Sustainable forest management could net 10 million new jobs, UN agency says

10 March 2009 – Ten million new “green jobs” can be created by national investments in sustainable forest management, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said today.

“As more jobs are lost due to the current economic downturn, sustainable forest management could become a means of creating millions of green jobs, thus helping to reduce poverty and improve the environment,” said Jan Heino, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Forestry Department.

Since forests and trees are vital storehouses of carbon, such an investment would also make a major contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, he said.

Jobs in forest management include agro-forestry and farm forestry, improved fire management, development and management of trails and recreation sites, expansion of urban green spaces, restoring degraded forests and planting new ones.

A number of countries, including the United States and the Republic of Korea, have included forestry in their economic stimulus plans, and it is an important component of India’s rural employment guarantee programme, FAO said.

Employment in sustainable forest management will be a major topic of World Forest Week, to be held in conjunction with FAO’s Committee on Forestry, 16 to 20 March in Rome.

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