Perceptions and Concepts of the Importance of Forests

  • Philip Wardle
  • Abdallah R. S. Kaoneka
Part of the World Forests book series (WFSE, volume 1)


Forests draw their importance from the products and services they supply. Wood-based products make a considerable contribution to the world economy amounting to some 2% of global gross domestic product and contributing to basic needs for energy and for material inputs to modern living in construction, furniture, communications and packaging (FAO 1995a). Some non-wood products of the forest are of commercial importance, but many more are non-marketed goods which are used by rural and subsistence communities and are essential to those economies. Services range from the conservation of soil and water and biological diversity, to the modulation of the carbon cycle and the amelioration of micro-climate. Forests also provide landscapes to meet the aesthetic and spiritual needs of human beings. Forests are a part of the heritage of peoples. The importance of forests, in these production and service functions, lies in their great extent, covering as they do somewhat more than one fourth of the world’s land area (FAO 1997b).


Gross Domestic Product Forest Resource Time Preference National Account Sustainable Forest Management 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Wardle
  • Abdallah R. S. Kaoneka

There are no affiliations available

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