Guidelines for the management of tropical forests 1. The production of wood (FAO forestry paper 135)

Table of Contents

Based on the work of
Ian Armitage

Forest Resources Division
FAO Forestry Department

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 1998

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-104123-7

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© FAO 1998

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Table of Contents




1 The purpose of the guidelines

Intended users
Scope of the Guidelines
There is no universal model for the management of tropical forests

2 An overview of tropical forest management for wood production

A definition of tropical forests
The current status of tropical forests in the world
Rates of deforestation of tropical forests
Forest utilisation

3 Further reading

Principles of sustainable tropical forest management where wood production is the primary objective

1 Background issues concerning sustainable forest management

What is forest management?
A definition of sustainable tropical forest management for wood production
ITTO forest management guidelines
Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management
Natural forest management as a conservation tool

2 A national policy and legal framework

Policy framework
Forest legislation

3 Security of forest tenure and the permanent forest estate

Security of forest tenure
National land use planning and the permanent forest estate

4 Forest management planning

What is a forest management plan and why is it needed?
Sustainability in forest management
Goals and objectives of forest management

5 Permanent definition of forest boundaries
6 Effective forest protection
7 Maintenance of forest ecosystems and site productivity

Biological diversity conservation and forest genetic resources
Maintenance of ecosystem integrity and site productivity
Maintaining the capacity of a forest to regenerate naturally

8 Assessment of forest resources
9 Knowledge of the sustainability of tropical forest ecosystems

The need for a thorough understanding of forest ecology
Continuous forest inventory
Yield determination

10 The choice of an appropriate silvicultural system

The aim of silviculture
Types of silvicultural systems
Harvesting: a silvicultural and a log production operation
The relationship of silviculture to forest management objectives

11 Minimisation of adverse environmental impacts
12 Commercial sustainability and business management

Commercial sustainability
Private sector participation in forest management
Funding of forest operations from revenue

13 Community participation in sustainable forest management
14 Monitoring of managerial performance
15 Further reading

1 Guidelines for defining forest resources

1.1 Resources and inventories

1.1.1 Definition and maintenance of forest boundaries
1.1.2 Mapping
1.1.3 Zoning
1.1.4 Remote sensing imagery
1.1.5 Geographic information systems

1.2 Land area in sustainable forest management

1.2.1 Practical methods for measurement of area from maps

1.3 Forest inventory

1.3.1 Forest resources inventories for sustainable forest management
1.3.2 Types of forest inventories
1.3.3 Inventory objectives
1.3.4 A format for a harvesting and forest management planning inventory
1.3.5 Preharvest inventory (cruising)
1.3.6 Check cruising

1.4 Forest growth and yield

1.4.1 The components of forest growth in tropical forests
1.4.2 Sampling and measurement of forest growth and yield

1.5 Diagnostic sampling

1.5.1 The purpose of diagnostic sampling
1.5.2 Benefits
1.5.3 Diagnostic sampling methodology

1.6 Further reading

2 Guidelines for defining financial, economic, environmental and social information

2.1 Financial considerations

2.1.1 Costs
2.1.2 Work study
2.1.3 Forest revenue

2.2 Economic considerations.

2.2.1 The economic viability of sustainable forest management
2.2.2 Compounding and discounting of costs and benefits
2.2.3 Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis as an aid for forest management
2.2.4 Uncertainty and the use of sensitivity analysis
2.2.5 Use team work for investment analysis
2.2.6 Other Economic Values of Tropical Forests

2.3 Environmental considerations

2.3.1 Environmental issues
2.3.2 Environmental impacts and benefits
2.3.3 Environmental acceptability of forest management proposals

2.4 Social considerations

2.4.1 Background
2.4.2 Involvement of local communities
2.4.3 Social surveys using rural appraisal methods
2.4.4 Guidelines for planning and conducting a rural appraisal
2.4.5 Guidelines for the integration of wood with non-wood forest products production

2.5 Further reading

3 Guidelines for forest management planning

3.1 The forest management planning process

3.1.1 The basic elements of planning
3.1.2 Two time horizons of planning
3.1.3 Legislation for management planning
3.1.4 Balance between production, social and environmental objectives
3.1.5 The participation of all interest groups in planning

3.2 Yield prediction

3.2.1 Types of yield prediction models
The basic steps involved in the construction of a yield prediction model
3.2.2 Examples of yield prediction modelling technology

3.3 Determination of the allowable cut

3.3.1 Classical methods for determination of the allowable cut
3.3.2 Determination of the AAC where regrowth and previously harvested forest occurs

3.4 Yield regulation

3.4.1 Guidelines for yield regulation planning
3.4.2 Yield control

3.5 Forest management planning

3.5.1 Management structure and format
3.5.2 Guidelines for forest management planning

3.6 Harvest planning

3.6.1 Recommended practices for strategic harvest planning
3.6.2 Recommended practices for tactical harvest planning

3.7 Further reading

Guidelines for implementation of forest management operations

1 Implementation of forest management plans
2 Implementation of harvesting operations

2.1 Reading
2.2 Training
2.3 Harvesting operations
2.4 Landing operations
2.5 Log measurement (scaling)
2.6 Transport operations
2.7 Harvesting assessment

3 Implementation of post harvest operations

3.1 Forest protection
3.2 The participation of forest communities in forest protection
3.3 Post-harvest silviculture operations

4 Further reading

Guidelines for monitoring, reporting and review of tropical forest management operations

1 Principles of management control

1.1 Management should be responsive to changing needs
1.2 Approaches towards monitoring and reporting

2 Monitoring, recording and reporting of operational achievements in tropical forest management

2.1 The use of "key" topics for monitoring operational performance
2.2 Responsibility for monitoring
2.3 Monitoring guidelines

3 Reporting

3.1 Responsibility
3.2 Reporting frequency
3.3 Reporting formats
3.4 Maintaining permanent records of achievements

4 Review of forest management activities

4.1 Periodic review of management plan implementation
4.2 Mid-term management review
4.3 Final management review

5 Further reading


Annex 1: Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management

A. Inter-Governmental initiatives for action at regional and national levels following UNCED
B. FAO Fact Sheet: Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management
C. A Summary of forest management unit level indicators

Annex 2: The use of a planimeter and the dot-grid for area measurement from maps
Annex 3: Pilot survey for deriving permanent sample plot numbers for a continuous forest inventory
Annex 4: Some details of empirical procedures for determination of the allowable cut
Annex 5: Examples of text showing how forest management plan prescriptions can be drafted
Annex 6: An example of an annual plan of operations
Annex 7: Relationships between feeder road spacing, feeder road density and skidding distance
Annex 8: Conversion of slopes between degrees, slope percentage and gradients
Annex 9: Costs in tropical forest management
Annex 10: Examples of stumpage appraisals based on export log prices
Annex 11: Economic analysis as a forest management tool
Annex 12 Tables of discount multipliers
Annex 13: Example of an environmental impacts checklist for production forest management
Annex 14: Examples of tables that can be used for monitoring and reporting of some forest operations - adaptation to specific local needs may be required

FAO technical papers