Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been uneven. Poor and otherwise disadvantaged groups lag behind their more fortunate compatriots for most MDGs.To make things worse, effective interventions are known, but rarely reach those who need them most. Unfortunately, little is known about how to effectively reach poor and otherwise disadvantaged groups, and how to address socio-economic inequalities in mortality.
Forests are crucial to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of poor people worldwide, but just how important, and for what functions? Can they help lift people out of poverty, or are they mainly useful as gap-fillers and safety nets in response to shocks? Are certain types of forest-tenure and management regimes more favourable than others? And under what conditions can increased integration into forest-product markets help?