The Healing Tree

Below is a paper from my friend’s law class on globalization. I chose the topic because of my own personal interest and because much of what my father did/does revolves around this topic, as well (it’s how we met). My Dad worked with the governments of Costa Rica, Jordan, Africa, Australia, and Sri Lanka, among others. Since this topic was a stretch for her, please forgive any mistakes, inconsistencies and other errors.

The Healing Tree

Can sustainable renewable forestry development have a positive impact on global concerns?

The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolencethat makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.1

Drs. Hans Gregersen and Allen Lundgren of the University of Minnesota’s Forestry For Sustainable Development Program have spent decades on international forestry sustainable development, what it means, and how it can positively impact global concerns and increase quality of life, regardless of how “quality” is defined by various peoples.

They define sustainable development as “development involving changes in the production and/or distribution of desired goods and services which result, for a given target population, in an increase in welfare that can be sustained over time.”2

The elements of sustainable development are (1) economic, that is meeting the basic needs of the human population and improving their well-being; (2) ecological/environmental, or maintaining the productivity of the natural resources while also maintaining its integrity and (3) social/political, which is achieving an acceptable level of intergenerational equity and social justice.3

One of the most widely accepted and simplistic definitions is that produced in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED),4 otherwise known as the Brundtland Commission: “economic and social development that meets the needs of the current generation without undermining the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”5

Part I: Background

A. History of forestry – how forests and forestry practices have influenced a people’s well-being.

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.6

The oldest living thing in existence is a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California, believed to be 4,600 years old. Forests and their products – wood, gum, oils, fruit – have been a necessity and staple of man’s culture from the time that he first learned to use tools. Wood provides fire, shelter, tools, food, and even medicine. Man cannot live without his forests. The challenge is to use the forest without destroying it.

70 million years ago, tropical forests extended from France and Germany in the north and south Africa in the south, with mostly shallow rooted vine-like trees. By 2 million years ago, the tropical forests were shrinking, the Ice Age occurred, and when it left, temperate forests were left in its place, consisted mostly of coniferous and deciduous trees.7 Currently the forests on the earth consist of three types: jungle-like hardwood forests of the tropics, coniferous forests of the cold, northern climes, and the mixed conifer/hardwood forests of the temperate zones.8

From the days of the pharaohs, wars have been waged to secure the rights to timber, and the oils and gums they produced.9 Sumerian and Assyrian kings sent logging expeditions into far-distant places to get timber for building.10 Forests were and are a valuable asset, worth acquiring and protecting. But even then, trees were seen by some as things to be protected and preserved. The poet Ovid wrote that during the Golden age, before civilization began, “not yet had the pine tree been felled on the mountainside.”11 But the forests were needed, and the great civilizations of the ancient world would never have emerged without wood sources. But as the ancient world fell, and the Dark Ages began, the forests began to regenerate. This had been noted before by the prophet Isaiah after the death of an ambitious Assyrian king: “The cypress, the cedars of Lebanon rejoice. They say, now that you have been laid low, no one comes up to fell us.”12

The ancient Romans divided the forest in three types: Those used for firewood were cut annually, another type was used for pastureland and for construction timber, and the last category were the huge forests that belonged to the state and were not cut regularly.13 The forests began their gradual decline under the yoke of civilization. Using Germany as a model, we can follow the gradual changes in forests and forestry practices. Until the advent of Benedictine monasteries in the 8th century, the forests were used only minimally. From 500-800 A.D., the first penetration of the dense virgin forests began.14 The monks built monasteries with the wood of the ancient forests, and at times, felled giant trees, such as the great oak of Geismar, sacred to Thor, in an effort to eradicate the pagan beliefs of the native people, many of which included tree worship. The legend is that when Boniface, an English monk, decided to fell the great oak of Geismar to get rid of the poeple’s allegiance to Thor, the first blow of his axe caused a mighty wind to blow, shaking the great tree, which fell, breaking into four pieces. The local people, shaken by this, gave up their gods and the wood of the tree was used by Boniface to build a chapel to St. Peter.15

In the early middle ages, the forests were communal, and the people used the timber to build houses, collect firewood, and hunt in their vast preserves.16 But shortly after, around 800 A.D., the local nobles began to establish imperial forest reserves and as the kings increased their power, they took over the forests claimed by the nobles. However, in those days, the forests were at times considered nuisances: they left little land to farm and live on, made travel difficult, and harbored roving packs of wolves. By the 9th century the forests began to be cleared and the land cultivated, with the exception of the forest preserves.

