It is necessary to make long term investments within the forestry sector, therefore, outlook studies are key to identify opportunities to develop the competitive advantages and expand the market for forest products. In order to formulate medium and long term policies within the forestry sector, it is important to identify the main socio-economic driving forces which could affect the state of the forests in the future.
This document develops the socio economic driving forces and its implications for forestry in Latin America towards 2020. It will be the source of ideas and discussion for specific country Forestry Sector Outlook studies in Latin America. These driving forces are:
• Economic development: Measured through: GNP, GNP per capita and GDP structure; trade and investment.
• Social development: Population, education, urbanization level and land use; aid and government and institutions capacities.
The objective is to analyse trends and illustrate the outlook of the main socio economic driving forces for the forestry sector as well as it implications for 2020. The ultimate goal is to share information with other countries which could be useful for policy making by giving “a taste” of how other sectors or areas could affect forestry or set the context for it. This report addresses the factors could have an impact on forestry or any other economic activity, rather than analyzing forestry products trends or forest products markets trends.
For the purposes of this study, Latin America comprises following countries in the region:
• Central America and Mexico: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama;
• South America: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Latin America is a vast region, which comprises countries of different area and population sizes; as well as different culture and resource availability, level of economic development and economic structure.