World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) publishes report on the state of forests in the Greater Mekong Subregion
Earlier this month, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)'s Greater Mekong office published a comprehensive report on the current state of forests in the subregion that balances a bleak past and optimistic future.
In the 1970s, the Greater Mekong was the world's most densely forested area. Now it is on the WWF's list of the world's major deforestation fronts, predicted to lose 15 - 30 million ha by 2030.
Nonetheless, the future isn't all dreary. "The solutions are there," writes Alistair Monument in the forward, indicating an important facet of this publication: the emphasis on local communities and the solutions that have been taken to combat deforestation. By highlighting the stories of local efforts, which are often overlooked in conservation, the report offers an optimistic recourse to orthodox conservation models.
But how can this recourse be implemented? "Local communities have an unparalleled access to knowledge on how to sustainably manage the region's forests .... If recent deforestation trends are to be reversed, then initiatives must be implemented that centrally locate these powerful systems of knowledge and action," advises Dr. David Ganz, The Center's Executive Director. WWF and RECOFTC, however, acknowledge that more inclusive and collaborative initiatives are also needed if the region is to reverse the last forty years of deforestation.
"Securing ways to enhance the livelihoods of local communities is an important step towards managing forests in an equitable fashion. In our globalized world, this includes first establishing a productive dialogue amongst both private sector actors and local communities, as shown in WWF's and RECOFTC's recent initiatives."
- Dr. David Ganz, Executive Director of The Center
Read the report here to gather more information about those on the ground who have dedicated their lives to the protection of these vital ecosystems.