Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study: Outlook to 2020


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Regional Reports

Asia-Pacific forests and forestry to 2020

This publication summarizes the key findings and results of the second Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study – a comprehensive effort involving all member countries of Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission. The report provides analyses of the status and trends across a broad range of issues affecting Asia-Pacific forestry and analyses key factors driving changes in forestry in the region.  The report concludes by outlining priorities and strategies to move the region’s forestry sector onto a more sustainable footing and to provide continued benefits to future generations.

Southeast Asian forests and forestry to 2020

This subregional report summarizes the key findings and results from eight country reports, numerous thematic reports and a wide ranging review of current and past publications in providing analyses of the status and trends of forests and forestry in Southeast Asia. The publication also analyses key factors driving changes in forestry and outlines priorities and strategies for the subregion’s forestry sector.

South Asian Forests and Forestry to 2020

The subregional report for South Asia provides an assessment of developments in the South Asian forestry sector, linking it with larger societal changes. It gives an overview of the forestry sector, including the economic, social and ecological significance of forests and summarizes major developments, including changes in demand for forest products and ecosystem services - specifically highlighting resource constraints in the subregion.  The report analyses the key factors driving developments in the forest sector, scenarios that may unfold, and how forests and forestry are likely to evolve to the year 2020. The report also outlines priorities and strategies to enhance forestry’s contribution to societal well-being.

East Asian forests and forestry to 2020

The subregional report for East Asia summarizes the key findings and results from four country reports, in providing analyses of the status and trends of forests and forestry in East Asia encompassing the largest forestry economies in Asia and the Pacific. The publication also analyses key factors driving changes in forestry in the subregion and outlines priorities and strategies for the subregion’s forestry sector.

Pacific forests and forestry to 2020

The subregional report for the Pacific provides an invaluable compendium of information and analysis on the current forestry situation in the Pacific subregion and likely future developments. Key drivers of change in forestry are identified and their future impacts assessed; potential future scenarios are also developed. The report culminates in a description of the likely situation in 2020 and identification of priorities and strategies to steer the sector towards more favourable outcomes.

Forests and forestry in the Greater Mekong Subregion to 2020

This subregional report summarizes the key findings and results from five country reports, numerous thematic reports and a wide ranging review of current and past publications in providing analyses of the status and trends of forests and forestry in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The publication also analyses key factors driving changes in forestry and outlines priorities and strategies for the subregion’s forestry sector.

Forestry policies, legislation and institutions in Asia and the Pacific. Trends and emerging needs for 2020

This report reviews the status and trends in forestry policy, legislation and institutions in 12 focal countries in the Asia-Pacific region and outlines the extent to which changes in these areas have been effective in supporting transitions towards sustainable forest management. Trends in governance and efforts to tackle illegal logging are also assessed. The report highlights the need to develop consensus over the role of forestry in national development and the need for forestry institutions to become more flexible and responsive in capturing opportunities and striving to optimise the contribution of the forestry sector to emerging needs. 

Situation and prospects for forests and forestry in the APEC region

In 2007, APEC leaders set a goal to increase forest cover in the APEC region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020. In September 2011, China hosted the First APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry in Beijing, China to advance region-wide cooperation in the sector. This document was produced as a reference paper for the ministerial discussions. It includes an overview of forest resources and products, progress made so far towards sustainable forest management, and priorities and outlook for the future for the APEC region.


Policy briefs


Greater Mekong Subregion


Working papers


Reference code


APFSOS II-WP-2009-01

Samoa Forestry Outlook Study

Sam Sesega (2009)

This country outlook report for Samoa has particular focus on diminishing forest resources, waning forest industry and consequent afforestation/reforestation efforts. It also discusses service and social functions of forests and key policy directions.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-02

Malaysia Forestry Outlook Study

Thang Hooi Chiew (2009)

The country outlook report for Malaysia provides a comprehensive view of the forestry sector emphasizing targets to bring all permanent reserved forests under sustainable forest management, certify all Malaysian forest products and significantly expand wood production by 2020. Export of logs is, however, expected to be phased out by 2020 while forest area will fall by 9%.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-03

Maldives Forestry Outlook Study

Ravishankar Thupalli (2009)

