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5.1 The Economic and Social Significance of Forests in the Asia-Pacific Region

5.2 Forest Conservation Outside Protected Areas - Major Trends and Driving Forces

5.2.1 Major trends

· Preservation and complete protection on the basis of strictly protected areas

· Protection Forests (typically catchment areas in which collecting NTFPs, but very little or no logging or clearing, is permitted)

· Production forests (notionally multiple use but timber is usually the primary or only objective in practice) and

· Conversion forests where clearing and colonisation is permitted or even encouraged.

5.2.2 Driving forces for deforestation

· Migration, colonisation and land grabs: The creation of permanent or temporary farms (legally or illegally) through spontaneous migration or under official schemes, occur in many parts of Asia-Pacific. Often, the traditional swidden agriculture or 'forest farming' activities of small numbers of indigenous forest people are included in this category, though usually the impacts on Biodiversity are quite different.

· Alternative land uses at landscape level: Ranching, pasture development, plantation agriculture tree-crops (rubber, cinnamon, cocoa, oil-palm, etc.), or even exotic timber plantations (e.g. Acacia mangium, Eucalyptus camaldulensis) are common in many parts of South and Southeast Asia.

· Significant industrial logging for the international tropical timber trade now occurs only in seven developing countries of the region10, although most still have commercial logging operations for domestic markets (which are very large for China and India).

· Fuelwood gathering may be a predominant contributor in drier or high-altitude parts of Asia (e.g. parts of Nepal, China and Pakistan; Eastern Indonesia).

5.2.3 Determinants of these trends

5.3 Integration of Conservation with Multiple Use and Industrial Forestry

"Malaysia has expanded its permanent Forest Estate from 12.7 to 14.1 million hectares and dedicated 4.7 million ha representing 24% of the total forested area of 19.1 million hectares for the protection of the environment and conservation of biodiversity."

"To maintain biological richness we (Indonesia) have set aside 496 million hectares of forests, or 25% of our land area as Totally Protected Areas (TPAs)."

"The Vietnamese Ministry of Forestry has carried out two big programs: a forest land allocation program to allocate at least seven million hectares to the rural people to protect, to manage and to develop; and another program to re-green the bare land to increase the forest coverage from 28% to 40% by the year 2000 and to reduce poverty among the rural people"

"All classified forest lands of Bangladesh will be included in a national protection system and be managed under a number of Multiple Use Management Areas. This concept would introduce a systematic approach to forest land management with landuse designated according to land evaluation, land capability assessment and suitability assessment. The 'core-buffer-multiple use zone strategy' could be used for the management of these Multiple Use Management Areas, from which the protection of Biodiversity could be accomplished while still gaining more social and economic benefits".

· promotion or requirement of reduced impact logging techniques;

· certification of forest management units as 'sustainably managed';

· and engagement with local and indigenous peoples in forest management, including recognition of indigenous knowledge and management systems, and of the importance of NTFPs.

5.4 Future Directions for Forest Conservation Outside Protected Areas

5.4.1 Assuming the present level of action and policy environment

5.4.2 Assuming sustained environmental campaigns

5.4.3 Assuming specified deterioration in policy and action related to conservation

5.5 Community forestry in Asia in 2010

5.5.1 Context

5.5.2 Status of Community Forest Management

5.5.3 Emerging Policy and Programmatic Trends

5.5.4 The Role of Forest Departments in Management Transitions

5.5.5 The Role of Donor Agencies

5.5.6 The Role of NGOs

5.5.7 Prospects

Table 6 Estimates of Forest Dependent Populations in Five Asian Countries - 1990


People Directly Dependent upon Forest Resources


Peoples Living on Land Classified as Public Forest (millions)
















Source: Lynch (1992)

5.5.8 Conclusions

6     "Forests, particularly in developing countries, are intimately interwoven with the lives of hundreds of millions of people with bonds that are equally social and economic" Statement by Indian Minister of Forests, Kamal Nath, to Ministerial Meeting of the FAO Committee on Forestry, Rome, March 16, 1995.

7     "A ban on logging operations in the old growth or virgin forests and shift of timber harvesting to second growth or residual forests have already been effected. All virgin forests are now considered part of the Integrated Protected Area System and shall be managed for biodiversity conservation. Simultaneously, buffer zone areas are also being established to prevent people from encroaching into NIPAS while limited production forests within proclaimed watersheds are being introduced to provide alternative livelihood opportunities to people already occupying these areas." Statement by Philippines Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, to Ministerial Meeting of the FAO Committee on Forestry, Rome, March 16, 1995.

8     "At the 25th South Pacific Forum meeting, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu agreed to have a common code of conduct governing logging of indigenous forests to which companies operating in these countries have to adhere." Statement by Fiji Minister of Agriculture & Forests, to Ministerial Meeting of the FAO Committee on Forestry, Rome, March 16, 1995.

9     Deforestation is taken to mean a permanent change of land use. If one hectare of secondary forest is cleared by swidden cultivators, and allowed to re-grow towards a mature forest, after one or two years of cropping, that is considered disturbance or degradation, but not deforestation. Degradation means a substantial decrease in the ability of the forest to supply particular specified benefits, so the term needs to be qualified e.g. degraded with respect to timber production potential, or for watershed protection, or for conservation of biodiversity.

10     Specifically, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (and to a small extent, in a few others).

11     "Demands for forests in Korea have diversified as our economic life improved along with accelerated industrialisation. The benefits of forests such as clean water, fresh air and recreation are now indispensable factors for enhancing the quality of life." Statement by Korean Forests Administrator to Ministerial Meeting of the FAO Committee on Forestry, Rome, March 16, 1995.

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