Overstory #203 - Connecting small forest enterprises
Forest enterprise has been extensively examined as a means of alleviating the widespread poverty among forest-dependent people. When poverty alleviation is considered solely in terms of income generation, small forest enterprises may or may not compare favourably with larger enterprises. However, when broader dimensions of well-being are considered, small forest enterprises are seen to have a vital role in enhancing the quality of life of forest-dependent people and lifting them out of poverty. Beyond basic health and subsistence, these broader dimensions of human value include security and freedom from oppression; decent, creative and fulfilling work; social relationships and networks; appreciation and management of a beautiful environment; and identity, faith and culture. A large body of international law supports these values by according them the status of legal rights (Macqueen, 2007) – for example, the rights to life, liberty and physical integrity of the person, to food, to justice or to a clean environment.