Multiple-Use Forest Management in the Humid Tropics: Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Forest Management
This report documents three regional assessments that were carried out between 2009 and 2012 to identify and draw lessons from on-the-ground initiatives in multiple-use forest management (MFM) in the Amazon Basin, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia.
Research Goals & Methods
Information was collected through interviews with country-based forestry experts, forest managers and technicians. Assessments studied 46 initiatives in 13 countries, with areas managed by initiatives ranging in size from 1,900 hectares to almost 2 million hectares.
Conclusions & Takeaways
Timber remains the most lucrative forest product, with other uses being non-timber forest products, fisheries, ecotourism, forest conservation, and the production of fuelwood. At this time, multiple-use forest management is a "barely operational" concept due to economic, technical, and adiminstrative constraints. The arrival of investors interested in agro-industrial or mining projects is threatening to the dominant model of timber harvesting, as it has much higher economic returns than sustainable forest management. Better implementation of MFM could increase the economic benefits of sustainable forest management. In most countries, the demarcation of a permanent forest estate and the development of national land-use plans would increase investment in long-term forest management and lend support to multiple-use forest management. Improving the value of logged-over forest through silvicultural treatments would improve the chance of those forests being managed for multiple uses. Training and awareness-raising to change the entrenched mindsets of certain forestry stakeholders is also recommended.
Sabogal, Ceasar et al. (2013). Multiple-use forest management in the humid tropics: Opportunities and challenges for sustainable forest management. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Forestry Paper 173. Rome, Italy.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome