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1 Introduction

1.1 Background

The realization of the Latin American Forestry Sector Outlook Study (LAFSOS) on the perspectives of the forest sector in Latin America and the Caribbean is a response to a recommendation by the countries of the region at the 21st meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission (LACFC). Activities began in May 2003 and are to be finalized by 2004. At this preliminary stage, prior to the initiation of the study, an analysis and evaluation of the forest information of 17 countries were undertaken within the framework of project GCP/RLA/133/EC, financed by the European Union. This study is part of a series of perspective processes carried out by FAO in different countries of the world in collaboration with its member countries and relevant stakeholders from the private sector, government agencies and other agencies involved in the forest sector of each region. In the Latin American and Caribbean region, LAFSOS expects to make an important contribution towards strategic planning, particularly for national forest programmes.

LAFSOS describes trends during the last few years and the current situation of the forest sector in Latin America. It analyses the driving forces within and outside the sector that affect it and attempts to give a coherent picture of what may be the probable situation of the forest sector in the region by 2020. LAFSOS was developed in 20 countries that were grouped for analytical purposes into four subregions: Central America and Mexico, the Caribbean, Amazonia and Conosur.

The national reports of LAFSOS describe the current situation in the national forest sector, identify the main driving forces that will determine the trends of the sector over the next few decades, and visualize the probable situation of the national forest sector by 2020.

1.2 Objectives of the study

Describe the current situation of the forest sector in Belize.

Identify and analyse the driving forces that will determine the tendencies of the sector in the next two decades.

Visualize and characterize the most probable scenarios in the situation of the forest sector by 2020.

Determine the priorities and strategies that will contribute to the development of the forest sector in the country and the region.

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