|Challenges and opportunities: policy options for the forestry sector in the Asia-Pacific region. (1997)|
|POLICY CHOICES - THE FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR FORESTS|
The outcomes of increasing affluence with greater environmental consciousness in Asian societies for tropical forest conservation are likely to be revealed in many ways:
· Much more rapid adoption of (even more radical) low-impact logging techniques in production forests, e.g. greater use of helicopter or balloon logging. Unless very strict environmental protection standards can be attained, all logging in natural forests may even be banned;
· Simultaneously, forest industries would move to a plantation basis, but such plantations would be different from the current large-scale exotic monocultures, that is mixtures and/or mosaics of smaller patches of plantation forests interspersed with more natural landscapes and agriculture; more of the industrial timber supply might come from farm-forests. Whether large or small-scale, plantation forestry will by practised mainly by the private sector and in those countries or districts where there is a clear commercial competitive advantage (whether because of the relatively low costs of highly suitable lands, cheap and easy access to major markets or the availability of suitably skilled labour with no other more attractive employment options than in the forestry sector).
· More National Parks and Protected conservation areas, and much better protection of all such areas (both existing and new) in the field; but in addition much higher conservation standards would be expected outside of formal P.A.s, in the areas between them;
· Such protection is more likely to be with local peoples assistance, rather than imposed upon them, at their expense, i.e. there would be even more convergence of the conservation and the social-human development objectives.
· International pressures and support for conservation in the region would bolster internal demands for enhanced conservation of forests, and may provide, direct and indirect commercial support through, for example: certification and eco-labelling; eco-tourism; compensatory mechanisms under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on Climate Change and other international treaties; conditional debt relief or debt-for-nature swaps.