In the 13th century, what is now the Black Forest was owned by the Count of Eberstein. An ardent Crusader, he mortgaged a large portion of his forest to finance his crusading efforts to a group of woodsmen, called rafters – they cut the trees and floated the logs down the rivers to Holland where they were sold to shipbuilders at a good price. Forests had become a commercial prize. When the Count died in the Crusades, leaving no heirs, the rafters retained the forest, despite legal machinations by the ruler of the State of Baden. The ownership of that 12,000 acre tract has remained “in the family”, making it the only forest in the world in a single private ownership, that has been producing for over 700 years.17

In the period up to the 13th century, the people saw the forests as obstacles to cultivation and development and used the forests wastefully.18 Because of this vast clear-cutting, wood was becoming scarce, and the quantity of wood that could be cut per family was limited, and cutting of live wood for fuel was often prohibited. In addition, the forest rights of the kings began to be transferred to local chiefs, who guarded them fiercely to protect the game, which ked to overgrazing and overbrowsing. By the 14th century, the clearing of the forests slowed,19 and in 1557, King Ferdinand I signed a grand forestry ordinance, allowing for only the oldest, most diseased trees to be felled.20 To ensure good hunting, the Germanic estate owners began to hire game managers to manage the forests and the game, to ensure optimal game, without the overbrowsing of earlier years. They became known as “Forst-und Jagtmeisters,” forest and hunt masters. Since the Germanic states were not united until 1871 under Bismarck, there was no need for an overall forest policy, especially since Germany was not a sea-power and had no need to ensure the vast supplies of timber needed for ship-building.21

In India, under colonial rule, the British borrowed forestry practices from Germany and France and used them in managing India’s more tropical forests. Many of those policies and procedures are still used today, showing an early type of globalization. The use of practices and adapting them to foreign places with differing needs was the start of international forestry practices and procedures.

B. Current standard forestry practices – looking at current standard forestry practices here in the U.S. and abroad, and what laws are in place for forestry practices.

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.22

It is difficult to place a monetary value on the many vital services that trees provide. However, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection calculates that a single tree that lives for fifty years will contribute services worth nearly $200,000 (in 1994 dollars) to the community during its lifetime. This includes providing oxygen ($31,250), recycling water and regulating humidity ($37,000), controlling air pollution ($62,500), producing protein ($2,500), providing shelter for wildlife ($31,250), and controlling land erosion and fertilizing the soil ($31,250).23

Care and management of this valuable resource is what forestry is dedicated to. Different models have been used over the years, some have succeeded, and others failed. Changes to the forestry practices are made as they prove to work or create more harm, for example, the Forest Service24 is currently struggling with its fire policies. The old notions of putting out all forest fires are gradually giving way to the belief that it is better to allow small controlled burns to clear out undergrowth and stimulate species that only germinate through intense heat.25 But even this idea, while sound and seemingly obvious, has its detractors, who point to fires that have gotten out of control. The 2002 fire season was one of the worst in modern history. More than 7.1 million acres burned – more than twice the annual 10-year average. These fires caused the death of 21 firefighters, drove tens of thousands of people from their homes, and destroyed more than 2,000 buildings. These fires also destroyed hundreds of millions of trees, devastated habitat, and severely damaged forest soils and watersheds for decades to come. 26

It is this kind of devastation that led to the President’s Healthy Forests Initiative.27 President Bush traveled to Oregon August 22, 2002 to announce his new Healthy Forests Initiative. The Bush Administration will significantly step up efforts “to prevent the damage caused by catastrophic wildfires by reducing unnecessary regulatory obstacles that hinder active forest management;” and work with Congress to pass legislation that addresses the unhealthy forest crisis by expediting procedures for forest thinning and restoration projects.28

Management of the forests is critical to the planet. According to the National Geographic, the fragile balance of plants and animals took millions of years to develop. Thousands of species are disappearing each year due in large part to human influences like habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species, and overharvesting. “If we continue reducing Earth’s biodiversity at this rate, the consequences will be profound. The web of life connects the smallest bacterium to the giant redwood and the whale. When we put that web in peril, we become agents of calamity.”29

C) Sustainable development plans – What are the current sustainable development models.

The best friend on earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully
and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on the earth.30

Of course others take a different approach. Ronald Reagan’s famous saying while he was governor of California “a tree is a tree – how many more do you need to look at” illustrates this point beautifully. Ignorance and greed are the two primary factors in working against sustainable development.

The Kyoto Protocol31 states that each party shall “promote sustainable forms of agriculture in light of climatic change,” making the world a party to sustainable development. Although forests are not specifically addressed in the Protocol, silviculture, defined as the care and cultivation or forest trees (forestry) can be easily viewed as a form of agriculture, and thus fit under the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.

The first problem is with the definition of sustainable development. What is it? According to Allen Prescott32 the phrase is too simplistic for a complex and important problem. Sustainable development “bridges everything we hold dear – how do we survive, how do we function as families, as a society, how do we leave the planet as it was when we received it?” According to Prescott, development is something that meets the needs of all interest groups and achieves a social and economic benefit for them. Sustainable development must include the entire biosphere, and sustainable relationships between the social groups that exist. “Sustainable development is a process of social and economic betterment that satisfies the needs and values of all interest groups while maintaining future options, conserving biological resources and diversity.”33

Sustainable development must be profitable, expand and stabilize the labor force and economy, maintain and strengthen community identity by reducing conflicts and increasing compatibility, be supportive of local cultural norms and values, and be compatible with ecological processes and biological diversity, preserving diverse ecosystems, gene pools, and species.34

According to W.E. Rees,35 sustainable development is positive socioeconomic change that doesn’t undermine the ecological or social systems. Successful implementation requires integrated policy, planning, and social components (note that his paper comes out of the Centre for Human Studies – i.e. sustainable development is as much about peoples as it is about ecology and science). Sustainable development to Rees must achieve specific ecological, social and economic objectives, imposing limits on consumption, while initiating development. It requires governmental oversight and intervention, but also the cooperation of the private sector, and needs judicial integration, education, and open political processes.36

In sustainable development of forests, the major problem besides climatic change and chemical pollution, along with introduced species that can threaten older indigenous ones, is over-harvesting, or the taking of trees at a higher rate than can be sustained by the natural reproductive or intentional reproduction of the species being harvested.

