PROJECT GOAL: To develop an effective private forest industry sector that supports biodiversity conservation in a financially sustainable manner.
- JTGA Membership Expanded
- Clear forest product market opportunities identified
- General strategies and specific requirements identified for trading Carbon Credits (framework)
- Structured technical assistance programme for Trees in Tourism project
- Semi-Annual Membership Training Workshops held and technical assistance provided in the development of livelihood projects.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This project seeks to develop a sophisticated and responsible private forest industry sector by addressing the core issue hindering its development the lack of viable incentives for land owners to plant, maintain or harvest trees on a sustainable basis. This void has left the sector fragmented and incapable of seizing opportunities which demand economies-of-scale and existing or otherwise arable forest lands are logged for immediate returns and subjected to slash-and-burn clearing, converted to agriculture and degraded by chemical-intensive cultivation practices.
Once valuable timber species have been removed from private lands, loggers illegally remove trees from state-owned lands, which is often followed by illicit cultivation in the forest interior. This process is:
- Environmentally unsustainable - loss of biodiversity and valuable top soil, siltation of reefs, nutrification of water bodies;
- Economically repressive - informal, unregulated markets thrive unchecked, while legitimate businesses are forced to cover revenue differences through excessively high tax-revenue choke points; and
- A threat to national security as some forest areas are being degraded for marijuana cultivation whose export is closely aligned to weapon imports, and (from a broader perspective) the environmental degradation and economic devaluation of natural resources are fuelling rural-to-urban migration which exacerbates social and economic problems while raising the probability of future food insecurity.
The JTGA is committed to facilitating the development of an organized forest and wood industry that supports a viable and legal market for the sustainable exchange of timber and trees, for internal and export markets.
This project will provide the Association with the means to;
- Help formalize the sector;
- Encourage proper land stewardship;
- Promote awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of protecting, growing and maintaining trees; and
- Lay the foundation for sustainable forest conservation and livelihoods initiatives by creating a groundswell of private sector support.