The review conducted in this study, together with the numerous citations and emphasis in the literature, confirm the utility of spatial equilibrium methodologies to adequately capture the complexity of factors and interactions driving the overall forestry sector - including that of the Asia Pacific Region. Models are abstractions, and necessarily limited in terms of detail, but when properly structured (and used) can afford insights much more comprehensively than discrete and partial analysis of component topics or issues.
Two major spatial equilibrium models were utilized in the recently completed studies undertaken by ITTO and the World Bank covering large portions of the Asia Pacific Region as defined here. It is Recommended that the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission include the further development and specification of an appropriate spatial equilibrium analysis into the proposed Forest Sector Outlook Study. Collaboration or synthesis of the strengths of existing models, or modification of an existing model if feasible, to more fully capture the diverse aspects of the Asia Pacific Region should be pursued in lieu of a new model development. Advantages and disadvantages of the existing models that have been applied to the Region should be explored by a select team of analysts as a precursor to selecting a specific approach. Refinement of the model approach to adequately incorporate country level analysis, utilization of an improved database, the reflection of non-wood forest products and fuelwood, and improved measures of elasticity's as envisioned in other recommendations should be factors included in the assessment of model alternatives.
It is further Recommended that the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, through an appropriate Technical Committee, define a reasonable range of scenarios for analysis bracketing the likely range of the parameters of the model as based on preliminary findings of other components or modules of the Outlook Study.
Ideally, a modified model should be available for experimentation and further ongoing analysis of the Asia Pacific Region. However, the necessity of technical expertise, continual database updating, and other operational considerations will likely limit the practical development of a "desktop" model that can be easily applied. It is therefore Recommended that the feasibility of a jointly supported ongoing capability be established under proper authority for the ongoing analysis of new trends and information, incorporation of updated country databases, and the exploration of alternative scenarios. Such a capability can perhaps be accomplished by contract rather than establishment of a separate or new analytical unit.