Unlike extracted and mined resources, wood is a renewable and recyclable resource that is also essential in carbon sequestration. However, illegal and unsustainable logging practices in many developing countries are threatening the availability of this vital resource. The World Bank estimated in 2006 that weak forest governance costs $15 Bn a year. The situation is particularly alarming in African countries like Kenya, which has banned logging in 1999.
There, forested areas have come down from 10% in 1963 to less than 2% in 2006 according to Transparency International. Wangari Maathai, who passed away last September, received the Nobel Peace Prize for inspiring her home country of Kenya, and the rest of the continent, to restore forests and alleviating poverty with The Green Belt Movement. Forestry in Africa is responding to transforming political, environmental and economic interests from leaders around the world.