Between the rainforests of the Congo Basin and the savannas of Sub-Saharan Africa lie vast expanses of dry forests and woodlands that are often overlooked by the global forest and landscape restoration (FLR) community. Approximately 340 million hectares of woody vegetation in Africa’s dryland zones have become degraded through overgrazing, agricultural expansion and overexploitation for fuelwood and timber. Despite substantial evidence of its economic potential, restoration in these areas is often considered a cost-intensive intervention that conflicts with unsustainable, but perceivably more lucrative livelihoods and industries. Even when sustainable value chains are explored, they are typically for relatively low-value products, such as charcoal and honey. Timber extraction, on the other hand, can be lucrative – but it is typically carried out in a way that degrades and depletes the forests, often at the expense of local people and communities.
This white paper puts forward “the Wood Solution” – an integrated, market-driven approach to restoring timber stocks and biodiversity, generating rural livelihoods and business opportunities, and promoting new, sustainable value chains to drive restorative forest management in Africa’s drylands.
This subject is part of GLF Africa: Restoring Africa’s Drylands.
Author: Rosa Goodman, Lars Laestadiusa, Berty van Hensbergen, Kofi Debrah, Aaron Kaplan, Klas Bengtsson and Amen Hultström
Publisher: Global Landscapes Forum (GLF)
Keyword(s): Africa, business, dry forests, housing, timber, urban development, value chains, wood
Ecosystem(s): Drylands and Rangelands