BANGKOK, March 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Re-construction of tsunami-damaged properties around the Indian Ocean area would threaten local forest coverage rate if no protective measures adopted, the UnitedNations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned here on Monday.
"Much of the infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami was made of wood, including piers, bridges, boats, houses and other buildings, and many of the affected coastal communities rely on fuel wood for heating and cooking," said FAO in a statement issued from its Bangkok office on Monday.
If not managed appropriately, this demand could adversely affect the remaining forests "irrevocably", warned the UN agency.
FAO therefore called affected countries' governments to carefully study the actual needs of wood or reuse wood salvaged from damaged buildings and drowned trees so as to avoid over-harvesting and illegal felling of trees.
Besides, FAO also called on assessment and restoration of mangrove and other coastal forests and trees damaged by the tsunami, the full extent of which still unknown.
FAO on Monday opened a workshop in Bangkok on rehabilitation oftsunami-affected forest ecosystem.
The event, gathering some 50 participants from affected countries' governments, NGOs, international and regional agencies,is expected to formulate a framework for forestry rehabilitation initiatives. Enditem