Forests are a very important segment of environment. For the conservationist it would be the entire biological spectrum of flora and fauna, their inherent variety and commonalities. For the economist with potential for exploitation and valuable source of revenue, for the poet a source of inspiration, for the tourist of a medium to relax with, for the photographer, a subject. Last but not the least for the forest fringe dwellers it is a resource, a source of medicine, livelihoods, ecological services, food security and equally important a part of their heritage.
To the true politician, climate change can never be human aggravated for the demands it would make on the national coffers. However, the politician goes to his/her village where he/she grew up and finds all the mushrooms and snails which he/she used to collect freely completely nonexistent; all the ponds and pools in which he/she used to take occasional bath completely died up. That is when the reality of what he/she has been denying or lying about in political campaigns hits or dawns on him. It is a truth he/she can only admit to him/herself in the solitude of his/her home and not in any other somewhat public place. However, regardless of the extent of denial, climate change and its associated impacts on food and livelihood security is and would forever remain a real happening which would require only conscientious informed efforts to grapple with.
Resin obtained from living Pinus pinaster trees has been a traditional non-timber forests product in other regions of Spain for decades. However, it had never been produced in Cijara, an ecological area located in Extremadura, in the South West of Spain, before. In this area, 15,000 hectares of Pinus pinaster trees were planted in the late 50’ with the aim of protecting the soil and preventing sediment transport into a reservoir. Nowadays, their size and their density (around 300 trees/hectare) are ideal for resin production.
Why some countries are more and some less successful in utilising BIOMASS, the oldest source of energy used by the mankind? Everybody knows that the South-east Europe is very rich in forest – in Croatia, for example, forest land covers 43.5 % of state territory and with 0.51 hectare of forests per capita Croatia may be considered as a European country with significant forest area. Bioenergy in its traditional forms is still very important source of energy in Croatia and most of South-East European countries but greater uptake of modern bioenergy technologies is still missing!
Nature and the ecosystem services, the people were enjoying nature freely without payment for the services rendered.
Man is protected by nature from harsh weather conditions through ecosystem services of the environment, but man did not pay for the utility derived from the services. Furthermore, the environment is protected through carbon sink to reduce environmental catastrophes such as acid rain, marine pollution, ozone depletion, global climate change, desertification etc.
For a farmer family, which is better: receiving money from tree sales or receiving money from tree sales and food from the same plot?
In our project in Amhara region, Ethiopia we conducted a study that reveals the answer, though it might be clear without the study: for a farmer, the income generated by an agroforestry system instead of a monoculture, of trees or food crops, is higher.
Los bosques son indispensables para la vida pues además de los múltiples y reconocidos servicios y funciones ambientales, permiten a las comunidades disponer de agua para el consumo. Sin embargo, la sociedad argentina parece no otorgar la importancia adecuada a estos indispensables ecosistemas, que se pueda traducir en acciones concretas para mantenerlos y mejorarlos. Surge así la idea de diseñar una encuesta de opinión para indagar a los habitantes de todo el país acerca del rol cultural, recreativo y ambiental de los bosques. La intención mediante la encuesta, que se pretende llegue al mayor número posible de personas, es poner a prueba la hipótesis de que la población de nuestro país, por ser casi en su totalidad urbana (91% en el año 2010), ignora a los bosques en particular y a los recursos/bienes naturales en general.
We stand at a point in the history of mankind when the possibility of a future free of ecological disasters and climate change related impacts rests so much on the tune of our collective attitudinal predisposition to the changes we need today. We all have a part to play in this for it’s our future in our hands!
It is widely known that about one billion people globally still suffer from hunger. The majority live in Africa and Asia. What is less known is that malnutrition ̶ from under-5 stunting to adult obesity ̶ affects nearly every country on the planet. In fact, just over one third of the global population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies. Also less known is that forest foods and tree products such as wild fruits, leaves, seeds, nuts, roots, tubers, mushrooms, honey and bushmeat ̶ sometimes referred to as Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) ̶ provide many of the essential nutrients that can help combat micronutrient deficiencies.
It is estimated that over 2.4 billion people worldwide depend on forest goods and services for the direct provision of food, wood fuel, building materials, medicines, employment and cash income, making forests fundamental to the livelihoods of about one-third of the world’s people – rural and urban, women and men, young and old. Forests are not only important for the people who live in them, but also for those living in adjacent landscapes.