Forestry creates more jobs in financial crisis

More countries are fighting the current economic recession as we can see in this week’s London Summit of Group of 20 meeting. Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economic powers discuss the global recession and decide new measures establishing the world on a more stable economic footing. In facts, many countries are facing the facts that their economic growth is decreasing, less exports and more jobs are loss. Many governments then made a plan of new economic stimulus for various sectors, including natural resources business such forestry. The new economic stimulus is expected to create more jobs.

I noted a press release of FAO referring recent report on Green Jobs by ILO. According to the study, unemployment worldwide could increase from 179 million in 2007 to 198 million in 2009 under the best case scenario.  With the worst case scenario, it reach higher as 230 million.

Another estimation of  job losses in US says it spread from construction, retail, professional services until manufacturing. The number were varies from 12,000 to 51,000 for each sector.

The study argues that increased investment in forestry could generate jobs in forestry related activities with considering local circumstances, including availability of labor, skill level and social, economic and ecological conditions. Those activities include forest management, recreation sites, urban green spaces and restoring degraded forests and planting new ones.

What I’m thinking on the economic stimulus on forestry is about the mechanism and who will benefit more.  There are various business players in forestry activities. Government should give more attentions to smallholders as they more vulnerable with the global economic recession.  Giving more support for social forestry activities will strength the social and ecological safety net.

Currently US and Republic of Korea are including forestry to their economic stimulus plans.  Meanwhile, Indonesia proposed forestry stimulus for sales tax cutting of various forestry products such furniture.  Middle workers of forestry business also enjoying free salary tax during this year.

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