Successful timber management for sustainable development needs two conditions: a rise in timber prices (scarcity increases) so that management becomes profitable, and government initiated and instituted programs of land classification, allocation, regulations to guide and stabilize land use, and incentives to make sustained yield attractive to industry. Scarcity alone will not lead to effective management – indeed the opposite occurs. As timber becomes scarcer, and thus more valuable, it leads to more rapid timber harvesting.37 This can lead to such intensive claiming or timber that sustainable development becomes nearly impossible, as there are little or no resources left. This has happened in some of the African rainforests.38 What is needed is a policy environment that encourages industry to practice sustainable contributions of forests.

However, one of the main sources of deforestation is not industry, but the “slash and burn” farmer.39 But that farmer is at the mercy of economic pressures he cannot control. The correct response to this problem lies in the government, far from the farmers themselves. For example, the best way for Brazil to stem the settlement and deforestation of the Amazonian rain forests is to engage in land reforms in the southern territories, and provide more sustainable forms of agricultural living for the farmers.40

Part II: What Does the Future Hold?

A. International forestry organizations – what are the organizations that influence and shape forestry practices.

The World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development,41 in its 1999 report on Forests and Sustainable development recommended stopping the destruction of the earth’s forests, use of the world’s forest resources to improve life for poor people and for the benefit of forest-dependent communities, put public interest first and involve people in decisions about forest use, use accurate pricing of forest rights to reflect their full ecological and social values, stop harmful subsidies, apply sustainable forest management approaches to use forests without abusing them, develop new ways of measuring forest capital to know whether the situation is improving or worsening, plan for the use and protection of whole landscapes, not just the forest in isolation, make better use of our knowledge of forests and expand this information base, accelerate research and training so sustainable forest management can become a reality quickly, and make political decisions and develop new civil society institutions to improve governance and accountability regarding forest use.

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), in its 2000 Report at its World Conference,42 recognized the importance of forests and the forestry profession to human, environmental, economic and socio-cultural welfare, and that it helps to alleviate poverty, and stimulates development. IUFRO recommended that they continue and expand support for research, provide the knowledge necessary to “achieve sustainable forest management within differing physical and social landscapes,” and that it should seek to reconcile “conflicting demands for wood products, environmental services and social benefits.”43 In order to further these goals, IUFRO should also seek appropriate knowledge from indigenous people. It found that its research should be directed towards forest policy-related issues in major environmental areas, and that it should strengthen its contributions to international debates and political processes.44

The International Institute for Sustainable Development45 creates policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change, and natural resource management to make development sustainable. They report on international negotiations and knowledge gained through collaborative projects with global partners, which they hope results in more “rigorous research, capacity building in developing countries and a better dialogue between North and South.”46

From 2000-2005, IISD intends to promote government expenditure and taxation policies, as well as trade and investment policies that encourage sustainable development, and encourage more sustainable forms of agriculture and other natural resource use through the development of incentives and increased community participation in decision-making.47
The Center for International Forestry Research in its recent State of the World’s Forests, 2003,48 wants to “resolve issues of fundamental importance to the environment and to the achievement of sustainable development. Alleviating poverty and improving food security are closely linked to these objectives, and forests are an integral part of the solution.”49 They found that in coming years, enormous population increases, combined with growing per capita consumption, will continue to result in agricultural expansion on new lands, mostly through deforestation. Preliminary findings of an FAO study indicate that agricultural land is expanding in about 70 percent of countries, declining in 25 percent and roughly static in 5 percent.50

Forests are complex ecosystems that must be managed in a balanced and sustainable way, and one of the main challenges is to reconcile the conflicting priorities of those who depend on forests for a variety of goods and services. Trees are of critical importance in countries with low forest cover, in both urban and rural settings. Among other functions, they help combat desertification, provide basic necessities and protect biological diversity, crops, settlements and watersheds. The State of the World’s Forests 2003 emphasizes the major roles of forests in the context of climate change as a lost source of carbon dioxide when they are destroyed and as a positive source CO2 sink, when they are managed sustainably.51

