Forests and poverty alleviation uri icon

abstract

  • It focuses on the role of forests, particularly natural ones, in poverty alleviation indeveloping countries. While some attention is given to the potential of planted forestsand agroforestry to alleviate poverty, space constraints allow only a passing referenceto trees outside forests. Thus, while not attempting to provide an extensive analysis ofthe topic, the chapter defines forest-based poverty alleviation, examines the potential offorests in this regard, notes obstacles to progress, identifies conditions that maystrengthen the role of forests in alleviating poverty, and proposes several strategies toimprove the contributions of the forest sector. Forests can be vital safety nets, helpingrural people to avoid, mitigate or rise out of poverty. This function is unknown to manypolicy-makers and planners because it is not well understood or explained. One reasonis that the contribution of forests to poor households is largely unrecorded in nationalstatistics, as most of it is for subsistence or for trade on local markets. In addition,most wealth from timber goes to better-off segments of society, while some aspects ofthe access to and processing of timber resources actually inhibit their potential toassist marginalized people. Despite these obstacles, the contribution of forests topoverty alleviation can be increased, provided that decision-makers recognize and acton this potential

publication date

  • 2003