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Poverty and forests linkages

This report, Poverty and forests linkages, presents an edited version of six case studies which document the important role of forests and natural resources in poverty reduction and livelihood security, focusing on both the household and community levels. The case studies also describe links to national-level indicators of welfare that inform national strategy and are used to measure progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The majority of the world’s poor are concentrated in rural areas and consequently depend on natural resources, and often forests in particular, for their livelihoods. It is estimated that 60 million indigenous people are totally dependent on forests, 350 million people are highly forest-dependent, and 1.2 billion are dependent on agroforestry (World Bank 2004).

An emphasis on the potential of forests to contribute to poverty reduction, however, is limited by the fact that national economic planners and policy makers do not often recognize the extent to which forest resources contribute to the rural economy and rural livelihoods.

This report’s introductory chapter presents a brief discussion of the literature on poverty-forest linkages and highlights those linkages found in the case studies. Furthermore, it summarizes the poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) process in the six countries and analyzes how it has incorporated the potential of forests into strategies for poverty reduction. Highlights of the case studies are given and findings discussed, along with lessons learned and suggestions for how forests can be further mainstreamed into poverty reduction strategies.

The case studies included in the report are:

  • Nepal
  • Guinea
  • Indonesian Papua
  • Tanzania
  • Lao PDR
  • India

Read Poverty and forests linkages.