Developing sustainable forest industries
Many emerging countries are keen on developing their forest-based industries to contribute towards developmental goals in their national economy. Some are facing severe over-exploitation of their forest resources, and will have to downsize or restructure their capacities to orientate to new markets. Other nations rebuild their forest industries after a natural disaster or civil conflict, and the forest sector may represent an integral part of a poverty reduction strategy, i.e. restart a productive sector as quickly as possible. In the globally operating forest products trade, some of those economies with low-cost labour and openness to foreign direct investments have become the manufacturing hubs for wood products, but buyers for export markets call more frequently for clear records of product legality and sustainability.
Whatever the case, the emerging countries need technical advice and policy support to realize the benefits of sustainable forest industries in the long term. The following reports highlight some lessons learned in countries where forest industries are in very different phases of their development.