Report: Tropical timber trade boosts sustainable management
Governments will today be called on to help fund tropical forested countries design and implement sustainable forest management plans, as a major new report highlights that despite increased global efforts, less than 10 per cent of land which countries plan to maintain as tropical forest is being managed sustainably.
The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) will today release what is being hailed as the largest and most comprehensive assessment of forest cover and management in the 33 countries that control more than 90 per cent of the tropical timber trade.
Speaking to BusinessGreen, professor Duncan Poore, one of the report's authors, said the study presents a mixed bag of results, showing an increased understanding among governments of the need for forest management, but also highlighting the urgent need for further action.
The study found that between 2005 and 2010, the area of natural forest under management plans in the 33 ITTO producer countries increased by 69 million hectares to 183 million hectares.
ITTO's 2010 research also received more responses than in 2005, with 32 of 33 governments filing reports last year, compared with 21 of 33 in 2005.
The report said that countries that made notable progress towards more sustainable forest management in the past five years include Brazil, Gabon, Guyana, Malaysia and Peru. However, it also noted that countries affected by war, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, had understandably failed to boost sustainable management of forests.
The report also notes that despite improvements in reporting, less than 10 per cent of the total tropical forest resource that countries plan to maintain as forest is being managed sustainably.
The report urges aid organisations to help fund ITTO producer countries to undertake detailed inventories of their PFE, particularly to help ensure the success of REDD+ schemes by providing reference-level data on forest extent and quality.
The study comes just days after a separate report from the UN Environment Programme, which concluded that an investment of $40bn a year could serve to halve global deforestation rates.