressure is increasing on diminishing medicinal plant sup- plies, constructive resource management and conservation actions must be identified, based upon a clear understanding of the surrounding medicinal plant use. This study seeks to respond to three cen- tral questions: (1) What are the causes behind the depletion of wild populations of...
Wild populations of the Afromontane forest tree Prunus africana (Rosaceae), known as the African Cherry or Red Stinkwood (sometimes called Pygeum africanum) are currently the sole source of bark and bark extract exported from Africa and Madagascar to Europe. This trade has taken place for nearly 30 years, for production...
Multi-purpose Medicinal Plants (MMPs) remain a crucial element of human and livestock healthcare systems in many developing countries. Industrialized countries also use medicinal plants, as many pharmaceuticals are based on, or derived from plant compounds. Over-exploitation of medicinal plants, and lack of meaningful legislation to regulate harvesting, and trade is...
Forest schools are an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning. The philosophy of forest schools is to encourage and individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences. Target group: children of all ages who have been excluded from mainstreams school or ones at risk through behavioural problems, attentional...
This website presents various articles about collaboration between researchers in universities and research institutes. The successful launching of Forest Therapy Bases® or Therapy Roads® with the support of The International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM) in Japan is a good example of innovative multi-disciplinary scientific work to utilize...
The Forestry Commission, with its agency Forest Enterprise, represents the UK’s largest single controller of public land. At the same time, community forests are being developed in and around towns and cities, in recognition of the benefits of such initiatives in building social capacity, as well as to provide much...
For hundreds of years, people in China, Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia have recognized that wood is not only a critical building material, but that forests provide a number of other benefits. Asian physicians have long recommended walking or being in nature as an important way for people...
Stress is a growing problem in urbanized societies and modern living environments. At the same time, the potential for green areas to provide relief from stress and to improve living environments and quality of life has been more widely recognized. However, this knowledge is not yet properly integrated into land...
Traditional medicine, based largely on herbs, still supports the primary healthcare of more people worldwide than ‘conventional’ or western medicine. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 80% of the population in Africa uses traditional medicine for their primary healthcare, and natural remedies are also popular in many western...
This report was commissioned as ‘a review’ of existing literature on public access to woodlands with the aim of identifying the extent of use, motivations and well-being benefits gained from trees, woodlands and forest and highlighting interventions that have been successfully applied to encourage public access and enhance public benefit....
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