This paper reports on the status of forests in the Maldives. It notes forest areas largely comprise littoral forests used mainly for subsistence purposes and fuel. Coastal protection functions are critical. Demand for industrial wood products is largely met by imports. Housing, agricultural and industrial expansion will be key factors likely to impact forests and forestry in the next 20 years.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-04

Bhutan Forestry Outlook Study

Dhan B. Dhita (2009)

Bhutan's development focus centered on the concept of Gross National Happiness underpins this country outlook paper. The paper envisages three main scenarios for forestry development based on gradual transition, externally-driven development, and policy and institutional reform. Bhutan's strong conservation policies allied with pressures at the agriculture-forestry interface will likely dictate forestry directions.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-05

Nepal Forestry Outlook Study

Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Nepal (2009)

Forestry is an integral part of agriculture and rural livelihoods in Nepal. This country outlook paper emphasizes the importance of community forestry in Nepal's masterplan for forestry development and envisages three main scenarios for forests in the future based on political developments - a new Nepal where conflicts are resolved; muddling through; or intensification of conflict.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-06

India Forestry Outlook Study

The Ministry of Environment and Forests, India (2009)

Indian forestry revolves around social and environmental elements of sustainable forest management. This wide-ranging country outlook paper examines the future for India's forests including future demand for wood and wood products and concluded these will increase by at least three-fold by 2020. The agroforestry sector and imports will remain critical in this regard. Occupation and habitation rights have been granted for forest dependent communities along with the responsibility for conservation of forests. India is also maintaining around 20 percent of forest area within its protected area network to provide ecological security.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-07

Myanmar Forestry Outlook Study

Khin Htun (2009)

This report outlines the state of forests and forest management in Myanmar drawing attention to the decline in natural forest resources, focus on plantation establishment to maintain timber supply and high fuelwood dependence in the country. The report highlights the need for a sound policy foundation, and a land use policy in particular, for sustainable forest management to take hold.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-08

Impacts of Demographic Changes on Forests and Forestry in Asia and the Pacific

Bijendra Basnyat (2009)

This thematic study assesses how demographic changes have impacted forests and forestry in the past to identify the likely impacts of changes up to 2020. Impacts of demographic changes on forests and forestry are assessed in terms of (a) forests and land use changes; (b) resource degradation (c) housing demand and its implications on wood products and (d) environmental concerns such as urban greening/forestry, recreational demand and water availability and usage.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-09

Viet Nam Forestry Outlook Study

Forest Science Institute of Viet Nam (2009)

The country outlook paper for Viet Nam emphasizes the impacts on forestry of population growth, rapid economic development and the environmental protection programmes currently underway. A history of forest degradation and deforestation has been addressed through rearrangement of forest administration systems, revisions of forest tenure and reforestation efforts. Maintaining supply to the forest products industry constitutes one of several challenges facing Viet Nam to 2020.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-10

Philippines Forestry Outlook Study

The Forest Management Bureau, Philippines (2009)

Rapid population growth and uncontrolled logging left the forest sector in the Philippines in a poor state in the nineties. Devolution of forest related rights and efforts to expand forest protection have had positive effects on the sector but many challenges remain in managing the country's forests including effectively engaging the private sector, involving local government units in forestry, and passing legislation supportive of SFM.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-11

People's Republic of China Forestry Outlook Study

Developments in China will have substantial impacts on forestry in the rest of the region. This wide-ranging country outlook study discusses a host of topics including prospects for China's afforestation/reforestation efforts, supply and demand for forest products and ecological services, key drivers of change, impacts of globalization, policy developments, and social objectives of forestry.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-12

The Relevance and Impact of Gender Issues on the Outlook for Forestry to 2020 in North Asia

Meng Linlin (2009)

This study examines the historical changes, current status, trends and present outlook with regard to gender issues for North Asian forestry. It systematically analyses the existing knowledge and data separately for four countries in North Asia: China, Japan, Mongolia and Republic of Korea, and focuses on gender roles and gender structures, as well as relevance and impact of gender issues in forestry to 2020.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-13

Indonesia Forestry Outlook Study

Center for Forestry Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia (2009)