CIFOR has found that in recent years the forest has undergone fundamental changes, largely as a result of restructuring, shifts in ownership patterns and recognition of the benefits that forests provide. It is expected that by 2050, 40 percent of the world’s forests will be managed or owned by communities and individuals. Forests can be a community resource, not a multinational corporate one.52 The amount of support that groups and institutions receive to increase their capacity to take advantage of emerging opportunities needs to keep pace. Recent emphasis on environmental protection, food security and poverty calls for new approaches to forestry education. Governments, private industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are making efforts to curb forest crime, while policy institutions and agencies are working on analyses of its magnitude and impacts.53 CIFOR identifies some of the implementation issues, such as financing, trade, and environmentally sound technology. In response to a need in the international forest community, a group of countries, institutions and NGOs established the National Forest Programme Facility, which focuses on information exchange, knowledge sharing and capacity building and seeks to link forest policy and planning with broader national strategies, particularly those related to poverty alleviation. The World Summit on Sustainable Development54 (WSSD), held in Johannesburg in August/September 2002, recognized the significant contributions that forests make to the health of the planet and its inhabitants by noting the need for greater political commitment and better linkages with other sectors through effective partnerships.

The State of the World’s Forests 2003 discusses the relationship “between the sustainable use of forests and the conservation of biological diversity.”55 Forest practices can have different impacts on biological diversity, benefitting some while harming others. Because of the “variability of natural systems and the lack of any single measure of biological diversity, developing appropriate indicators to help monitor the effects of forest management interventions with a view to improving prevailing practices is a major challenge.”56 For sustainable forest management to include efficient conservation of biological diversity, both government action and alliances with stakeholders are needed. The exact combination of goods and services to be provided from a particular forested region should take into account resource use on a national scale and should be based on dialogues between government, industry, academic institutions, local communities and NGOs.57

Another challenge is that investment has traditionally gone towards improving wood production and processing technologies, so that other ecosystem functions and social dimensions, such as poverty alleviation, are often neglected. In many tropical countries, most forestry activities that involve a large number of people are informal, with little research. This raises the question of how the needs of small enterprises and local communities can be met, given their importance in providing basic goods, creating jobs and generating cash.58

The International Forestry Resources and Institutions59 (IFRI) (Group of Centers for Research), is an effort to establish an international network of Collaborating Research Centers (CRCs) that will: continuously monitor and report on forest conditions, plant biodiversity, rates of deforestation, activities and outcomes achieved by community organizations, local, regional, and national governments, businesses and others, and analyze how socioeconomic, demographic, political, and legal factors affect the sustainability of ecological systems. 60
IFRI has identified the problem: alarming rates of deforestation, especially in the tropical forests of Central and South America, Asia, and Africa. The world’s human population is predicted to be 10 billion by the year 2025 and 14 billion by the year 2100.61

Most tropical forests “will be entirely lost or reduced to small fragments by early in the next century.”62 Ancient forest areas are being destroyed at accelerating rates. At best, they are replaced by secondary forests which offer impoverished biodiversity, and, at worst, they are taken over by desertification. One quarter to one half of the earth’s species will become extinct by 2020.63

There are differing reasons for the cause of deforestation: commercial logging, cultivation, excessive energy consumption, and population increase. One view of the cause is usually paired with a related solution. Preservationists have often addressed the problem through “save and preserve” solutions. Taking the position that actions must be taken to preserve the old-growth forests and the diversity of plant and animal life, they argue for protected areas where certain activities, such as logging, are prohibited and species such as the spotted owl are protected.64
At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in June of 1992, three major policy documents were produced at the conference (the Rio Declaration,65 Agenda 21,66 and the Forest Principles67) and two conventions (the Convention on Biological Diversity68 and the Convention on Climate Change69). All of these documents proposed the adoption of international standards to regulate the use and management of natural resources – particularly forest resources, in order to enhance diversity and sustainability over time.

National policies range from changing forest commons into private land, assigning governments the responsibility of managing reserves and severely limiting access to these reserves, without regard for indigenous people, their changing environments, and methods of management of forest resources. One looming problem in the efforts to stem the rates of deforestation is that many of these programs actually “accelerate the very damage their proponents intend to reverse”70

The IFRI research program attempts to ascertain what is wrong and provide better answers to the question of how to reduce deforestation and loss of biodiversity in many different parts of the world. They have identified three problems: knowledge gaps (lack of understanding about which variables are the primary causes of deforestation and biodiversity losses), information gaps (lack of reliable data), and the need for greater assessment capabilities located in countries with substantial forestry resources. 71

The IFRI research program relies on the building of a permanent international network of CRCs. Each CRC will design a long-term monitoring plan to include:
a sample of forests located in different ecological zones, managed by diverse institutional arrangements, and located near centers of intense population growth as well as in more remote regions; conduct rigorous evaluations of projects undertaken to reduce deforestation, increase local participation, encourage eco-tourism, change forest tenure policies, implement new taxes or incentives, or in some way attempt to improve the incentives of officials and citizens to enhance and sustain forest resources and biodiversity, provide useful and rapid feedback to officials and citizens about conditions and processes in particular forests of relevance to them, conduct analyses of those policies and institutional arrangements that perform best in particular political-economic and ecological settings.72

The goals of the IFRI program are to address the issue of knowledge gaps by seeking ways to enhance interdisciplinary knowledge, to address information gaps by “providing a means to ground-truth aerial data and spatially link forest use to deforestation and reforestation”73, and to address the need for greater assessment capabilities by building the capacity to collect, store, analyze, and disseminate data in participating countries.74

There is the potential for effective organization at the local level to manage some of the smaller to medium-sized forests exists in all countries, but local participants do not uniformly provide the effort needed to organize and manage local forests, even when given formal authority. “Making investment decisions related to assets that mature over a long time horizon (25 to 75 years for many tree species) is a sophisticated task whether it is undertaken by barely literate farmers or Wall Street investors.”75

Thus, the view that anything local is better than anything organized at a national or global scale is not a useful view for a long-term effort to improve understanding of what works.

