Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox

Tool Details

FAO Model code of forest harvesting practice

Author Dykstra, D.P. & Heinrich, R.
Year of publication 1996
The FAO model code of forest harvesting practice is intended primarily to serve as a reference for FAO member countries considering the adoption or revision of their own codes of forest practice. Its overall purpose is to promote harvesting practices that will improve standards of utilization, reduce environmental impacts, help ensure that forests are sustained for future generations and improve the economic and social contributions of forestry as a component of sustainable development. The manual assumes that it is first necessary to establish which practices are technically and economically feasible. Once this is known, political institutions should be used to introduce policies and legislation, in the context of the country's cultural and sociological framework that will motivate or enforce the adoption of such practices. A second basic assumption is that it is possible to conduct forest harvesting operations in ways that are consistent with the needs of sustainability, and this condition can be met by following good harvesting practices. For such reason, every main chapter describes a different forestry operation (from planning to assessment) focusing on guiding principles and objectives for a good harvesting code of conduct. The planning point of view is emphasized, showing consequences of inadequate decisions and recommending best practices for every operational phase.
Type of Tool
Guidelines, manual, kits for trainers
Scale of Application
Forest Type
All forest types (natural and planted)
Primary Designated Function
Management Responsibility