This outlook paper emphasizes the international dimensions of Indonesia's forestry sector and the challenges facing forest management, not least of which is the conversion of degraded and other forests. Four scenarios are presented: socio-economic development stalls, unsustainable growth, low-growth development and sustainable development. The importance of economic development in the forest sector and of improving governance are singled out as priority issues.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-14

Assessing the Protection of Forest-based Environmental Services in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Moushumi Chaudhury (2009)

This paper examines the drivers of deforestation and the loss of forest services, and the various mechanisms that exist to protect forests in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). In most cases policy mechanisms play a greater role in forest protection than payment for environmental services (PES) which has yet to develop in the subregion. Scenarios presented suggest that higher income countries will have much greater scope in protecting forest environmental services that low income countries.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-15

The Situation and Prospects for the Utilization of Coconut Wood in Asia and the Pacific

Romulo N. Arancon, Jr. (2009)

This thematic study undertakes a detailed review of information on coconut resources in Asia-Pacific countries and assesses likely changes in various key driving forces that determine the volumes of coconut wood available for processing. It assesses coconut wood processing capacities and applications as well as providing an overview of demand conditions and prospects for major coconut wood products to 2020. Coconut development policies and legislation are also explored.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-16

Valuing Services: An Analysis of the Ability and Willingness to Protect Forest-based Environmental Services in the Asia-Pacific

Moushumi Chaudhury (2009)

Considering that the Asia-Pacific region is a diverse area, this paper provides a variety of cases to illustrate the extent to which people are willing and able to protect forest-based ecosystem services depending on socioeconomic conditions. Scenarios presented suggest that higher income countries will have much greater scope in protecting forest environmental services that low income countries.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-17

Lao People's Democractic Republic Forestry Outlook Study

Pei Sin Tong (2009)

The outlook paper for Lao PDR reviews the state of the forestry sector and draws attention to the need for political commitment to the forestry strategy 2020 to bring the forests in the country under sustainable management and provide a firm basis for rural development. Without significant policy support, forest and forestry in Lao PDR will continue to be overwhelmingly influenced by the regional resource economy during the next decade.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-18

The Outlook for Non-wood Forest Products in Asia and the Pacific

Regina Hansda (2009)

This thematic study examines prospects for NWFPs to 2020. It develops four scenarios for developments to 2020 reflecting divergent needs of society and the differing roles of various stakeholders and institutions in resource management: (i) a low-income subsistence scenario (Subsistence societies); (ii) a resource decline and substitution scenario (Agrarian societies); (iii) an increased commercialization scenario (Industrial societies); and a revival scenario (Post-industrial societies).

APFSOS II-WP-2009-19

Papua New Guinea Forestry Outlook Study

Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (2009)

Country outlook paper for Papua New Guinea focusing on key trends and likely developments in forestry to 2020. The paper notes the importance of forestry in the economic development of the country; being among the top 3 sectors in terms of its contribution to the economy. The paper particular examines the role of forests as a means to bring development in the sense of cash incomes, infrastructure, and basic services, especially health and education.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-20

Fiji Forestry Outlook Study

Alfred Leslie and Osea Tuinivanua (2009)

This country outlook paper for Fiji focuses principally on industrial forestry projecting woodflows and likely developments in wood exporting industries to chart future development of forestry in the country. The paper notes that Fiji has built up a forest resource that has the growth capacity to become a very powerful engine for economic and social development and transformation. Whether this potential can be turned into a reality depends on how forest and forest industry policies develop. The paper sees significant potential to gain competitive advantage in niche mahogany markets.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-21

Mongolia Forestry Outlook Study

Hijaba Ykhanbai (2009)

This wide-ranging forestry outlook study for Mongolia discusses a broad selection of topics relevant to the future development of forestry in Mongolia. Prospects for industrial development, forest rehabilitation, community-based forest resource management, climate change, policy and institutional developments, desertification, forest fires, grazing encroachment, and establishment of a Green Wall are among the myriad of drivers of forestry change in Mongolia. The need for continuous improvement in forest management is a key theme throughout the paper.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-22

Thailand Forestry Outlook Study

Royal Forest Department/Department of National Parks, Thailand (2009)

