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There is broad consensus that timber harvesting must be improved to achieve sustainable forest management. Reduced impact logging (RIL) is a key component of better forest management. Its implementation is largely contingent on satisfying economic and institutional concerns.

In tropical forests, RIL has been tested and applied on a small scale for more than a decade. Various timber-producing countries in Asia and the Pacific have recognized its potential for advancing sustainable forest management. Yet many questions remain and the lack of sound and appropriate information continues to impede the widespread application of RIL.

This publication helps fill that critical information gap. It includes a wealth of information that was presented during the International conference on the application of reduced impact logging to advance sustainable forest management, held from 26 February to 1 March 2001, in Kuching, Malaysia. The conference assessed past and ongoing efforts to implement RIL and considered options for future application. This publication reflects an important milestone in the efforts to improve forest management in the region. While acknowledging that considerable challenges lie ahead, it provides reason for cautious optimism concerning the wider application of RIL in the future.

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