In our ongoing series about ecosystem-based management in the Sunshine Coast Community Forest, we have discussed Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation and the Economic Benefits to the Community. If you missed those articles you can find them here.
Today we are talking about the third pillar of ecosystem-based management: Social Well-Being. These three pillars are interrelated – maintaining biodiversity and functioning, ecosystems, and the economic benefits from our forestry operations both contribute to the well-being of our community.
Some of the more direct ways the needs of our human communities are met by local forests include:
Traditional and cultural use by shíshálh people.
Access to edible and medicinal native plants and fungi.
Forest-based recreation opportunities.
Locally grown timber and wood products.
Opportunity to experience forests in a naturally regenerated state
Natural water management functions.
Ecosystem-based management recognizes humans as a part of the ecosystem and our uses of the forest beyond timber and profit are important. The human health benefits to forest-based recreation are supported by an abundance of science.
Walking, biking, or simply being in the forest improves human immune function, reduces blood pressure and stress, balances hormones, and improves mental health.
Opportunities for people to experience forests near their communities are important and need to be considered in responsible planning.
Human recreation use of forests, like our other uses of forests, also have an impact. There are over 500 km of trails on the Sunshine Coast. Where they are built, how they are used, and who is consulted about it matters. If you enjoy using trails or other areas within the community forest, we want to hear about what is important to you. If we don’t know about it, we can’t take it into account in our planning. Please reach out or join us at one of our future events.
Want to get involved with the Community Forest?
Join our CommunityAdvisory Panel!
The CAP ensures community concerns are baked into the way we action ecosystem based management. It's a 9 member panel that meets monthly to discuss and take action on initiatives that support the third pillar - Social Well-Being.
Send us an email for more details and/or to express your interest! firstname.lastname@example.org