The Thai forestry outlook country paper draws attention to key areas including forest protection, plantation development, community involvement in forest management and protected area management. Developments in the rubberwood and pulp and paper industries and efforts to maintain the forest products industry more widely are also reviewed. The influence on the forestry sector of national goals for green development and of the current national socio-economic development plan is emphasized in sketching the outlook to 2020.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-23

Where is the Future for Cultures and Forests

The Asia Forest Network (2009)

This thematic study focuses on the lives of indigenous peoples in relation to complex shifts of forest management. It addresses the broader contexts of people and culture and reviews issues of identity and dependence. Trends, policies and approaches in livelihoods, well-being and poverty are analyzed and several likely scenarios for development of indigenous cultures within forestry contexts are examined.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-24

Is There a Future Role for Forests and Forestry in Reducing Poverty?

RECOFTC - The Center for People and Forests (2009)

This thematic paper discusses current developments and trends in the region to assess the extent to which forests and forestry presently contribute to poverty elimination. It investigates a variety of alternative development directions for formal and informal forestry sectors and identifies a number of possible directions that forestry will likely take in the next decade in order to discuss whether forests and forestry will have any significant role in poverty reduction.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-25

National Competitiveness Index of the Forest Products Industry in the Asia-Pacific Region

Daisuke Sasatani (2009)

In the era of globalization, competitiveness has become a crucial driver of international trade flows, the location of production and the inflow and outflow of capital. This thematic study analyses factors influencing the competitiveness of production of wood and wood products; assesses likely changes in the competitiveness of wood production and processing in various countries during the next ten years; and indicates measures that can be taken to improve competitiveness of wood and wood products

APFSOS II-WP-2009-26

Biomass Energy in the Asia-Pacific Region: Current Status, Trends and Future Setting

Tini Gumartini (2009)

In recent years, global interest in renewable energy resources, including biomass, has burgeoned. Biomass is used predominantly in developing countries, mostly in the form of wood and agricultural residues, as fuel for cooking and heating. This thematic study examines the current situation and trends as regards biomass energy consumption and analyzes the driving forces influencing change. It also assesses probable scenarios for development of various biomass energy segments in the Asia-Pacific region. Wood-based energy is the main focus in the study.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-27

Macro-economic Trends and their Impacts on Forests and Forestry in Asia and the Pacific to 2020

Michael P. Canares (2009)

A growing realization that the fate of forests will be determined by factors outside forests and the forestry sector has prompted efforts to unravel less obvious and often difficult-to-establish links between macro-level variables and forest condition. This thematic paper seeks to explore the links between macro-economic trends and forests in order to develop scenarios of the future macro-economic environment in the Asia-Pacific region and how this will likely affect forests and the forestry sector.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-28

Pakistan Forestry Outlook Study

Office of the Inspector General of Forests Ministry of Environment, Pakistan (2009)

This wide ranging country outlook paper describes the current state of forests and forestry in Pakistan, identifies key factors influencing future developments, develops several probable scenarios for future development, and discusses important elements of a likely future for forestry in Pakistan.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-29

Sri Lanka Forestry Outlook Study

This country outlook study for Sri Lanka focuses mainly on the forest resources managed and protected by the Sri Lankan Forest Department and Department of Wildlife Conservation. However, it also discusses demand for wood and wood products and supplies from sources including home gardens, tea, rubber and coconut plantations and private woodlots. It includes analysis of possible institutional development pertaining to the forestry sector in the future and documents the participatory approaches in forestry development have been a significant feature during the recent past.

APFSOS II-WP-2010-30

Japan Forestry Outlook Study

Forestry Agency of Japan (2010)

The Japan forestry outlook study outlines the broad social context and the institutional and legislative framework that governs forestry in the country. The broad status of forests including key management issues including demands for ecosystem services and wood products, as well as challenges associated with forest health and fires are discussed. Particular issues relating to mountain villages, forest ownership and forest cooperatives are described. Japan has set a range of targets in relation to strengthening the multifunctional roles of forests and meeting demands for wood products and measures being implemented to meet these targets, and to promote sustainable forest management, are outlined.