B) International forestry law – what are the international laws that impact forestry and sustainable development.

Thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them:for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man’s life)76

Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, June 3-14, 1992.

Agenda 21 addresses all manner of ecological concerns, and is relevant to much of the sustainable forestry development concerns. Sections 11.1-11.40 are on combating deforestation. Although the Rio Declaration doesn’t specifically address forests and their management, the principles espoused are relevant to the issues previously discussed. It has the “goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people, [w]orking towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system, [and r]ecognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home.”77

The Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests78 directly addresses the issues discussed above. In its preamble is the statement that “[a]ll types of forests embody complex and unique ecological processes which are the basis for their present and potential capacity to provide resources to satisfy human needs as well as environmental values, and as such their sound management and conservation is of concern to the Governments of the countries to which they belong and are of value to local communities and to the environment as a whole.”79

The Principles state that although the States have the “sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies” they also have the “responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.”80 And that the agreed “cost of achieving benefits associated with forest conservation and sustainable development requires increased international cooperation and should be equitably shared by the international
community.”81

They recommend that financial resources be provided to developing countries to enable them to sustainably manage and develop their forest resources. Trade in forest products should be based on multilaterally agreed rules consistent with international trade law and practices, facilitating open and free international trade in forest products, and a reduction or removal of tariff barriers and impediments should be encouraged, along with the incorporation of environmental costs and benefits into market forces and mechanisms. Forest conservation and sustainable development policies should be integrated with economic, trade and other relevant policies and fiscal, trade, transportation and other policies that may lead to forest degradation should be avoided.

U.S.C.A. Title 16 : Chapter 65 Sec. 4501 provides that the focus be “[t]o achieve the maximum impact from activities undertaken under the authority of this chapter, the Secretary shall focus such activities on the key countries which could have a substantial impact on emissions of greenhouse gases related to global warming.”82

In his paper, Why is There No International Forestry Law,83 Ronnie Lipshutz, from the University of California at Irvine, argues that the “absence of a ‘third generation international environmental law’ in the form of an interstate convention dealing with tropical and temperate deforestation, and mandating sustainable forestry practices, is not the result of a lack of effort… [but is] inherent in the political economy and history of national forestry programs.”84 The programs were originally set up to conserve timber through managed production, with little attention paid to the other environmental “services” provided by forests. Domestic interests developed with concern for logging and not for the environment. This is what prevents progress on a global forest convention.85

At the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Tropical Timber Agreement was set out.86 The objectives were to provide a framework for international cooperation and policy development among all members with regard to the world timber economy, provide a forum for promotion of non-discriminatory timber trade practices, to contribute to the process of sustainable development, to enhance the capacity of members to implement a strategy for achieving exports of tropical timber and timber products from sustainably managed sources by the year 2000, to expand and diversify international trade in tropical timber from sustainable sources, to improve market intelligence and greater transparency in the international timber market, to promote increased processing of tropical timber from sustainable sources to advance their industrialization and increasing employment opportunities and export earnings.

In addition, they wanted to encourage members to support and develop industrial tropical timber reforestation and forest management activities as well as rehabilitation of degraded forest land, with due regard for the interests of local communities dependent on forest resources and improve marketing and distribution of tropical timber exports from sustainably managed sources.87

C) What are global concerns? – What are the global concerns that face the peoples of the world and how do they differ from area to area.

The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, “In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!”88

Global concerns include poverty, the economy, biodiversity, deforestation and desertification, global warming, industrial pollution, and the preservation of local and indigenous populations and cultures, while allowing growth as needed or desired. Interpreting the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development89 leads to some clues as to what are the concerns of a global population. “Meeting the needs of the present” means satisfying economic needs, and providing an adequate livelihood, and economic security when unemployed, ill, disabled or otherwise unable to secure a livelihood. It also means satisfying social, cultural and health needs, including affordable shelter which is healthy and safe, in a neighborhood with provisions for fresh water, drainage, transport, health care, education and child development, and protection from environmental hazards, and allowing continuation of cultural traditions.90
It also includes political needs, including freedom to participate in national and local politics and in decisions regarding management and development of one’s home and neighborhood, within a framework that ensures respect for civil and political rights. Meeting those needs “without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” means minimizing the use (waste) of non-renewable resources and substituting with renewable sources when possible.91

D) How has forestry had a positive impact on global concerns – what can or what has Sustainable Forestry Development done to improve the living conditions of various peoples, improve the welfare of states, and heal an ailing planet?

