|Challenges and opportunities: policy options for the forestry sector in the Asia-Pacific region. (1997)|
|POLICY CHOICES - THE FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR FORESTS|
Major international economic disruptions such as an economic recession with high unemployment, major trade struggles between powerful regional economic groupings, or the collapse of international tourism for some unanticipated reason, (e.g. aircraft high-jackings) could lead some countries to retreat from conservation measures, and pursue any ways to cut costs and increase commercial competitiveness. The outcomes of this scenario are basically the opposite to B) above:
· greater conversion of remaining natural forests to agriculture or timber estates; and
· continued failure to protect priority conservation areas against the onslaught of people (both the needy and the greedy) looking for lands to cultivate or resources to exploit.
There is ample evidence that small adjustments to forest industry/concession/trade policies is unlikely to significantly reduce the extent of forest clearance or enhance forest conservation significantly or to improve the livelihoods of poor, forest-dependent people. Industry subsidies, or exemptions from environmental protection measures, may affect localized environmental impacts, endanger more biodiversity slightly, generate some more incomes and employment for local workers, and forego more of the potential revenues, while increasing foreign exchange earnings for the government.