International Family Forest Alliance (IFFA) will send its greetings to all stakeholders and family forest producers all over the world on the International Day of Forests 2021.
Forests provide timber, food, fuel, and fiber, as well as a multitude of ecosystem services contributing to the well-being of people and the ecological functionality of forests and landscapes. Family forestry has foundations in local knowledge and expertise in balancing different forest-based needs and interests. Family forest producers, who obtain their livelihood from, depend on, and manage forests, fully understand the multiple cultural, ecological and socio-economic values of forests. Organizations for family forest producers aim to defend these values as well as the viability of family forestry and the interests of their members. These organizations do so in various national contexts with many different legal and legislative frameworks, providing a range of services corresponding to local and national realities.
IFFA recognizes that the economic value of forests is crucial in maintaining their condition and the multiple ecosystem services that they provide, as well as in contributing to decent incomes and poverty reduction. Without the economic safety net provided by forest livelihoods, the ecological and cultural values of forests would be threatened, as would the very condition of forests themselves.
Family forestry is much more than an economic activity, however. Family forestry organizations play a significant role in the socio-economic development and cultural life of their members and of the society as a whole. They offer legal and technical advice and facilitate members’ access to relevant resources, data and services. Strong family forestry organizations are needed to provide these services and to protect the multiple values of forests.