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Growing a green economy in Africa: why forests matter

There is economic potential in African forests but it is threatened by an increasing demand for forest products, and by encroachment from other sectors. Here we explore the potential of a ‘green economy’ approach to the forest sector, which seeks to improve human wellbeing and social equity while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Interventions across Africa that aim to conserve, enhance and restore natural capital; increase resource efficiency; or promote sustainable consumption, show how forests could help drive a green economy transformation. Our scenario analysis indicates that a selection of such interventions, when scaled up, could help to meet increased demand for timber while enabling sustainable forest management. But scaling up of promising interventions will require action to create an enabling environment.

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