Youth Speaker entry #67: Tseko Pule (South Africa)

Forests are an integral part of our everyday lives. It serves as a provision of food to its inhabitants, wood fuel, building materials, and to some extent use of medicines and also employment and cash income from tourists. However, it is also of great significance to voice out cautious use of such resources (forests). Exploitation of forests can lead to loss of biodiversity which has a lot more consequences to the ecosystem.

In an effort of food security, people often exploit resources available in the forests. We need forests for wood fuel, building materials and use in medicines. Forests are also exploited through the concept of industrialization whereby trees are cut down in order to accommodate the buildings and also construction of roads to increase economic growth. As a result of this exploitation, there is loss of other species which are inhabitants. This also causes the loss of biodiversity. There is a need for sustainable use of resources in order to protect the available resources while also ensuring food security.

The exploitation of forests has negative impacts towards biodiversity which simply refers to the interrelatedness of genes, species, and ecosystems and in turn, their interactions with the environment. For instance, biodiversity loss can be caused when there is habitat loss and destruction of human-induced pressures on land such as construction of roads, farming. Global climate change and variability can also lead to such loss of other species in the forests permanently, which may be hard for them to adapt to changing climatic conditions if they are not given time.

There is a need for sustainable use of resources so that future generations can also benefit from them. There is a need for increased international, national self-reliance in the supply of forest products through increased national production. It involves promotion of forestry development through widening of information channels at community level, transfer of management and benefits of estate forest reserves from government to local communities in an orderly and progressive manner. Furthermore, it may involve facilitation in development of private sector wood utilization industries.

Other measures may be to improve utilization of biomass energy resources, promote afforestation for erosion control and land rehabilitation and lastly to reduce the use of scarce timber and wood resources through wide-scale use of alternative sources of energy such as solar power, biogas, hydropower and wind power.

Text, photo and video are submitted by Tseko Pule (South Africa) – tsekopule(at)

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as an application by the author, to speak as a youth representative at the World Forestry Congress. Have a look at the other entries too!

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