Global trend in forest sector’s contribution to job creation and income : [paper for] XV World Forestry Congress, Coex, Soul, Republic of Korea, 2-6 May 2022

The forest sector plays a vital role in achieving several targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The sector is considered to be a significant source of growth and employment as well as essential for sustenance. Well quantified information of forest-based employment and sectoral contribution to national economies are thus crucial in supporting relevant stakeholder’s decision processes towards sustainable development. This study combines the most recent available statistics from the Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Bank and FAOSTAT associated with employment, income as well as demographical indicators to quantify the total number of global formal and informal employment in the forest sector. In this study, the forest sector encompasses forestry and logging, manufacture of wood and products of wood, manufacture of paper and paper products and manufacture of furniture. The results show detailed trends about formal (visible) employment figures on the different subsectors such as forestry or wood industry among others on a global scale. Other key indicators such as labour productivity and sub-sectoral contribution to GDP are presented disaggregated by major geographical regions. It becomes evident that persons, to whom forests are the primary source of livelihood, are not captured well by the published statistics. Our analysis reveals that two-third of entire forestry and logging-based employment is informal and highly concentrated in developing nations. It is important to mention that informal employment in this context is an ambiguous term. It does not correctly describe, for example, forest work for subsistence. Hence, with a comprehensive literature review, this study sheds further light on the aspects of informal employment in the global forest sector. Based on the results, conclusions are drawn on how to enhance employment statistics related to the forest sector.



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