Effective forest management can strengthen resilience and bolster capacity for adaptation when it comes to climate-related natural disasters, says Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu.
Speaking at the opening of the twenty-second African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, in the Kruger National Park, this week, she underscored the importance of integrating forest-based measures into national disaster risk reduction strategies.
“Over two-billion tons of carbon dioxide is absorbed by the forests," Sotyu pointed out, adding that many people across the world depended on forests for their livelihoods.
Yet, deforestation was one of the biggest contributors to climate change, accounting for nearly 20% of all greenhouse-gas emissions, she noted.
Sotyu reminded citizens of the great importance of forests and trees, saying they were vital for sustainable development.
“Forests occupy one-third of the earth’s land area, and about another half of the total remaining land area features sparsely scattered trees. These renewable natural resources are crucial for tackling many issues, including poverty, food security, climate change, biodiversity, sustainable production and consumption, and social inclusion, particularly meeting the basic needs of vulnerable people and ensuring their wellbeing” said Sotyu.