Multiple-use forest management in the humid tropics

26 feb 2014

A report about opportunities and challenges for sustainable forest management

This report look at the reality of multiple-use forest management. It is based on case studies in the Amazon Basin, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia, and a Web-based survey. The result shows that some patterns are global but that there are also regional peculiarities. This review gives new insights into how to improve multiple-use forest management plans and practices on the ground, and how to use the concept to promote stakeholder dialogue on a range of policy, institutional, technical and social issues.

A way of increasing the monetary value

Managing forests for multiple uses is a potential way of increasing the monetary value that communities, managers and owners – who are sometimes the same people – obtain from the forest resource. But knowledge of the techniques for managing the various forest products and services, and the availability of market opportunities for them, can differ greatly, and the capacity to implement multiple-use forest management is often low.

Multiple forest use FAO

Limited cross-sectoral dialogue

Local communities face challenges in adjusting their traditional practices to implement forestry regulations, which are often drafted with little consideration of the multiple goods and services of forests or of local social and ecological issues. In many tropical countries, management approaches that optimize trade-offs among the various forest goods and services have traditionally been neglected, or else are not well known by managers and practitioners. Laws are usually drafted with narrow objectives, and they tend to undermine societal inclusion because of limited cross-sectoral dialogue.

Opportunities of multiple-use forest management

While progress has been made since 1985, multiple-use forest management has not expanded as might have been hoped. This paper identifies opportunities to increase the uptake of multiple-use forest management, and some of the steps that can be taken. Governments have a key role to play in creating enabling environments and by supporting forest managers to realize the benefits of adopting multiple-use management.

The report is the product of a collaborative effort led by FAO and the Center for International Forestry research – FAO FORESTRY PAPER 173.


Picture: Congo forests, FAO


Multiple-use forest management in the humid tropics FAO