Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Issues and Challenges (Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Volume 4)
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.243 – 263
Forests and the goods and services they provide are essential for human well-being (Seppälä, Buck, & Katila, 2009). Forests provide three types of ecosystem services that directly support human well-being: provisioning services such as food, fuelwood, medicine, etc.; regulating services such as water purification, climate regulation, erosion control, etc.; and cultural services, including recreation, spiritual, and religious values (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003). About 1.6 billion people live in predominantly forest ecosystems or in their vicinity. Forest communities include indigenous peoples (IPs) who have been living since time immemorial in forest areas and other local groups including the more recent settlers or immigrants.
In the tropics, over 800 million people are living in forests and woodlands, which makes these areas a very important resource for the rural poor (Chomitz, Buys, De Luca, Thomas, & Wertz-Kanounnikoff, 2007). Based on ADB's (2009a) estimates, half of the world's poorest of the poor are IPs, and more than half live in Asia. Sixty million of these IPs are forest dependent.