If a tree is treated as a living organism, with an understanding of its vitalfunctions, it will be a constant source of profit and pleasure to men.92

Over the past few decades, many have come to realize that efforts to improve the standard of living must be harmony with the natural world, and that lack of development can be as great a threat to the ecosphere as unchecked development. Sustainable development has twin pillars: it improves the quality of human life through economic growth, improving quality of health, education and political, civil and human rights. It also conserves the earth’s “vitality and diversity” by conserving life-support systems, conserving biological diversity, sustains renewable resources, minimizes depletion of non-renewable resources, and keeps us within the earth’s carrying capacity.93

According to statistics provided by the World Forestry Congress 2003,94 of the 6.2 billion people on the planet, 25% (1.5 billion) depend to varying degrees on the forest’s resources for their livelihood, 350 million people living in or near dense forest depend highly on it for their subsistence or livelihood, forests cover 30% of the Earth’s landmass, are home to 80% of the earth’s biodiversity, and play essential ecological roles. Under the combined effect of demographic growth and deforestation, the per capita forest cover is expected to drop 25% by 2025 and planted forests constitute 5% of the world’s forest cover and produce 35% of all wood harvested.

With these statistics in mind, there is no question but that practices and policies, particularly at an international level, can greatly alter and improve the planet. By increasing planted forests, which now are only about 5%, we can reduce the percentage of wood harvested from non-planted, old-growth forests, while providing a means for the people to make a living. Increasing our overall forest cover by creating not only renewable resource forests whereby we plant and harvest at a steady rate, but by reforestation greater than harvesting, we can increase our CO2 sinks to absorb the greenhouse gases, and reduce global warming.

One issue that has attracted renewed attention in recent years is the potential of forests to alleviate poverty, particularly in developing countries. Forests can help rural people rise out of poverty.95 Research is needed, however to show where “forest conservation and poverty alleviation converge as policy goals, and where they diverge.”96 Some of the changes that would help to create an environment favorable to alleviating poverty include “decentralization of authority, more secure forest tenure, better governance, increased access to markets; new technologies; and a greater willingness of society to pay for environmental services. Maximizing this potential requires, among other approaches, establishing a people-centered agenda, removing regulatory restrictions; creating partnerships between poor people and forest enterprises; and integrating forestry into rural development and poverty reduction strategies.

One simple positive sign of a changing global perspective is the recent statement by Home Depot in January of 200397 that it is successfully reducing its purchase of Indonesian lauan, a tropical hardwood used in 70% of doors, as originally planned in a 1999 report. Home Depot announced it will focus on buying redwood from two suppliers that are committed to sustainable forestry.98 The company hopes to use its buying power to induce countries and suppliers to adopt sustainable practices. And according to its report, it is working. The number of vendors supplying certified wood products (grown under sustainable forestry systems) has grown from 5 in 1999 when they adopted the policy to 40 in 2002.99

Home Depot is the largest supplier of FSC100 certified wood in the U.S. Sales of certified wood products have jumped from $15 million in 1999 to $250 million in 2002. Home Depot also claims that all cedar purchased comes from 2nd or 3rd generation forests, thus sparing the old-growth forests. Home Depot has not eliminated its purchases of lauan completely, taking the position that they can more effectively promote sustainable forestry practices if they use purchasing leverage. Thus, the refusal to buy lauan gives no incentive to change practices, and harms the local economy, but a potential order if sustainable practices are used is a “lure” to change policies, while providing income to poverty stricken nations.

The key is to educate the global population on the benefits of sustainable development and the dangers of unchecked development, which can lead to rapid deforestation and desertification, as well as bioloss as shown brilliantly in The Lorax:

“But those trees! Those trees!
Those Truffula Trees!
All my life I’d been searching
for trees such as these….
Now, chopping one tree at a time
was too slow.
So I quickly invented my Super-axe-hacker
which whacked off four Truffula Trees at one smacker…
I meant no harm, I truly did not.
But I have to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads
Of the Thneeds I shipped out. I was shipping them forth
To the South! To the East! To the West! To the North!
I went right on biggering…selling more Thneeds.
And I biggered my money, which everyone needs.”101

And we all know what happened, and the lessons learned. Its time we all learned what the Lorax knew: what we can do individually, as a nation, and as a planetary people to save this earth for future generations.

Endnotes:

