Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

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Social perception, management and few decades according to the interests and needs of human societies. The initial conceptual framework of forest management having for both population and focus on timber and fuelwood production, has been broadened and now recognizes multiple roles that forests Play for both population and ecosystems. The concept of forest multi-functionality was born in Germany function” was elaborated. The twin cncepts of sustatna y fgcainedrYfuhirtnher traction when the World Commissionnt, coornnmEnovnirIyonment and Development known as the Brundtland Report published in report on Sustainable Development, needs”. This definition (1987). In this report sustainability is defined as. meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their represents the conceptual basis of a new forest management paradigm that changed radically the traditional forest management: Sustainable Forest Management (SFM).

A number of international documents such as Agenda 21, the Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development and the Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests, the three non-binding international which were adopted by many Governments at the united Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 3-14 June 1992). At the same conference, three other legally-binding conventions were also adopted by the United Nations. These include the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), and the UN Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD). As a result of the Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests, it was resolved that “forest resources and forest lands should be sustainably managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual human needs of present and future generations. These needs are for forest products and employment, esnutc reahreacswtoiod and wood products, water, food, fodder, medicine, fuel, shelter, recreation, habitats for wildlife, landscape diversity, carbon sinks, and reservoirs, and for other forest products”.

The above definition of sustainable forest management (SFM) underlines the following three fundamental aspects of forest management:

i First is the multi-functionality concept wherein there is an elevated recognition and ecological aspects in the management of forest.

ii Second is the su t s ainability concept wherein attention is generations; and paid to the needs of future Generations .

iii Third is the enunciation of ecosystems management wherein there is an enunciation of “traditional” (for example wood products, food, fodder) uses of forests as well as “new” products and services (for example biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, recreation, carbon sinks and reservoirs) useful for society and human activities.

The SFM doctrine of forest management as enshrined in these international documents and conventions presents two innovative aspects for forest management in Pakistan: first, the aim of forest management in Pakistan now has to be to realize simultaneously social, environmental and economic functions and second it mandates forest managers to place a greater emphasis on considering resources beyond timber and tradeoffs between timber and non-timber values. (Luckert & Williamson, 2005). The final evolution of forest management doctrine is Ecosystem Management (EM), which integrates scientific knowledge of ecological relationships within a complex sociopolitical and values framework toward the general goal of protecting native ecosystem integrity over the long term. Under the EM concept, forest resources in Pakistan are now protected, conserved and managed for their ecosystem services, which include the following four broad categories of ecosystem services:

• Provisioning services:

Direct use products derived from forest ecosystems such as timber, fuelwood, fodder, NTFPs, water, genetic resources and various biodiversity products;

• Regulatory services:

Regulatory functions that forest ecosystems provide such as climate regulation, water cycle regulation, hazard regulation, disease and pest regulation, pollination, and detoxification and purification of soils, air and water including noise pollution;

• Cultural services:

Non-material well-being benefits which people gain from forest ecosystems such as nature and landscape connections, recreation and health, education and learning, social development and connections, economy, and symbolic, cultural and spiritual significance;

• Supporting services:

Ecosystem processes that support and underpin Provisioning, Regulating and Cultural services. These include primary production, nutrient cycling, water cycling, soil formation, and provision of habitat for biodiversity.

There will be challenges in the future management of forests for their ecosystem services. Future management approaches will have to be resilient and adaptive to societal, environmental, climate change, and land-use changes. This will require an understanding of the drivers and Pressures of change, their impacts on forest ecosystem supply and demand, and the response options that are available to forest managers and decision-makers in Pakistan.

In conclusion, the adoption of ecosystem services in forest management in Pakistan would Provide consistency in the assessment and valuation of the human benefits of trees, woodlands and forests. This is important because forestry in Pakistan has long been undervalued, and forced to Produce timber at the expense of other valuable services which have been compromised in the process. There is considerable tension in land-use planning in Pakistan. The ecosystem services framework is able to provide a mechanism to assess and quantify the human benefits of forestlands, rangelands, wastelands and other lands under the management responsibility of forest departments in the country.


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