The sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is challenged, and there are calls for urgent attention to rectify it.

Dr Djibril S. Dayamba, Senior Programme Officer at the African Forest Forum (AFF), says Africa is currently a deforestation hotspot.

According to him, 90 per cent of deforestation occurs in tropical areas, with Africa losing the most land to deforestation from 2010 to 2020, overtaking South America.

Agriculture expansion, shifting cultivation, charcoal production, pastures, and animals have been identified as significant contributors to forest cover loss. Firewood, mining, unsustainable logging, fire, pole production, aquaculture in mangrove forests, settlements and urban expansion are among the other issues.

Sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is challenged - AFF

Population expansion and its ramifications have also been flagged as a potentially dangerous future trend.

There are obstacles and hazards to preventing forest cover loss, but opportunities are also.

Dr Dayamba spoke at the XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, by Collaborative Partnership on Forest (CPF), chaired by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

By 2063, the Sustainable Forest Management Framework (SFMF) for Africa envisions zero deforestation and forest degradation, with collaborative, cross-sectoral, and transformative efforts to ensure that Africa’s forests are protected, sustainably managed, and restored through the prosperity, food security, and resilience of its people.

Dr Dayamba believes that providing stakeholders with proper tenure rights to encourage them to manage forest and tree resources sustainably could assist in preventing forest loss.

He believes equitable gender consideration in policy decisions, capacity building, resources for implementing sustainable forest management, and fair benefit-sharing are all important.

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