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As the role of the public sector in forest plantation development is diminishing, governments and their respective forestry agencies are increasingly asking what it takes to encourage non-government entities to grow trees. There is much interest in offering incentives to prospective small- and large-scale investors. Yet, little is known about the role that direct and indirect incentives have in influencing plantation development.

What does it take? The role of incentives in forest plantation development in Asia and the Pacific helps fill this knowledge gap by examining how incentives influence plantation development, through a series of country case studies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Although direct comparisons between countries are problematic, a common theme emerges: clear, consistent and stable policies and a favourable investment climate are essential ingredients to promote the development of forest plantations by both small- and large-scale producers. These factors show to be more important than the provision of direct incentives such as free seedlings or tax deductions. The overall picture that emerges is sufficiently coherent to outline a set of guiding principles that should help policy makers and forest managers to better understand the key issues, challenges and opportunities concerning private investment in forest plantation development.

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