1: Buddhist Sutra
2: Gregorson, Hans M., Lundgren, Allen L, et al, Contributions of Tropical Forests to Sustainable Development: The Role of Industry and Trade, Working Paper No.6, Forestry For Sustainable Development (FFSD) Program, University of Minnesota, 1990.
3: Gregorson, Hans M., Lundgren, Allen L, et al, Contributions of Tropical Forests to Sustainable Development: The Role of Industry and Trade, Working Paper No.6, Forestry For Sustainable Development (FFSD) Program, University of Minnesota, 1990.
4: WCED, Our Common Future, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 1988.
5: WCED, Our Common Future, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 1988.
6: Robert Louis Stevenson
7: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.22
8: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.23
9: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.16
10: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.16
11: Perlin, John, A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization, Harvard University Press, 1991, Introduction, p. 25
12: Perlin, John, A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization, Harvard University Press, 1991, Introduction, p. 25
13: Bechmann, Roland, Trees and Man: The Forest in the Middle Ages, Paragon House, 1990, p. 202
14: Klose, Franz, A Brief History of the German Forest – achievement and mistakes down the ages. Eschbron, 1985, p.15
15: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.215
16: Bechmann, Roland, Trees and Man: The Forest in the Middle Ages, Paragon House, 1990, p. 202
17: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.216-217
18: Klose, Franz, A Brief History of the German Forest – Achievement and Mistakes Down the Ages, Eschbron, 1985, p.15
19: Bechmann, Roland, Trees and Man: The Forest in the Middle Ages, Paragon House, 1990, p. 204. The Forest Ordinance of 1376, an edict by Charles V, ordered that “all cuttings will maintain seed-bearers, eight or ten per arpent [about an acre].” He also decreed that only trees that met the current need and cause the least waste were to be felled, and to choose the tree to be cut based on the size of timber needed. Stumps were to be neat and at ground level, as was still the custom at the beginning of the 20th century when a logger had to be able to have a liter of wine stand firmly on the stump. p. 205 originally noted in Sainct Yon, Les Édits et Ordinances des Roys… Paris, 1610
20: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.217
21: Winters, Robert K and Eliza H. Winters, The Forest and Man, Vantage Press, 1974, p.218
22: John Muir
23: http://frap.cdf.ca.gov/projects.html#Forests
24: http://www.fs.fed.us. The purposes of the Forestry Service are twofold: (1) to make sure that America’s forests and grasslands are in the healthiest condition they can be; and (2) to see to it that you have lots of opportunities to use, enjoy, and care for the lands and waters that sustain us all.
25: Remarks by Dale Bosworth, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, to the University of Idaho, Fall 2002.
26: USDA Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management, available at http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/
27: President Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/healthyforests/sect1.html
28: President Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/healthyforests/sect1.html
29: From the Biodiversity insert in National Geographic, February, 1999, Vol. 195, No. 2.
30: Frank Lloyd Wright
31: Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1997, Article 2.
32: Prescott, Allen R., Sustainable Development: What is it? How Do We get it?, Forest Planning Canada 5(3), 5-6.
33: Prescott, Allen R., Sustainable Development: What is it? How Do We get it?, Forest Planning Canada 5(3), 3
34: Prescott, Allen R., Sustainable Development: What is it? How Do We get it?, Forest Planning Canada 5(3), 3
35: Rees, W.E., Defining “Sustainable Development”, University of British Columbia Centre for Human Studies Research Bulletin, University of British Columbia, 1989, Rees, William E., Sustainable Development and the Biosphere: Concepts and Principles, University of British Columbia, Teilhard Studies 1990, appearing condensed in The Ecology of Sustainable Development, The Ecologist, 20:1:18-23, Jan/Feb 1990
36: Rees, W.E., Defining “Sustainable Development”, University of British Columbia Centre for Human Studies Research Bulletin, University of British Columbia, 1989, p. 3
37: Gregorson, Hans M., Lundgren, Allen L, et al, Contributions of Tropical Forests to Sustainable Development: The Role of Industry and Trade, Working Paper No.6, Forestry For Sustainable Development (FFSD) Program, University of Minnesota, 1990.
38: Grut, Mikael, Economics of Managing the African Rainforest, paper for the Thirteenth Commonwealth Forestry Conference, 1989.
39: FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), Tropical Forest Resources, Rome/Nairobi, 1982
40: Myers, Norman, Tropical Forestry for Sustainable Development, Working Paper No.7, Forestry For Sustainable Development (FFSD) Program, University of Minnesota, 1990.
41: Summary Report: World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development,
Eds.Ajit Krishnaswamy and Arthur Hanson, the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development, 1999, p. 2
42: Forests and Society : The Role of Research, Congress Report, V.IV, XXI IUFRO World Congress 2000,7-12 August 2000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
43: Forests and Society : The Role of Research, Congress Report, V.IV, XXI IUFRO World Congress 2000,7-12 August 2000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
44: Forests and Society : The Role of Research, Congress Report, V.IV, XXI IUFRO World Congress 2000,7-12 August 2000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, p. 129
45: International Institute for Sustainable Development Strategic Priorities, available at
http://www.iisd.org
46: International Institute for Sustainable Development Strategic Priorities, available at
http://www.iisd.org/about/
47: International Institute for Sustainable Development Strategic Priorities, available at
http://www.iisd.org/about/
48: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003.
49: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
50: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
51: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
52: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
53: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
54: United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2002, available at http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/flat/
55: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
56: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
57: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
58: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
59: International Forestry Resources and Institutions, Indiana University, available at http://www.indiana.edu/~ifri/
60: International Forestry Resources and Institutions, Indiana University, available at http://www.indiana.edu/~ifri/
61: United Nations Population Fund (1989) projections based on current levels of birth control use. The estimated population in the World Bank’s World Development Report (1993: 268-69) for 2025 is, however, a more modest 8.3 billion. It is not unusual to find discrepancies this large in projected population figures given different assumptions about initial starting conditions and rates of change.
62: Task Force on Global Biodiversity 1989, 3
63: Lovejoy, Thomas E., A Projection of Species Extinctions. In The Global 2000 Report to the President: Entering the 21st Century, G. O. Barney (Study Director), 328-31, Washington, D.C., 1980, Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Government Printing Office and Ehrlich, Paul R., and Anne H. Ehrlich, Extinction: The Causes of the Disappearance of Species, Random House, 1981. They estimate that between 1990 and 2020, between 5 to 15 percent of all species would be lost.
64: International Forestry Resources and Institutions, Indiana University, available at http://www.indiana.edu/~ifri/
65: Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, available at http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=78&ArticleID=1163
66: Agenda 21, available at http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/english/agenda21toc.htm
67: Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests, available at http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-3annex3.htm
68: Convention on Biological Diversity, available at http://www.biodiv.org/convention/articles.asp
69: Framework Convention on Climatic Change, available at http://unfccc.int/resource/index.html
70: Korten, Frances F., The High Costs of Environmental Loans, Asia Pacific Issues No. 7. Hawaii: East-West Center, 1993, p.8
71: Ostrom, Elinor and Mary Beth Wertime , IFRI Research Strategy, 1993
72: Ostrom, Elinor and Mary Beth Wertime , IFRI Research Strategy, 1993
73: Ostrom, Elinor and Mary Beth Wertime , IFRI Research Strategy, 1993
74: Ostrom, Elinor and Mary Beth Wertime , IFRI Research Strategy, 1993
75: Ostrom, Elinor and Mary Beth Wertime , IFRI Research Strategy, 1993
76: Deuteronomy 20:19
77: Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, available at http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=78&ArticleID=1163
78: Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests, available at http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-3annex3.htm
79: Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests, available at http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-3annex3.htm, preamble (f)
80: Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests, available at http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-3annex3.htm, princliples/elements 1(a)
81: Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests, available at http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-3annex3.htm, princliples/elements 1(b)
82: U.S.C.A. Title 16 : Chapter 65 Sec. 4501. Sec. 4501. – Forestry and related natural resources
83: Lipshutz, Ronnie D., Why Is There No International Forestry Law? An Examination of International Forestry Regulation, both Public and Private, Paper prepared for the Conference on Third Generation International Environmental Law, UC-Irvine, Oct. 4-7, 1999
84: Lipshutz, Ronnie D., Why Is There No International Forestry Law? An Examination of International Forestry Regulation, both Public and Private, Paper prepared for the Conference on Third Generation International Environmental Law, UC-Irvine, Oct. 4-7, 1999, abstract
85: Lipshutz, Ronnie D., Why Is There No International Forestry Law? An Examination of International Forestry Regulation, both Public and Private, Paper prepared for the Conference on Third Generation International Environmental Law, UC-Irvine, Oct. 4-7, 1999
86: International Tropical Timber Agreement 1994, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220, Japan, July 1992

