Table of Contents

Prepared for FAO Regional Project
“Forestry Planning and Policy Assistance in Asia and the Pacific”


Duncan Knowler1
Jon Lovett1

May 1996

1 Department of Environmental Economics and Environmental Management, University of York, Heslington, York, U.K. Y01 5DD


On the threshold of the 21st century a consensus is emerging that current efforts to protect the environment and promote environmentally sustainable development are deficient in crucial respects. If the original rationale was to control wastes and toxic residues to protect human health and amenities, the new reason - far more compelling - is to avoid exhausting Earth's natural resources and breaking down vital life-support systems. During the short span of a half-century, the oceans and the atmosphere, which were once seemingly endless frontiers, have shown themselves to be finite and vulnerable. The occurence of phenomenas like soil erosion, deforestation, extinction of flora and fauna, ozone depletion and global warming has undermined sustainable development and leaves a legacy of poverty and environmental degradation, and if left unchecked, will jeopardize the very future of all. It is in this context that assessment of environmental impacts assumes its significant importance.

Within the forest sector of the developing countries in the region there has been so far no serious efforts to undertake environmental assessment of the various endogenous and exogenous issues affecting the forest resource base. It is against this backdrop and within its mandate to support country capacity building the FAO Regional Project “Forestry Planning and Policy Assistance in Asia and the Pacific Region” (GCP/RAS/137/JPN) with support from DANCED (Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development) have developed this manual on environmental assessment in forestry to serve as a reference for practioners in the field. I sincerely hope this manual will be useful to all involved in environmental assessment in forestry and related sectors.

S.K. Bhargava, Chief Technical Adviser
“Forestry Planning and Policy Assistance in
Asia and the Pacific Region” (GCP/RAS/137/JPN)

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Acronyms

1. Introduction

2. Background to Environmental Assessment in Forestry

2.1 Ecology of Asian Forests

2.1.1 Physical Factors
2.1.2 Biotic Factors
2.1.3 Forest Classification

2.2 Biodiversity of Asian Forests

2.2.1 Indian Subcontinent
2.2.2 China and East Asia
2.2.3 South-east Asia
2.2.4 Pacific Ocean Islands

2.3 The Policy and Institutional Context

2.3.1 Forest Sector Policies
2.3.2 Institutional Setting

3. An Overview of Environmental Assessment in Forestry

3.1 Screening and Preliminary Environmental Assessment

3.1.1 Step 1: Project Screening
3.1.2 Step 2: Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment
3.1.3 Step 3: Design Revision and Phased Environmental Assessment

3.2 Detailed Environmental Assessment

3.2.1 Protected Forests
3.2.2 Natural Forest Management
3.2.3 Logging and Forest Conversion
3.2.4 Planted Forests: Plantations and Afforestation
3.2.5 Pulp, Paper and Timber Processing
3.2.6 Forest Policies

3.3 Mitigation and Monitoring

3.3.1 Mitigating Measures
3.3.2 Monitoring

4. Economic Analysis and Environmental Assessment

4.1 Economic Analysis of Environmental Impacts

4.1.1 Are We Concerned with a Financial or Economic Perspective?
4.1.2 What is the Appropriate Economic Appraisal Approach?
4.1.3 How are Benefits and Costs in Different Time Periods Considered?
4.1.4 What are some of the Non-efficiency Concerns in Economic Analysis?

4.2 Economic Valuation: Techniques, Problems and Pitfalls

4.2.1 Economic Values of Asian Forests
4.2.2 Economic Valuation: An Overview
4.2.3 Valuation Techniques Using Market Prices
4.2.4 Non-market Valuation
4.2.5 Problems and Pitfalls in Valuing Tropical Forests

5. Social Issues in Environmental Assessment

Sources and Further Reading

Appendices 1. Sample Checklists (from World Bank 1991)

1.1 Natural Forest Management
1.2 Plantation Development/Afforestation
1.3 Pulp, Paper and Timber Processing

2. Valuation Techniques for Environmental Assessment of Forest Projects (from IIED 1994)

3. A Matrix of Benefit Estimation Techniques By Environmental Sector (from Markandya and Pearce 1988)

4. Case Studies in Valuing Asian Forests (various sources)

4.1 Protection Forests

4.1.1 Khao Yai National Park (Thailand)
4.1.2 Knuckles National Wilderness Area (Sri Lanka)

4.2 Natural Forest Management

4.2.1 Rattan Harvesting (Indonesia)
4.2.2 Mangrove Valuation in Fiji (Fiji)

4.3 Logging and Forest Conversion

4.3.1 Logging Impacts on Fishing and Tourism (Philippines)
4.3.2 Pulp Production from Mangroves (Indonesia)

4.4 Plantation Forestry/Afforestation

4.4.1 Afforestation in Degraded Areas (Nepal)

4.5 Conclusions from the Case Studies


Completion of this manual would not have been possible without the many inputs and source materials that were tapped during its preparation, some cited and others only included as references. It is only proper that some of these sources be recognized here. Portions of the section on the biodiversity of Asian forests were derived from work by S.D. Davis, V.H. Heywood and A.C. Hamilton, and contained in their report for IUCN and WWF cited in the manual. The World Bank's Environmental Assessment Sourcebook and various FAO Forestry Paper publications were widely used as source materials for Chapter 3 and Appendix 1, sometimes in verbatim extracts. Appendix 2 is reprinted from a useful IIED publication on valuing tropical forest land use options. Similarly, many of the case studies presented in Appendix 4 were extracted from published papers and reports, all of which are cited. The authors would especially like to note the kind permission of Dr. Edward B. Barbier to reprint some of his published material on mangrove wetlands, and the very useful studies carried out by John Dixon and his associates at the East-West Centre in Honolulu, which were the source of several reprinted case studies. The impetus for the manual was a workshop on environmental assessment in forestry prepared and facilitated by J. Bertlin, held in Malaysia 31 October to 4 November, 1995. Funding for the original workshop and the manual was provided by Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development (DANCED) and is graciously acknowledged. The authors also wish to thank Dr. S. K. Bhargava, Chief Technical Adviser, FAO Regional Project “Forestry Planning and Policy Assistance in Asia and the Pacific” for entrusting them with the task of preparing this manual, as well as helpful comments along the way. Joe Cooper and Jeff Tschirley of FAO Headquarters provided many useful suggestions for improvements in the text. Susan Davis of the Department of Environmental Economics and Environmental Management at the University of York assisted with typing, formating and scanning of original manuscripts. Her assistance is greatly appreciated.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

BCRBenefit cost ratio
CBACost benefit analysis
CEACost-effectiveness analysis
CVMContingent valuation method
DADecision analysis
DNADeoxyribonucleic acid
EAEnvironmental assessment
EIAEnvironmental impact assessment
ENSOEl Niño/Southern Oscillation
GEFGlobal Environment Facility
HPMHedonic pricing method
IIEDInternational Institute for Environment and Development
MAIMean annual increment
MCAMulti-criteria analysis
NTFPNon-timber forest product
NPVNet Present Value
PRAParticipatory rural appraisal
RBARisk benefit analysis
RRARapid rural appraisal
RSPBRoyal Society for the Protection of Birds
SEIASocio-economic impact assessment
SEPSSSocio-economic and production systems study
SIASocial impact assessment
SSTSea surface temperature
TCMTravel cost method
TEVTotal economic value