Landowners and forests
Global estimates of numbers of forest-dwelling and forest-dependent peoples vary widely however the World Bank states that forest resources contribute directly to the livelihoods of 90% of the 1.2 billion people living in abject poverty. Of these, there are an estimated 500 million forest dependent people, 200 million of whom are indigenous peoples.
In the Solomon Islands, 90% of the country’s forests are located on customary land which are mainly located in the country’s rural areas and mostly inhabited by members of customary land owning tribes.
When considering that official government statistics say that 80% of the nation’s population live out in the rural areas; It would be fair to say that a lot of their livelihoods would depend on forests for food, fuel, fodder for livestock, medicine and shelter as well as for other cultural and traditional activities.
Whether in terms of communities most directly dependent on forest resources or people at the consumer end of consumer supply chains, forests are vital for the well-being of humanity and play a central role in poverty alleviation initiatives.
As it is often the poorest that are most susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change, reducing deforestation provides an opportunity to simultaneously tackle the problem at its source whilst helping to promote the resilience of those most vulnerable to climate change.