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.

SPC book on Pacific forests now available online
Friday, 17 February 2012 15:17
A landmark book on the forests of the Pacific Islands, produced by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Land Resources Division (LRD) to commemorate the International Year of Forests in 2011, is now available online.

The publication, titled ‘Foundation for a Sustainable Future’, features chapters from SPC member countries and territories and aims to provide information on the value of Pacific Island forests and the issues and challenges faced by island communities in managing this natural resource in a sustainable manner. It can be viewed at this link:

During the book launch at the Regional Forestry Technical Meeting held in September 2011 in Nadi, Fiji, the Managing Director of the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority, Kanawi Pouru, described the book as a concerted effort to inform people of the importance of forest and trees to Pacific Island communities.

‘In small island states and territories, forests and trees have long been the primary resource from which our people have sought to meet their practical, cultural and spiritual needs for thousands of years. This continues today and will persist into future, as a majority of our communities still live rural and traditional lifestyles.

‘The forests of our island states, regardless of their size and scale, have long been supermarkets for their daily livelihoods,’ he said.

He added that over the past few centuries, Pacific Island forests have been commercially exploited, leading to the extinction of some endemic species of fauna and flora.

‘Therefore, the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration of 2011 as the International Year of Forests is befitting for us in the Pacific.’

The Pacific Forestry book provides description of:

  • forest areas, ownership rights and their management;
  • socio-economic benefits of forests;
  • existing and emerging threats to forests from increasing populations, invasive species and climate change;
  • a look to the future: balancing competing socio-economic and environmental factors, and sustainable forest management (SFM).

The publication of a book on the value of Pacific forests, with contributions from SPC member countries and territories, was one of the recommendations made at the 2009 Heads of Forestry meeting.

SPC acknowledges funding support from its donor partners, the German Technical Cooperation agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ) and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for the publication of this book.


(For further information please contact Vinesh Prasad on telephone (679) 3370733 or email LRD Help Desk - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )


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