Forests in landscapes: Ecosystem approaches to sustainability (2005)

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To many people the apparent lack of progress with conserving and managing the world’s forests embodies all that has gone wrong with respect to the modern world’s stewardship of its natural resources. There are still too many places where deforestation and degradation continue unabated, forest-dependent people slip further into poverty, governments and other forest owners lose large sums of potential revenue to illegal logging, and climate change now threatens the remaining forests. World leaders make commitments but appear to be unable to find workable solutions. This catalogue of woes makes for depressing reading. However, the reality on the ground is that when the right incentives exist and when forest governance is fair and predictable, progress can be achieved. When these conditions are right, solutions will emerge, tailored to local circumstances and taking into account both short-term development needs and long-term sustainability. The authors have drawn together in this volume a series of case studies that show that local reality is often well ahead of international rhetoric with respect to the conservation and sustainable use of forests. In many parts of the world people are organizing to manage forests better. Faced with scarcity of the goods and services that they need from forests, people are cooperating to produce locally workable solutions to forest problems. In order to allow this trend to continue, it is necessary to resist the temptation of shoe-horning the science and the art of sustainable forest management into a one-size-fits-all straitjacket of standards and norms. The international processes dealing with forests have often been referred to disparagingly as international talk-shops. They may have focused too much on top-down definitions of “principles” or “criteria and indicators” or other approaches to sustainable forest management. But they have also provided inspiration for many of the positive things that are happening. Local success has not just suddenly emerged from a vacuum; it has been nourished and shaped by the debates that have been occurring at the meetings of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Forum on Forests. Recent thinking emerging from these two bodies is leading to a new and exciting understanding of how forests can be managed as “ecosystems” and to new concepts and tools for Sustainable Forest Management.
 
Language: English
Imprint: IUCNand Earthscan 2005
Series: Report,
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