87: International Tropical Timber Agreement 1994, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220, Japan, July 1992, Chapter I, Article 1.
88: As told by John F. Kennedy, March 1963, in an address at UCLA Berkeley
89: World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), otherwise known as the Brundtland Commission: “Economic and social development that meets the needs of the current generation without undermining the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, 1987.
90: Dalal-Clayton, Barry, and Stphen Bass, National Strategies for Sustainable Development: the Challenge Ahead Draft: 17 March 2000, a background paper prepared in support of Donor-Developing Country Dialogues on National Strategies for Sustainable Development – an initiative of the OECD/DAC Working Party on Development Cooperation and Environment (October 1999 – February 2001).
91: Id.
92: N.T. Mirov
93: Carew-Reid, Jeremy, et al., Strategies for Sustainable Development: A Hand book for Their Planning and Implementation, IUCN, IIED, Earthscan Publications, 1994, p.14-15
94: XII World Forestry Congress, September 21-28, 2003, Québec, Montreal
95: Strategies for Sustainable Development: Can country-level strategic planning frameworks achieve sustainability and eliminate poverty?, a discussion paper prepared by the Sustainable Development Unit (DFID), IIED and CAPE ODI.
96: CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), State of the World’s Forests 2003, Rome, March 2003. Summary
97: Home Depot to Sell Less Wood From Endangered Species, The Forestry Source, The Society of American Foresters, Feb. 2003, Vol. 8, No.2
98: Home Depot to Sell Less Wood From Endangered Species, The Forestry Source, The Society of American Foresters, Feb. 2003, Vol. 8, No.2
99: Home Depot to Sell Less Wood From Endangered Species, The Forestry Source, The Society of American Foresters, Feb. 2003, Vol. 8, No.2
100: The Forest Stewardship Council, centered in Bonn, Germany, is “introducing an international labeling scheme for forest products, which provides a credible guarantee that the product comes from a well-managed forest,” available at http://www.fscoax.org/principal.htm
101: Dr. Suess, The Lorax, Random House, 1971

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