Forests in the Philippines Benefit Local Communities
The planet’s forests are necessary for supporting a healthy biosphere and healthy economies. In addition to the positive impacts forests have on climate change, they also support economies and peoples’ livelihood. When forests are sustainably managed they become renewable resources that can continue providing jobs and resources for communities around the planet.
Forests that are certified through programs approved by the United Nations are sustainably managed. This means that trees are replanted after they are harvested so that forests will continue to thrive and will always provide humans with valuable resources and raw materials. In developed countries like the United States and Canada, more than 250 million acres of forests are certified. However, research conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme estimates that only 10 percent of forests worldwide are certified. The demand for certified lumber seems to outpace the supply.
How Forests Help Developing Countries
In underdeveloped rural communities, like in the Philippines, people rely on the forests for financial income. According to the research in the article Understanding the Role of Forests in Supporting Livelihood and Climate Resilience, about 7% of the annual income of these rural communities is generated by selling forest resources such as bush meat, fish, charcoal, bamboo, and other byproducts. Poorer communities rely more heavily on forests to provide residents with what they need.
In tropical climates, floods have devastating effects yet forests can be a primary source of protection against floods. According to the article Role of Forests in Supporting Livelihood and Climate Resilience, floodwaters in watersheds can be reduced by up to 47% during the wettest months of the year. Thick forest cover will also generate better water yields during the driest months of the year and will protect land from erosion.
International certification programs protect forests so that they’ll always be able to provide economic and environmental benefits to people and civilizations. Unfortunately, in developing countries, it can often be more profitable to clear-cut rainforests to use the land for things like agriculture instead of preserving the forest for sustainable use. Nature’s Packaging is committed to the use and re-use of sustainably sourced lumber for wood pallets and packaging needs. Giving purchasing preference to sustainably sourced wood pallets is an ethical way to protect forests and the local economies created by them.