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Jakarta Post

Ending poverty: Why do forests matter?

  • Yurdi Yasmi
    Yurdi Yasmi

    Forest policy officer at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Bangkok   /   Tue, May 23, 2017   /  12:51 pm
Ending poverty: Why do forests matter? The lungs of the Earth – Thick rainforests covering the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park (TNGGP) in West Java offers natural richness visitors can learn. (JP/Theresia Sufa)

Ending poverty by 2030 on our planet is a global agenda. Not many people would readily think forests can contribute to this agenda. People tend to look at manufacturing and service sectors such as tourism as the main vehicles for poverty reduction. But forests can play an important role in overcoming poverty too. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that globally 750 million people live in or near forests and additional 500 million live in open savannas with scattered trees and woodland. For these people, forests are the local supermarket — a place to source various food items, construction materials, and medicine. But forests are also critical in the fight against poverty for at least three main reasons. First, forests provide basic needs such as food, shelter and energy. Bush meat, fish, animals, fruits, nuts, mushrooms, vegetables and insects, to name but ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.