APFSOS II-WP-2009-31

Solomon Islands Forestry Outlook Study

Richard L. Pauku (2009)

In the Solomon Islands, unsustainable logging has had serious impacts on forests. Commercial logging of natural forests has, over the years, changed the vegetation cover of the main islands and led to serious depletion of merchantable timber supplies. This country outlook study examines the implications of this depletion and assesses the likely future scenario for the country. It also discusses issues and constraints surrounding the prevailing customary ownership, as well as the impacts and effectiveness of institutional and legislative structures.

APFSOS II-WP-2010-32

Cambodia Forestry Outlook Study

The Forestry Administration, Cambodia (2009)

Cambodia's outlook paper outlines changes in administration of forests in recent years and government efforts to gain control over the forestry sector and support sustainable forest management in collaboration with development partners and NGOs. The National Forest Programme will guide forestry to 2020. Two key factors are highlighted in determining the future of forestry: commitment to forest-related policy implementation and level of community participation.

APFSOS II-WP-2010-33

Bangladesh Forestry Outlook Study

Choudhury, J.K. and Hossain, M.A.A. (2011)

This Bangladesh outlook report reflects on problems faced by the country’s forestry sector. By 2020 there will be a big gap between supply and demand for wood while people’s expectations of forestry will have increased in many new directions.  To create a brighter future for forestry there are needs to establish a national-level forestry forum, initiate mass awareness-raising programmes, bring unclassified state forests under proper management and strengthen the Forest Department.

APFSOS II-WP-2012-34

Republic of Korea Forestry Outlook Study

Rin Won Joo (Director, Korea Forest Research Institute); Byung Heon Jung (Researcher, Korea Forest Research Institute); Seong Youn Lee (Researcher, Korea Forest Research Institute); Jae Soo Bae (Researcher, Korea Forest Research Institute); Kyongha Kim (Senior Researcher, Korea Forest Research Institute); Sang-Yoel Han (Professor, Kyungpook National University); Jong-Hwan Lim (Senior Researcher, Korea Forest Research Institute); Kyeong-hak Lee (Director, Korea Forest Research Institute); Rheehwa Yoo (Researcher, Korea Forest Research Institute).

The Republic of Korea forestry outlook study provides a comprehensive overview of developments and prospects for the country's forestry sector. The analysis covers forest resources, timber products, non-wood forest products (NWFPs) and forest ecosystem services. The paper anticipates stable growth in consumption of timber products, some of which will be met from maturing national forests. The situation for NWFPs varies by product. Increasing demands for ecosystem services will be met through impementation of various government plans designed to enhance the quality of forests and the services they provide.

APFSOS II-WP-2012-35

Russian Federation Forestry Outlook Study

Alexander Alexeenko, Head of Forestry Division, Far East Forestry Research Institute (2012)

This study covers the Asia-Pacific region of Russia including the Russian Far East, Eastern Siberia and part of Western Siberia, The study covers many issues, directly or indirectly connected with forest and forest lands of the country. Special attention is given to the condition of forest cover, timber harvesting and development of timber processing, as well as non-timber forest use and development of other types of use and the influence of all these activities on locals’ life and well-being.

APFSOS II-WP-2012-36

Vanuatu Forestry Outlook Study

Hanington Tate, Department of Forests, Vanuatu (2013)

This country outlook study focuses on the situation and prospects for forests and forestry in Vanuatu. The paper notes a moderate decline in forest area and quality in Vanuatu, accompanied by a significant decline in production of wood products and increased focus on conservation and provision of ecosystem services. All natural forests in Vanuatu are under customary ownership, which creates some challenges for the government in its efforts to improve forest management. A key need is for investment in forest plantations to meet future demands for wood supplies.

APFSOS II-WP-2012-37

The potential impacts of forest product legality regulations and REDD+ on forest products production and trade in the Asia-Pacific region

Frances Maplesden, Kaisone Phengsopha and Adrian Whiteman (2013)

This paper examines the potential impacts of forest product legality regulations and REDD+ on forest products production and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. A modeling approach was used to quantitatively assess potential impacts on production and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. The analysis confirms expectations that REDD+ is likely to have significant impacts on log supplies from Asia-Pacific forests, but minimal effects on processed wood products. Impacts of forest products legality restrictions on trade flows were found to be minimal and resulted in diversion of a proportion of Asia’s secondary processed wood products from the EU and USA to other markets.