Forests, Trees and the Eradication of Poverty: Potential and Limitations

Poverty is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Globally, one out of every 10 people lives in extreme poverty. Poverty eradication has therefore found a place at the top of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “End poverty in all its forms everywhere” is the first Goal of this Agenda, which is supported by all 193 UN member states. The international community is now stepping up efforts to achieve this goal, especially in response to the severe setback caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The zoonotic nature of the Covid-19 virus has also illustrated the urgency to reduce human pressure on nature.

One way to relieve this pressure and alleviate poverty is to recognize and further optimize the critical role of forests and trees as allies in the fight against poverty. This report consolidates available scientific evidence on the wide range of contributions which forests and trees outside forests make to curbing poverty, and on the effectiveness of diverse forest management policies, programs, technologies and strategies. It does so based on an understanding of poverty not only in terms of monetary values, but also as an obstacle that keeps people from attaining a certain level of well-being and participating fully in society.

Author: Daniel C. Miller, Jennifer Zavaleta Cheek, Peter Newton, Christoph Wildburger, Terry Sunderland and Pamela A. Jagger

Publisher: International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Language: English

Year: 2020

Ecosystem(s): Forests

Location(s): Global

Related Publications