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Human and environmental health benefits of forests: impetus for greening the future

XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022









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    Article
    Forest and human health with special reference to India
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Forests are intricately linked with human health for physical, mental, and social wellbeing. India has traditionally followed culture of living in and around forests. Atmospheric pollution in urban areas (due to industrialization) increases the risk of various respiratory and heart diseases. Trees not only mitigate the greenhouse effect but also absorb toxic chemicals and particulate matter, thus acting like human liver in this way. A visit to green urban areas acts like a stress buster and recharges the batteries. This has resulted in development of urban forestry hubs, creating small areas of trees: herbs and shrubs under various names such as city forest, parks, smriti/rashi/nakshatra van etc. Planting of species which may create problems as pollen pollution/wind damage/ lowering groundwater table /other kind, needs to be avoided. Forests are the largest repositories of a large variety of medicinal plants. Various medicinal systems such as Ayurveda, Allopathy, homeopathy, Unani, tribal, alternative medicine use raw material from forest. Importance of Medicinal plants has increased over the last few decades with environmental restrictions on felling of trees. Herbal remedies in India are now the responsibility of Ayush Ministry, Government of India. National Medicine Plants Board coordinates overall conservation, cultivation, trade and export of medicinal plant sector in India. A referenced digital data base from published sources is now in place. Demand and supply of medicinal plants along with list of suitable species for various ago -climatic zones has been prepared. Medicinal plants now find a proper place in the management plans of various forest divisions. To boost the cultivation of medicinal plants, a lot of grey areas have to be addressed. Government of India is already exploring possibility of long-term Public Private partnerships in degraded forests for this purpose also. Keywords: One Health, Human health and well-being, Genetic resources, Innovation, Knowledge management. ID: 3484385
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    Document
    Revisiting leaf microstructural and physical properties for high-efficiency depositional niches of particulate matters
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Current problems and potential solutions to reduce suspended particulate matter (PM) are enormous scientific challenges. Indeed, reducing the vehicle or industrial-driven PM particles still need a guide to discerning an economically viable solution for highly urbanized areas. Therefore, a better understanding of PM capture processes and pathways from both leaf surfaces and waxes would allow for the development of long-term air purification potential and efficiency in the improvement of urban greenspace. Functional traits as biofiltration for airborne PM particle control were calculated using the following species of Aesculus turbinata, Chionanthus retusus, Ginkgo biloba, Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia denudata, Styphnolobium japonicum, Taxus cuspidata, Buxus koreana, Euonymus japonicus, and Rhododendron schlippenbachii. Variation in PM adsorption amounts per unit area could be related to the difference in air pollutant concentrations, weather conditions, tree canopy, and adaxial/abaxial leaf surfaces. Leaf micromorphological traits among tree and shrub species were related to PM adsorption; however, the leaf accumulation-PM removal efficiency could be generated through a collaboration of leaf hydrophobic nature and complex surface microstructures such as trichomes. Furthermore, PM retention capacities of leaf surfaces as the main depositional niches for PM particles can be a very important indicator as a valid means to enhance long-term sustainability of context-specific vegetation barriers for urban air pollution abatement. In conclusion, these findings will provide a reference for urban planning and design and can help to develop the improvement of future urban greenspace based on local conditions. Acknowledgments: This study was carried out with the support of ‘A Study on Mechanism and Function Improvement of Plants for Reducing Air Pollutants’ (Grant No. FE0000-2018-01-2020) from National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS), Republic of Korea. Keywords: Sustainable forest management, Human health and well-being, Adaptive and integrated management, Biodiversity conservation, Climate change ID: 3486769
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    Sustainable management of Miombo woodlands
    Food security, nutrition and wood energy
    2018
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    The Miombo woodland is a vast African dryland forest ecosystem covering close to 2.7 million km2 across southern Africa (Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The woodlands are characterized by the dominance of Brachystegia species, either alone or in association with Julbernardia and Isoberlinia species. It is estimated that the woodlands – through their numerous goods and services which include various non-wood forest products (NWFPs) (e.g. insects, mushrooms, fruits, tubers, medicine, fodder, honey, seeds) and woodfuels, which, for simplicity, will be referred to as non-timber forest products, or NTFPs, throughout the publication – sustain the livelihoods of more than 100 million rural poor and 50 million urban people. The charcoal sector alone employs vast numbers of rural people and offers additional income to many poor rural families. Communities moreover rely directly on the woodlands for food and nutrition. NWFPs add vital micro- and macronutrients to local diets and contribute to diversified food systems, while woodfuel is essential for cooking and sterilizing, thus ensuring proper nutrient absorption and providing clean water for drinking. Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. Generally speaking, it is now accepted that forests managed for both timber and NTFPs retain more biodiversity and resilience than forests managed solely for one aspect, e.g. timber and exotic timber plantations. However, a growing population in high need of agricultural land and unsustainable use and overharvesting of natural resources in parts of the Miombo woodlands, combined with climate change impacts (e.g. drought, fires), leave insufficient time for many trees and associated species to regenerate naturally, posing a serious threat to the products and services of the woodlands, and to the livelihoods depending on them. Compounding the problem and hindering development of the Miombo ecosystem, are: i) lack of an enabling policy environment; ii) unsustainable management; iii) limited willingness and ability to pay for and access to energy-efficiency technologies; iv) inadequate awareness and information, including technical capacity; v) high poverty levels; and vi) limited access to microcredit facilities. With the Committee on World Food Security’s endorsement of the recommendations presented in the High Level Panel of Experts Report on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition in late 2017 – which include promoting multifunctional landscapes, integrated food-forestry systems, and research on associated linkages, among other things – forests and trees are expected to play a greater role in future land-use decisions and related policies. This paper provides an overview of these linkages in the context of the Miombo woodlands, in the hope that future land use, policy decisions and financial investments are shaped to support the contributions of forests and trees to the health and livelihoods of communities in the ecoregion. The following key messages were formulated: • Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. • Current data bases referring to the value of the Miombo must be analysed and used as evidence to improve policy-making. • Miombo woodlands may be dominant (spatially), but they have not been addressed as a single unit but as part of the region’s forests. They form part of the overall forestry strategies and no specific mention in the conventions does not suggest that their importance is underplayed. • The management of Miombo will require some changes in management structures, especially in providing benefits emerging from trade in forest products to local managers. • Local forest managers should play a greater role in allocating resources for feedstock for charcoal production.

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