The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have jointly published a paper addressing “Trends in Green Jobs in the Forest Sector”. The text of this study was drafted by Kathryn Fernholz, President of Dovetail Partners.
The UNECE/FAO Discussion Paper includes a description of major transformational drivers of green jobs in the forest sector and a mapping of existing and emerging green jobs in the sector, skill requirements, and education needs for forest professionals in the UNECE region.
The analysis builds on the UNECE/FAO publication on “Green Jobs in the Forest Sector” which included examples of existing and future green jobs in the forest sector within seven job types: wood energy production; agroforestry and mountain forestry; social and urban development; forest management, inventory and planning; biodiversity and ecosystem functioning; health and recreation; and education and research.
As described in the paper, green jobs have strong potential to contribute to rural development in retaining jobs in small and medium-sized enterprises and offsetting job losses from mechanization and transitioning to a green economy. In addition, green jobs provide an opportunity to integrate young people and women in the forest sector workforce. The revision of existing curricula, including on the job training, will help to address the skill gap. This can also improve the public perception of the forest sector that offers modern careers in a green economy. Continued work is needed to increase the awareness of existing and emerging green jobs within the forest sector and to ensure resilience and flexibility of the forest sector workforce. The economic, social, and environmental benefits of forests in a green economy will heavily depend on society’s ability to provide workers with the appropriate skills.
Additional contributors to the paper include Catherine Saget who complemented the document with data and information coming from International Labour Organisation (ILO) sources, project management by Alicja Kacprzak, and editorial work by Matthew Fonseca. Project activities were carried out under the direction of Paola Deda and Ekrem Yazici. The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section is grateful to the Swiss Confederation for the financial support for the preparation of this document.
The UNECE is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. UNECE's major aim is to promote economic integration and includes 56 member States in Europe, North America, and Asia. The Forestry and Timber Section, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a joint unit between UNECE and FAO, collaborating since 1947 on issues such as job security, competitive wage rates, adequate living conditions, technical training facilities and better occupational safety and health measures for forest workers, among others.
The full paper is available at the UNECE website: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=53823
Direct link to the study: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/timber/publications/DP74.pdf