Forests: time to reclaim the ‘wastelands’?

Written by Peter Holmgren in The Guardian:

“Earlier this month, the UN open working group on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) proposed a framework to replace themillennium development goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.

The SDGs are meant to guide global action on health, poverty, hunger, climate and other development challenges. The key component of the SDGs, as its name indicates, is to help the world deliver food, health and empowerment for all sustainably, without exceeding the Earth’s resource limits or contributing to climate change. The future of the world’s forests, one of several topics on the table lies in the balance of these and subsequent discussions.

Forests are fundamental to maintaining water supplies, providing economic goods, mitigating climate change, and housing biodiversity – furnishing billions of the world’s poorest with income, food and medicine. Global policymakers know well the immense value of forests – so why have development interventions largely failed to harness the positive contributions of forested landscapes? Our work at the Center for International Forestry Research has found three possible reasons.”

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