Research Topic

Understanding How Small-Scale Forestry Helps to Achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals

About this Research Topic

While forests received limited attention in the millennium development goals (MDGs), they are explicitly stated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of agenda 2030, set out by the UN. Primarily, this is through SDG 15 (Life on Land) which is intertwined with other goals including SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 16 (Governance), and SDG 17 (Partnerships). Forests are not exclusively a contemporary “environment-only” issue, but play many important roles in human life: they help reduce poverty and ensure food security; human well-being; water conservation; gender empowerment; rural energy source; sustainable economic growth; combating climate change; and promoting sustainable resource use and development. For example, income or materials (SDG 1) from community forests can help to reduce poverty and ensure food security (SDG 2) and, thus, assist to maintain health and well-being (SDG 3). The presence of women in community forestry organizations empowers them to participate in making decisions and access to benefits (SDG 5 &10). In particular, local communities living in rural areas are largely dependent on small-scale forestry (e.g. community forestry, participatory forestry, etc.) for their livelihood. Allowing these communities to manage and utilize forests through small-scale management could reduce forest loss and contribute to the SDGs. The SDGs themselves also place a great deal of importance on the role of small-scale forestry in achieving these goals and have directly increased political attention to sustainable forest management.

Research on small-scale forestry has, so far, been centered around the livelihoods of beneficiaries and forest conservation outcomes. Yet, globally, millions of people depend on small-scale forests for their living. This part of the global population should also be represented and considered as part of the research of Agenda 2030. Furthermore, while these forests have the potential to contribute more towards sustainable development, this aspect has largely been absent from research. As forests are part-and-parcel of the lifestyles of so many communities, investment is need for sustainable management of these forests with the hope that this would support communities in contributing to many of the SDGs.Rigorous research is needed that focuses on the sustainability of these forests and how they can contribute to achieving the SDGs.

Small-scale forestry comprises several types of forestry including participatory forestry, community forestry, community-based forest management, social forestry, and joint forest management. Different countries have adopted divergent approaches to small-scale forest management, all with the main objectives of forest restoration and the enhancement of people's livelihoods. This Research Topic will focus primarily on small-scale forestry with the following themes:

• Sustainability of small-scale forestry projects
• Financing sustainable small-scale forestry projects: Lessons and Cases
• Carbon credits for forestry projects
• Forest restoration through small-scale forestry
• Small-scale forestry and SDGs nexus
• Small-scale forestry for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
• Carbon sequestration potential of small-scale forestry in the terrestrial area for climate change mitigation
• Importance of small-scale forestry in the context of pandemic (e.g. COVID-19)


Keywords: Small-Scale Forestry, Forest Management, UN Development Goals, SDGs, Forests, Community Forestry, Local Communities


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

While forests received limited attention in the millennium development goals (MDGs), they are explicitly stated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of agenda 2030, set out by the UN. Primarily, this is through SDG 15 (Life on Land) which is intertwined with other goals including SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 16 (Governance), and SDG 17 (Partnerships). Forests are not exclusively a contemporary “environment-only” issue, but play many important roles in human life: they help reduce poverty and ensure food security; human well-being; water conservation; gender empowerment; rural energy source; sustainable economic growth; combating climate change; and promoting sustainable resource use and development. For example, income or materials (SDG 1) from community forests can help to reduce poverty and ensure food security (SDG 2) and, thus, assist to maintain health and well-being (SDG 3). The presence of women in community forestry organizations empowers them to participate in making decisions and access to benefits (SDG 5 &10). In particular, local communities living in rural areas are largely dependent on small-scale forestry (e.g. community forestry, participatory forestry, etc.) for their livelihood. Allowing these communities to manage and utilize forests through small-scale management could reduce forest loss and contribute to the SDGs. The SDGs themselves also place a great deal of importance on the role of small-scale forestry in achieving these goals and have directly increased political attention to sustainable forest management.

Research on small-scale forestry has, so far, been centered around the livelihoods of beneficiaries and forest conservation outcomes. Yet, globally, millions of people depend on small-scale forests for their living. This part of the global population should also be represented and considered as part of the research of Agenda 2030. Furthermore, while these forests have the potential to contribute more towards sustainable development, this aspect has largely been absent from research. As forests are part-and-parcel of the lifestyles of so many communities, investment is need for sustainable management of these forests with the hope that this would support communities in contributing to many of the SDGs.Rigorous research is needed that focuses on the sustainability of these forests and how they can contribute to achieving the SDGs.

Small-scale forestry comprises several types of forestry including participatory forestry, community forestry, community-based forest management, social forestry, and joint forest management. Different countries have adopted divergent approaches to small-scale forest management, all with the main objectives of forest restoration and the enhancement of people's livelihoods. This Research Topic will focus primarily on small-scale forestry with the following themes:

• Sustainability of small-scale forestry projects
• Financing sustainable small-scale forestry projects: Lessons and Cases
• Carbon credits for forestry projects
• Forest restoration through small-scale forestry
• Small-scale forestry and SDGs nexus
• Small-scale forestry for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
• Carbon sequestration potential of small-scale forestry in the terrestrial area for climate change mitigation
• Importance of small-scale forestry in the context of pandemic (e.g. COVID-19)


Keywords: Small-Scale Forestry, Forest Management, UN Development Goals, SDGs, Forests, Community Forestry, Local Communities


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

06 September 2021 Abstract
06 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

06 September 2021 Abstract
06 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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