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[Africa bulletin] Why Children and Youth in Africa Should be involved in Sustainable forest Management

by | 01-08-2012 22:30 Comments 12 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

It is well known that forests provide both tangible and intangible benefits. These benefits may be classified according to ecological values (climate stabilization, soil enrichment and protection, regulation of water cycles, improved biodiversity, purification of air, CO2 sinks, potential source of new products for the pharmaceutical industry, etc.), social values (recreational and leisure area, tradition uses, landscape, employment, etc.) and economic values (timber, non-wood forest products, employment, etc.). Although forests have traditionally been managed by society, it is expected that the current growth in the world population (now > 7,000 million people) and the high economic growth of developing countries will lead to greater use of natural resources and of forest resources in particular.

The living parts of a forest include trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and other herbaceous (non-woody) plants, mosses, algae, fungi, insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and microorganisms living on the plants and animals and in the soil. These interact with one another and with the non-living part of the environment - including the soil, water, and minerals, to make up what we know as a forest. Forests are an extremely important natural resource that can potentially be sustainably harvested and managed to yield a diversity of commodities of economic importance.

Wood is by far the most important product harvested from forests. The wood is commonly manufactured into paper, lumber, plywood, and other products. Many other plant products can also be collected from forests, such as fruits, nuts, mushrooms, and latex for manufacturing rubber. Many species of animals are hunted in forests, for recreation or for subsistence. We get a large portion of our oxygen from vegetation such as trees. If there were no trees to give us oxygen to breath, we would not be able to live. So if you need one good reason why a forest should exist, staying alive is a pretty good reason.

The total forest area worldwide, previously estimated at 4 billion hectares, has decreased alarmingly in the last few decades, although the rate of deforestation and loss of forest from natural causes has slowed down from 16 million hectares per year in the 1990s to around 13 million hectares per year in the last decade (FAO, 2011). It is a reality that climate change poses a very serious threat to forests across the globe, and on several millions of people who depend on forests for their basic livelihoods which includes shelter, food and water.

Children and Youth comprise nearly 50 per cent of the world's population. The involvement of today's Children and Youth in environment and development decision-making and in the implementation of Programes is critical to the long-term success of sustainable forest. Children and Youth will not only inherit the forest but will also be responsible to protect it and all its resources. The primary objective of youth and children participation is to promote intergenerational equity in Sustainable forest management through education, transfer of knowledge, and securing the right to access natural resources for the younger generations.

The indispensable role of children and youths in terms of effective contribution to the implementation of a sustainable development cannot be overemphasized.

 It?s a high time world leaders inculcate an interest in teaching, educating and informing our future leaders about some key concepts in sustainable forestry through activities and outdoor projects. Another interest includes providing them with a forum for contributing their thoughts on sustainable forestry. They should have interest in the management and conservation of natural resources on public lands and on private lands where management has a beneficial effect for their country.

To conserve and sustain our forest, World leaders should:

  • Expose children and Youth to the details of sustainable forest management policies and the objectives of forest management plans.
  • Empower Children and Youth through workshops and seminars.
  • Pass laws that will make children and Youth get access to information relating how their forests are being used.
  • Introduce Children and Youth to the criteria and indicators (C&I) in Sustainable forest Management.
  • Develop long term policies that involve children and Youth in sustainable forest Management.

Sustainable forest management is evolving with public awareness and scientific knowledge, and the sustainability concept must be revised to reflect the new reality generated by climate change and that cannot be done without the involvement of children and Youth.





  • says :
    We should use our natural resources reasonably !
    Posted 16-11-2014 09:39

  • says :
    It is important that Youth and Children get involved in the sustainable forest management in Africa !
    Posted 16-11-2014 09:38

  • says :
    It is very interesting! Thank you for sharing
    Posted 16-11-2014 09:35

  • says :
    nice view.
    Posted 11-01-2014 11:33

  • says :
    nice article
    Posted 29-12-2013 19:54

  • says :
    very good thinking
    Posted 28-12-2013 00:58

  • says :
    that's a nice thought
    Posted 22-12-2013 21:28

  • says :
    The reforms in attitudes that you are talking about should reach not only african youth but youth all over the world because this issue exists in some areas of Asia too. Thank you
    Posted 19-08-2013 09:08

  • says :
    thank you for sharing!!
    Posted 22-07-2013 22:00

  • says :
    Thanks for sharing
    Posted 15-03-2013 11:41

  • says :
    this is a very educative article. it is very informative. thanks so much
    Posted 13-03-2013 15:37

  • says :
    Thank you for the article ! i enjoyed reading it , it gave me a great idea ! Really Thank you !
    Posted 11-03-2013 00:48

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