The 17th Commonwealth Forestry Conference took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 28 February to 5 March 2005. The conference was attended by delegates from over 30 countries. The thoughts of all participants were very much with the people of Sri Lanka as the recovery effort continued following the devastating tsunami of December 2004.
Forests and trees play a critical role in supporting the livelihoods of people, particularly the world’s poor. Many of these people depend fully or in part on forest resources to meet daily subsistence needs. Sustainable forest management contributes to developing economies in a wide range of ways. It provides income, employment, food security and better housing where it is most needed, particularly for the poor who inhabit forest areas.
Natural disasters like the "El Niño" phenomenon often hit hardest on the poor. Yet, it is often difficult to separate the effects on living conditions resulting from inclement weather from general inadequacies in infrastructure and lack of economic development. This study proposes methodologies to identify different types of risks associated with natural disasters and to establish degrees of vulnerability to such risks by geographical areas and population groups. It finds that most economic costs in Ecuador relate to losses of agricultural production and damages to infrastructure.
The overall objective of the proposed action research is to make participatory forest management (PFM) approaches more “pro-poor”. PFM is taken to include community forestry, joint forest management, co-management and community-based forest management.
China’s forests and forest consumption are of global significance because of the country's large area and population. China is the biggest borrower of World Bank funds generally, and in the forest sector it overshadows all other Bank clients. China has also been one of the best performers in terms of the effectiveness and impact of the Bank’s lending operations.