Jobs, improving the economy’s competitiveness, building resilience and reducing vulnerability are the overall objectives of the World Bank’s forest engagement in Africa.
In many countries the most effective approaches for sustainable management of forests lie outside traditional forestry institutions and involve working across sectors.
Forests are an essential resource for improving employment and competitiveness in Africa.
In terms of resilience and vulnerability, trees, forests and woodlands play a key role in protecting productive assets including soil fertility in agricultural landscapes, controlling erosion and building resilience in the face of climate-related impacts of droughts, floods and coastal erosion. Trees and forests also mitigate the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon. There is a “double-win” to be derived from investing in trees.
Improving governance and strengthening capacity is essential to achieving the goals of improved forest management. Broad-based investments are required and support outside as well as within the forest sector, specifically in decentralized government and transparent decision-making processes including budget management, development planning, and information management and monitoring, along with participatory decision making and citizen accountability mechanisms.