What is a Sustainable Forest?

 

Naturally, forests are essential for life on Earth. Forests provide the living with valuable resources, from oxygen and natural resources to shelter and food for wildlife. Hence, as long as there is life on Earth, there will be a constant demand for forest resources. Since we can’t survive on Earth without them, it is our duty to conserve forests by maintaining a sustainable forest. So, what is a sustainable forest?


The Definition and Concept of a Sustainable Forest

There are so many definitions of a sustainable forest, including one by Forest Europe, adopted by The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Here’s what they landed on:

“The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality, and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.”


In other words, a sustainable forest has to do with caring for and managing forests to provide the natural resources we need now while maintaining those for the future generation. A sustainable forest, in this case, can be achieved by tending trees and growing them into mature trees. When the trees are ready to  be produced into wood products, the soil of the harvested trees is then refilled with new seedlings to grow again for about 35 years. Through such system, natural materials can be produced simultaneously with the tending of new trees.

The Importance of Sustainable Forests

Forests cover 31% of the world’s land surface, and according to National Geographic, 80% of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests. Around 25 million people also live in the forest, while many more depend on them for subsistence and income, meeting the needs of industry and society for natural resources.  Aside from that, forests can also slow down climate change.

Sadly, natural resources in the forests are currently lost at an alarming rate due to illegal logging. The solution to this is conserving sustainable forests with a management system. Sustainable management is vital as it can enhance forest functions and health. It can also balance society’s needs and ensure the benefit of economic/environmental forest activity. Sustainable forests slow the pace of global warming

Knowing how important it is, the sustainable forest movement has been implemented in the forestry sector worldwide. The movement is commonly supported by governments, private sectors, and civil society. It is also implemented by KLI (Kayu Lapis Indonesia), with decades of persistence in the Indonesian wood industry and its commitment to maintain the sustainability of nature and society.

Keyword: what is a sustainable forest
Source: National Geographic