Previous PageTable Of Contents


FAO's biennial report on the state of the world's forests

The fourth edition of the State of the World's Forests, FAO's biennial report providing reliable and up-to-date information on the status of forests and developments in the forest sector worldwide, has been released in three languages - English, French and Spanish. Arabic and Chinese editions will follow shortly.

Subjects covered in the report include forest cover and condition; management, conservation and sustainable development of forest resources; forest goods and services; the institutional framework for forestry; and international dialogue. Six comprehensive annex tables give basic country information (land area, population, economic indicators) and the latest data by country on forest cover; change in forest cover; forest management; production, trade and consumption of forest products; and participation in international conventions and agreements.

The report presents the newly released results of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000. According to these estimates, the global forest area is now 3 870 million hectares, of which almost 95 percent is natural forest and 5 percent forest plantations. Yet while forest area in developed countries is increasing slightly overall, deforestation continues in developing countries. The estimated net annual change in forest area worldwide between 1990 and 2000 was -9.4 million ha, representing the difference between the estimated annual rate of deforestation of 14.6 million ha and the estimated annual rate of forest area increase of 5.2 million ha.

The State of the World's Forests 2001 devotes sections to the following issues currently in the global spotlight:

Other topics highlighted in the volume include forest damage recently caused by severe wildfires worldwide and by windstorms in Europe in December 1999; commercial harvesting of bushmeat, a threat to forest-based wildlife; a comparison of community-based forest management approaches in South Asia and Africa; the emerging debate on the use of genetically modified organisms in forestry; progress and constraints in implementing national forest programmes; effects of globalization and decentralization; recent regional and ecoregional intergovernmental initiatives related to forests; the establishment of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF); and progress in implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification.

The State of the World's Forests 2001 will be of interest to policy-makers, foresters, academics and anyone interested in current, policy-relevant information on the world's forests.

Concessions and contracts in forest management

In managing public forests, governments use various types of agreements, permits or concessions to establish the rights and responsibilities of both the forest user and the government. These contracts can be with private businesses, communities, individuals or public enterprises. Important social, environmental and economic goals can be advanced through the judicious use of well-crafted concessions. Poorly prepared concessions can have the opposite effect and, at times, yield regrettable results.

This report reviews the diverse types of concessions used in the management of public forests. It analyses concessions for forest utilization and the acquisition of forestry-based goods and services. The report underscores the importance of effective institutional and legal frameworks and gives special attention to establishing transparency in the awarding and administration of contracts in public forests. It clarifies the link between policies to advance sustainable forest management and the effective administration of concessions so as to contribute to transparency and accountability in the forest sector.

The report may be of special interest to those concerned with designing and administering forest utilization or procurement contracts. Communities, businesses and individuals can draw from it new insights into how the contracting mechanism can be used to broaden the benefits of forest management.

Assessing NWFP resources

The last decade has witnessed a steep increase in interest and activities concerning non-wood forest products (NWFPs). Although there is often considerable indigenous knowledge regarding specific NWFPs, formal resource assessment of NWFPs, especially in tropical countries, is relatively new and has received little attention to date.

The purpose of this publication is twofold: to raise awareness on the importance of accurate and precise resource assessments and to provide guidance on the design and selection of appropriate methods for resource quantification in different situations and for different NWFPs. This reference text overviews and analyses biometric issues in the design of NWFP inventories such as the relevance and biometric adequacy of particular approaches.

The book builds mostly on experiences in forest ecosystems in tropical countries; however, it is relevant for all regions and all NWFPs. The prospective audience of this publication includes practitioners, researchers, natural resource managers and all development workers with an interest in sustainable forest utilization. The CD-ROM that accompanies the book includes other literature resources on NWFP assessement and the entire FAO NWFP Web site off-line.

Are deforestation rates linked to progress in agricultural technology?

Do improvements in agricultural technology protect or endanger tropical forests? This book examines this controversial issue. Economic theory is used to organize the main arguments into a consistent framework and derive hypotheses that can be empirically tested. Case studies explore the role of several factors that influence the link between technological progress in agriculture and rate of deforestation: type of technology, farmer characteristics, output markets (e.g. farmers' access to markets, size and demand elasticity of markets), labour market (wage rates, ease of hiring, etc.), credit markets, property regimes and agro-ecological conditions.

The book is organized by major global regions - developed countries, Latin America, Africa and Asia - and provides multiple case studies from each of these. It avoids entering into a general discussion of the causes of deforestation or of agricultural innovation in poor countries. Instead, it remains focused on the link between technology and deforestation.

Those involved with international aid agencies, agricultural research and technology transfer programmes, conservation projects and forestry organizations will find the book of interest.

Forest logistics

Logistics is the part of a supply-chain process comprising the planning, implementation and control of the effective and efficient flow and storage of raw materials, inventory, finished goods and related information from the source to the point of utilization in order to meet customers' requirements. This process includes internal, external, inbound and outbound movements as well as the return of materials for environmental purposes. In the forest sector, logistics is applied in all aspects from wood harvesting and processing to packaging and selling.

The Timber Logistics Club and the University of Helsinki, Finland, in coordination with the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO), organized the first World Symposium on Logistics in the Forest Sector. The symposium, held in Helsinki, Finland, from 15 to 16 May 2000, provided an opportunity for experts and leading researchers in logistics from around the world to meet and inform each other on the latest developments in the forest sector.

Logistics in the forest sector is a compilation of the research papers presented at the symposium. Topics examined include maritime and other distribution methods, tools in forest logistics, current knowledge and future considerations, as well as logistics in the paper industries, wood product industries, wood procurement, and timber logging. The papers provide background information on basic theory and state-of-the-art technology and also identify knowledge gaps and needs in forest logistics research. The introductory chapter provides an overview of contemporary logistic research in the forest sector and summarizes the major themes of the symposium.

A world shifting towards sustainable forest management

Today there are clear signs of a transition from decreasing to increasing forest area in the North; yet deforestation and degradation continue in the South. This book examines the various stages in the reversal of deforestation around the world, and examines the potential for a global transition to sustainable forest management.

The book presents research findings from the project "The Forests in the South and North - Transition from Deforestation to Sustainable Forest Policies in Redressing Global Warming", coordinated by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University. Ten chapters by 14 authors give perspectives on transitions from deforestation towards sustainable forest management, with examples from five continents. The first part of the book provides a global overview of deforestation and potential policy instruments for deforestation control. Part II discusses the dynamics and progress of transitions from deforestation to sustainable forest management and offers evidence for the trend from China and the United States. Part III analyses underlying causes of deforestation; it examines the use of models in predicting deforestation trends and evaluates the demographic and ecological factors used in such models.

The publication is intended for a wide range of readers in national and international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations, businesses and the media concerned with forest management and policy development.

Previous PageTop Of Page