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, tree crops provide the majority of the food, medicine, construction materials, firewood, tools, in addition to a myriad of other products and services that cannot be replaced with imported substitutions. For the larger Pacific countries, forests have contributed significantly to their economic development in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment, and infrastructure development. Therefore, a major challenge for Pacific Island countries and territories is to ensure sustainable management of their scarce and diminishing forest and tree resources while also considering demands for economic development and the social and environmental needs of their growing populations.
The Sustainable Forests and Landscapes work area is providing support in the areas of policy and regulatory framework development, forest health, forest genetic resources, timber utilisation, and forest inventory.