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3 February 2017

BWI contributes to the international debate on global indicators to better capture forestry workers’ conditions towards sustainable development

BWI presents a position paper to contribute to the global discussions on measurement of the conditions of forestry workers towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Forestry employs 13.7 million formal workers, about one percent of the total world employment, and its commercial output represents about 0.4 percent of world GDP according to the ILO (2011). Despite the relevance of these figures, the workforce is probably much larger as the sector is characterized by widespread informality, especially in developing countries. Forestry work is often characterized by high degrees of informality, land tenure issues, undervalued by markets, workers outside of traditional social protections, low wages, and hazardous working conditions.

Debates over forests tend to dominate aspects related to biodiversity and ecological issues and neglect the human and labour dimensions, including the function of forests for society together with the role and conditions of forestry workers. However, renewed interest in the issue in light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides a unique opportunity to fill the gap in terms of the social dimension of forestry management for once and for all. Forests need to be socially beneficial to contribute to the objective of sustainable development.

BWI provides this position paper based on its international experience in addressing workers’ issues in the wood and forestry sector. The aim of the position paper is to inform policy makers and contribute to the debate on measurement towards real achievement of sustainable development goals.

The position paper can be accessed here.


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