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The present report has been prepared for the Forestry Policy and Planning Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy as a background document for the proposed Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study "The Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector - Towards 2010". The Terms of Reference for the present study fully recognize the extensive body of existing study reports, regional analyses, country reports, and related studies documenting forestry sector status and trends, including outlook projections for likely future developments. The present study does not seek to duplicate this body of information; rather, the purpose of this study is to review, summarize, and integrate the major themes and directions outlined in the existing literature, to identify major determinants of forestry sector developments, to outline a 'most likely' regional scenario to the year 2010, and to propose additional areas of work required for the proposed Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study.

In undertaking the proposed study, the support provided by the technical officers and staff of the FAO Forestry Department has been critical to the completion of the report. The identification of key analytical studies, the access to the FAO Forest Products Statistics Database and the Forest Resources Information Database, the consultations on critical elements of the study, and guidance and support relative to synthesis of the near-overwhelming amount of descriptive and analytical source information is gratefully acknowledged.

The present study is presented in two volumes. Volume I (Main Report) provides the basic synthesis and information on a Asia-Pacific and Sub-Region basis as set forth in the Introduction. Volume II (Statistical Appendix) provides detailed statistical information at a desegregated Sub-Region and Country level whenever possible. Information compiled by the authors is supplemented by reproduced charts, tables and other forms with full recognition and credit to the original sources. Volume I contains a detailed Bibliography of primary source materials used in this review, together with an extensive listing of Supplemental Sources identified as useful in support of a better understanding of the status and outlook for the forestry sector in the Asia-Pacific Region. While extensive, these listings of reference materials is yet incomplete.

There are also known to exist many additional country studies prepared by individual governments, bilateral assisted national or sub-regional studies, International agency reviews, project formulation documents, internal evaluation reviews, and many academic and scholarly articles and monographs. While it has not been possible to examine and document this extensive information base completely, the ideas and findings reflected in major studies cited here are contributing elements to our present level of understanding.

While every effort has been made to accurately report the themes and findings of prior studies and analyses, and to document primary sources, the interpretation of information by the authors may differ from the original source. Responsibility there for rests with the authors of this report whenever such differences arise. This is particularly important in the formulation of the 'most likely' scenario where the array of outlook projections have been tempered by judgments balancing the differing and often inconsistent methodologies and assumptions used in the source materials.

As reported in this study, there are an almost endless number of 'issues' confronting the forestry sector in the Asia-Pacific region. A matrix format was utilized to screen the general and specific items noted in the literature in order to formulate a comprehensive framework for structuring the presentation and discussion. Judgment was exercised in identifying the major content of the literature reviewed, and the classification of issues is largely judgmental and does not directly reflect the precise or specific terminology used by various researchers and authors. Issues have been necessarily broadened and generalized for the purpose of regional synthesis. Readers are urged and encouraged to consult the source documents for a more complete and detailed understanding of each specific source.

The Asia-Pacific Region is of critical importance to the global forestry sector from both a utilitarian forest products perspective and as a critical component of the world's natural resources and environment. The region is experiencing many significant changes economically and socially, giving rise to increased concern about the stewardship and use of forests. It is hoped that this synthesis will contribute to the formulation and completion of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study in support of the future well-being of those linked to this important sector.

Thomas R. Waggener
Christine Lane

Seattle, Washington
May 30, 1996

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