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The decisions taken today will condition the future of the forest and of the forest sector. The programme of the study on the perspectives of the forest sector by FAO aims to identify the possible effects and repercussions that will influence the future of the sector as a result of actions carried out now. Through these "outlook studies", FAO and its member countries identify a series of possibilities and options in respect of measures that may help countries to achieve their objectives for their forests and the forest sector.

In this context, FAO is currently conducting a series of analytic processes and preparing perspectives of the forest sector in various countries and regions of the world in collaboration with member countries and stakeholders of the private sector, international agencies, government agencies and other institutions involved in regional studies. The Latin American Forestry Sector Outlook Study (LAFSOS) up to 2020 follows upon a recommendation by the countries of the region, as expressed at the 21st meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission (LACFC).

The preparation of this study for Belize, which forms part of LAFSOS, describes the actual situation of the forest sector of the country and identifies the main driving forces that will determine the tendencies of the sector in the coming decades within a wide context of economic, environmental, social, institutional and technological changes. Moreover, it visualizes the possible situation of the national forest sector up to 2020. During its preparation, consideration has been given to the policies and strategies of the key sectors that influence the forest sector; these are an important source of information and reference for other instruments necessary for strategic planning, with emphasis on the national forest programme. The report is thus based mainly on secondary information and data. During the process of developing the study, the opinions and perceptions of specialists and decision-makers related to the forest sector were taken into consideration.

Wulf Killmann
Forest Products and Economics Division
Forestry Department

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