This working paper was carried out under the UK/FAO Trust Fund Project Timber Production from Hardwood Plantations in the Tropics and Sub-tropics (GCP/INT/628/UK). The project was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. Information gained from the various case studies and technical studies has been extensively used. Data from the review of hardwood plantation areas was, for example, used in FAOs Global Fibre Supply Model (FAO 1998), the Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Study (FAO 1998), State of the Worlds Forests (SOFO) 1997 (FAO 1997), 1999 (FAO 1999), and 2001 (FAO 2001), as well as in a number of other papers and studies. The UK/FAO project, further, formed the basis for a review of recent developments in hardwood plantations in the tropics, one of the studies on trends in plantations for the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FAO 2001).