Forest and Trees

Forests and trees play significant roles in the lives of Pacific Islanders, economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. In many Pacific island countries, especially on the smaller islands and atolls, agroforestry and tree crops provide most of the food, medicines, construction materials, firewood, tools and myriad of other products and services that cannot be replaced with imported substitutions. For the larger countries, forests have contributed significantly into their economic development in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment and infrastructure development. Thus, a major challenge for Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) is to ensure sustainable management of their scarce and diminishing forest and tree resources, taking into account demands for economic development and the social and environmental needs of their growing populations, LRD-SPC is addressing this under its Forest & Tree programme.

Forests & Trees (FAT)
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 12:05



Forests and trees play significant roles in the lives of Pacific Islanders, economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. In many Pacific island countries, especially on the smaller islands and atolls, agroforestry and tree crops provide most of the food, medicines, contruction materials, firewood, tools and myriad of other products and services that cannot be replaced with imported substitutions. For the larger countries, forests have contributed significantly into their economic development in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment and infrastructure development.


Unfortunately, forests and trees in the Pacific are increasingly threatened in many ways including over-utilization, improper land-use and climate change. The significant loss of biodiversity due to destructive human activities associated with mining, agricultural clearing and unsustainable logging, particularly within the larger Melanesian countries, has been featured in many international fora where issues like extreme poverty, climate change and environmental degradation are now the main focus of concern. Many tree species have become rare, including culturally valuable species, caused by over harvesting for both commercial and traditional uses such as wood carving, firewood and medicine. Given the limited land masses in most of the countries, continuous pressure to clear forests and trees for agriculture and other economic developments in the face of climate change and current financial situation will continue.


Thus, a major challenge for Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) is to ensure sustainable management of their scarce and diminishing forest and tree resources, taking into account demands for economic development and the social and environmental needs of their growing populations. The important role of the forest ecosystem in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change through carbon sequestration and as a main carbon sink, has even made it more urgent to ensure that forestry resources are managed and developed in a sustainable way to protect the resource base of PICTs for the future.

The FAT thematic group aims to contribute to the sustainable management of forestry resources (SFM) by assisting PICTs in addressing major issues and challenges on the following major areas of concerned:

  • Assist in developing and improving regulatory frameworks (policies, plans, legislations and strategies) for the widespread application of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) to natural forests (including mangrove forests) and plantation forests.

  • Promote sustainable timber harvesting regimes that balance economic viability with environmental requirements and needs, to maintain our island biodiversity.

  • Support participatory community-based forest management

  • Promote Agroforestry and Community Forestry

  • Promote Restoration and Rehabilitation of deforested areas and degraded lands

  • Promote the conservation, management and sustainable utilization forest genetic resources.

  • Promote the integration of climate change concerns into core forestry activities.

  • Support capacity building and institutional strengthening.

  • Promote public awareness and education on the importance of forests and trees to the socio-economic and environmental well-being of the community.


For more information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Coordinator for the Forests and Trees Programme.

 

We acknowledge our major donors/partners in supporting Forestry initiatives in the Pacific