Our Forests. Our Life.July 24, 2015
HOME FOR PEOPLE, PLANTS AND ANIMALS
- Our forests are home to millions of people who depend on them for their lives.
- There are about 13,500 plant species in Philippine forests.
- Dipterocarps (high-value wood trees) have 45-50 species. Nearly half of them can only be found in the Philippines and nowhere else in the world.
- They prevent soil erosion that could otherwise wash away plants and animals, and destroy their habitats. Erosion on a large scale such as landslide could also lead to damage in properties and loss of lives.
MEANS OF SURVIVAL
- They maintain environmental systems that support our primary needs – food, water, medicine, and shelter.
- Forest products (such as fuel woods) are also used in our daily lives.
SOURCE OF LIVELIHOOD
- Wood and non-wood products are important sources of livelihood for many people. It is estimated that forest products contributed nearly 1% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2011 (Phil. Forestry Statistics).
- Wood-based exports amounted to $1.70 billion in 2011 (Phil. Forestry Statistics). Non-wood products like rubber, cotton, medicinal products and food also represent significant value.
STABILIZER OF THE WORLD’S CLIMATE
- Our forests influence weather by controlling rainfall and evaporation of water from the soil.
- They help stabilize the world’s climate by storing large amounts of carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change.