“The portfolio of goods and services from forests is now very different to that two decades ago; yet there is a disconnect between the institutional framework and these new forms of forest use, leading to efficiency, equity and legitimacy deficits,” said Dr. John Innes, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, Canada.
The changes – from forest planting and forest harvesting and operations, to forest use and forest products – occur at different levels. Today, forests produce a complex array of products from forest ecosystem services to timber and bio-products.
Market values are increasingly being attached to forest ecosystem services and this is changing the value systems associated with forestry.
Dr. Innes is coordinating a Task Force set up by IUFRO – Resources for the Future: Transformation in Forest Use – to better understand those changes.
“Globalization, population growth, resource scarcity and ecological degradation are all influencing forest use,” he said.
“For instance, a growing middle class requires more forest products accessible through global supply chains. At the same time, these supply chains are threatened by, and contribute to, resource scarcity and ecological degradation,” he said. “In another example, policy makers have identified forest products as important to climate change, so new products have been developed to meet the climate challenge.
“Both these examples have explicit implications for forests and are transforming forest use, yet the institutional response has been slow and inadequate in dealing with these drivers,” he said.
Dr. Innes further noted that humans now value, in monetary terms, the full breadth of forest ecosystem services including non-market values and that now we also view forests as feedstock for the bio-economy.
“These are distinct and relatively nascent changes in our relationship with forests,” he said. “For many Indigenous communities across the globe, the changing relationship with forests has been dramatic – particularly as they engage in the forest sector as market participants.
“Valuation of forest ecosystem services can run counter to holistic Indigenous values; but valuation also affords protection by adequately recognizing, quantifying and integrating these values into decisions, and policy makers can consider the full costs of their decision. These values in the past were typically ignored,” Dr. Innes added.
The Task Force will seek to generate insights about the pathways that can be adopted to encourage a sustainable transformation in forest resource use.
It will identify institutions, governance structures, policies and instruments that can help policy makers and stakeholders address problems and capitalize on opportunities brought about by rapid change and describe the potential benefits and implications from them in terms of equity, effectiveness and efficiency.
It will also develop recommendations for forest research institutions to build understanding for, and implementation of, those various tools to support successful transformation in forest use.
The Task Force also convened a roundtable of leading global experts from government, industry, academia, NGOs and Indigenous groups in Dehradun, India in April of this year to further discuss the sustainable transformation of forest use. A book elaborating on the outcomes of that roundtable is expected in the near future.
The Task Force on the transformation in forest use future is one of several established by IUFRO to advance knowledge under five research themes in accordance with the IUFRO 2015-19 Strategy.
The five themes are: Forests, Soil and Water Interactions; Forests for People; Forests and Climate Change; Forests and Forest-based Products for a Greener Future; and Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions.
Task Force website: http://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/transformation-forest-use/
View all IUFRO Spotlights at http://www.iufro.org/media/iufro-spotlights/
(Edited translation of press release)
Find the Spanish release written by Karla Salazar Leiva, CATIE Communications, at:
On 14 June, the Third IUFRO Latin American Congress (IUFROLAT 2013), one of the largest forest research events in Latin America, came to a close.
Traditional forest-related knowledge / Contribución de bosques a economías locales
Moderator: Su See Lee, IUFRO Vice-President, FRIM Malaysia
Thursday, 13 June 2013, 08:00 – 10:00 (Chirripó)
For more information on TFK in IUFRO, visit also: www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90300/
In this session the audience was presented with a mixed bag of papers: 3 papers focussing on TFK, and other three on contributions to local economies. Emphasis was placed on the fact that there is a lot of traditional knowledge out there, which is rapidly getting lost because of various factors. Among the suggestions of what can be done to preserve traditional forest knowledge, the example of Korea was presented which established together with other countries of East Asia the Asian Center for Traditional Forest Knowledge as an institutional approach for the preservation of TFK. This was also recommended as an idea to implement in Latin America.
However, TFK should not only be kept as a historical asset but also be combined with innovation – as a logical consequence – whilst considering and adapting to changes in economy and society.The importance of markets for traditional products was mentioned to be crucial for the preservation of TFK. In this context, innovative aspects and development must be originated by the people concerned and traditional organisations be strengthened in a horizontal way.
With regard to contributions of forests to local economies, initiatives in the domain of medicinal plants, the importance of equal benefit sharing (EBS) and smallholder land-use were highlighted, as well as the optimal use of the whole set of services that forests can offer.
Presentations in this session:
El territorio shirian: conocimiento indígena del alto curso del río Paragua, Venezuela (Francia Medina, Universidad Central de Venezuela)
Present Status and Future Direction of the Asian Center for Traditional Forest-related Knowledge (ACTFOK) (Joo Han Sung and Chan Ryul Park, Korea Forest Research Institute, Korea)
Is Income Generation of Importance for the Preservation of TK? The case of carapa oil producing communities in Suriname (Mayra Esseboom, Suriname)
Forest Use and Agriculture Interactions; Livelihoods, Wellbeing and Deforestation in Ucayali, Peruvian Amazon (Roberto Porro, Embrapa, Brazil)
Rentabilidad económica de bosques naturales de segundo crecimiento de Nothofagus spp. Bajo tres opciones de manejo (Yasna Rojas, Sabine Müller-Using, Majorie Martin, Burkhard Müller-Using, INFOR Chile)
Identificación de una estrategia para la sostenibilidad financiera del area protegida: Parque Nacional Laguna Lachua, del muncipio de Coban, a.v. Guatemala (Andrea Yat, Guatemala)