Forests Are Us: Why Forests Matter
People and Forests Forum 2018
Local people hold the key to healthy forests, and healthy forests are the source of our lives.
By empowering those communities who protect the forest, we can secure a healthier future for all.
The breathtaking forests of the Asia-Pacific region are undergoing a rapid transition due to increasing rates of deforestation, urbanization, and natural resource extraction. In January 2017, it was reported that the ASEAN region had around 245 million hectares of officially designated forest land, which is approximately 56% of the region’s total land area. As of now, 47% of the total land area, or 204 million hectares, is forest cover. Although this may sound favorable to some, there is an important trend that needs to be discussed:
Forest cover in the region is estimated to be reduced at an average of about 1.4 million hectares per year, with most countries reporting a reduction of forest cover in recent years.
This could suggest a decline in the importance of forest, but this is far from the truth. Healthy forests are the source of our lives and form the roots of a healthier future for all. From the water we drink, to the wood on our floor, and the tires on our cars, the forest is a life-giving ecosystem that also cools the air, filters urban pollutants and enhances our quality of life. This delicate balance, however, relies on the tireless effort of local communities who have dedicated their entire essence to the forests.
Forests are truly about us -- you, me, and all those who surround us. Thus, we are undoubtedly interconnected with the forests, and it would be a mistake to neglect the very source of our vitality: the communities and the forests they protect. We therefore should ask ourselves, what can we do to help solve the problem? For those who reside in and around the forest, the answer is often times clear. For the rest of the population, however, the answer is difficult. How do we connect with something seemingly so distant? Yet, we all have a responsibility to foster critical innovations and take meaningful actions to restore forest ecosystems.
There are many ways in which we can take responsibility. Some of us can work around creating inclusive forests enterprises, whereas others can support building favorable policies and investments. And as a general populace, we can all demand higher transparency in supply chains and practice responsible consumerism.
What is your idea for sustaining healthy forests?
Come and join us to share, learn, and inspire others with your ideas at RECOFTC's People and Forests Forum 2018. Our aim is to interact and guide audiences, particularly urban residences, to a better understanding of this question. Entitled,"Forests are Us: Why Forests Matter," this forum will explore why and how we are intricately connected to the forest and to those who preserve it. We will also hear from experts on how we can help contribute to the sustainable management of such a necessary aspect of our life.
In summary, this forum will help you examine ways in which #ForestsareUs and develop initiatives that allow us to be #ResponsiblefortheForest.
This website will be your portal, helping YOU to TAKE ACTION!
When: 19 - 20 August 2018
Where: Bangkok, Thailand
Who will benefit from this forum?
If YOU are a policy maker or involved in natural resource management
If YOU are a forest community representative
If YOU are a social entrepreneur, a social enterprise, or a member of the business community
If YOU are a civil society or international organization
If YOU are an urban resident
If YOU are someone who is passionate about our forests and our future!
Why should YOU be a part of this forum?
YOU will hear evidence of how community forestry contributes to managing forests sustainably and achieving the SDGs
YOU can showcase your knowledge while learning of new initiatives that are contributing to sustainable resource use
YOU can connect with new and existing communities that are exploring ways of using resources more sustainably
YOU can help co-create innovative ways to ensure the sustainable use of our resources
But most importantly, YOU can learn ways in which we can deal with the world’s most urgent issues.