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At the seventeenth session the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC), member countries requested FAO to implement a study of the efficacy of removing natural forests from timber production as a strategy for conserving forests. The objectives were to:

The APFC requested the study to better understand the role of logging bans and similar restrictions on timber harvesting imposed to conserve natural forests. Such actions have been taken by many countries in the region and are under consideration by several others in the face of continuing deforestation and increased emphasis on forest conservation.

In examining the history and experience of timber harvest bans in natural forests, the study sought to understand the impacts on both conservation and production from the natural forests, including the implications and strategies for timber supply. National consultants carried out studies in their respective countries, covering a variety of experiences with timber harvesting bans. A Senior Study Coordinator provided technical support and prepared the regional overview. Consultants preparing the respective country case studies were:


Yang Yuexian, Deputy Director and Senior Engineer, Management Center for Natural Forest Conservation Programme, National Forestry Bureau, State Forestry Administration, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

New Zealand:

Alan Reid, Senior Policy Analyst, Sustainable Resource Use Policy, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Wellington, New Zealand


Ernesto S. Guiang, Natural Resources Management Consultant, Manila, Philippines

Sri Lanka:

H. M. Bandaratillake, Conservator of Forests and Director, State Timber Corporation (ex-officio), Battaramulla, Sri Lanka


Sureeratna Lakanavichian, Resource Sociology and Policy Analyst, Forest Resources Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Viet Nam:

Vu Huu Tuynh, Deputy Director, and Pham Xuan Phuong, Forest Policy Expert, Department of Agricultural and Rural Development Policy, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hanoi, Viet Nam

The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the USDA Forest Service, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) provided core support for the study. Collaborative support was also provided by two FAO regional projects: “Support to the Reorientation of Forestry Policies and Institutions of Countries of Asia in Reform to Market Economy Project,” and the “Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia and the Pacific” (FORSPA). Contributions and in-kind support from the Ford Foundation, the Weyerhaeuser Foundation and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) also assisted the study.

Patrick Durst, FAO Senior Forestry Officer (Asia and the Pacific) provided overall supervision and technical guidance for the project. Gary Man, Program Coordinator, Asia and the Pacific Program, International Programs, USDA Forest Service coordinated the core financial support. FAO country representatives and senior forestry officials in the countries that prepared the case studies provided coordination and assistance. In-country assistance by the forest industries sector, environmental organizations and the NGO community helped in defining critical issues and perspectives on timber harvesting bans and forest conservation. Finally, representatives of cooperating international organizations and invited experts provided critical support at the 1999 Manila Technical Workshop and the Policy Seminar held in connection with the eighteenth session of the APFC in 2000. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia (AFFA) graciously hosted the workshop in Manila and the pre-APFC Policy Seminar in Noosaville, Queensland, respectively.

Appreciation is acknowledged to those individuals who contributed technical support and guidance throughout the study. Ian Armitage, Forestry Consultant, New Zealand, provided the initial development of the study guidelines and assisted the Senior Study Coordinator in the early project implementation. Rose Braden and Michael Victor provided technical editing support for the reports and Janice Naewboonnien assisted in proofreading the final version. Their professional contributions are gratefully acknowledged.

Thomas R. Waggener, Consultant
Senior Coordinator
International Forestry Sector Analysis (IFSA) International Consulting
Mill Creek, Washington, USA

June 2001

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