The Importance Of Sustainable Forestry

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Forests cover approximately 3 870 million hectares which is roughly 29% of the Earth’s land area (Clark, Matheny, Cross & Wake, 1997). Almost 47% of the world’s forests are located in the tropical zone, 9% in the sub-tropics and 11% and 33% in the temperate and boreal zones respectively (Oliver, Nasbar, Lippke & McCarter, 2014)). Forests and forested landscapes are known for their significant function in providing numerous environmental services such as water conservation, soil protection and carbon storage (Clark et al., 1997). The genetic diversity in natural forests presents vast potential for the discovery, development and improvement of innovative sources of food and medicines (Clark et al., 1997). Roughly 65% -80% of the
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For example, preservation of soil, air and water quality, flora and fauna and aquatic habitats (FAO, 2010).
The need for sustainable management
Since the Earth Summit held in 1992, the necessity to direct forests sustainably has been well-recognized by the global community (UNEP, 2007). The prime focuses of the UN forest-related forums since then have been to put into practice the objectives of the Summit by promoting Sustainable Forest Management (UNEP, 2007). The latest of such plans was in 2006, when the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) set four Global Objectives on Forests that are aimed at SFM (UNEP, 2007). They are:
 Tackling the loss of forest cover and forest degradation (UNEP, 2007)
 Forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits (UNEP, 2007)
 Safe guarding forests (UNEP, 2007)
 Mobilizing financial resources for the execution of sustainable forest management (UNEP,
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Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an approach to generate a financial value for carbon stored in forests by outlaying incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development (Schyvens et al, 2013). REDD+ further includes the responsibility of conservation, sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks (Schyvens
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