Conserving Tropical Forests: Reforming the Tropical Forest Products Trade towards Sustainable Consumption and Production

In Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Asia-Pacific Region: Effective Responses in a Resource Constrained World
Chapter: Vol III, 2010

Consumption of agricultural and forest products is one of many factors driving global deforestation, one of the major environmental problems of our time. Consumption patterns are associated with the loss of natural forests in the tropics. This chapter explores the relationships between consumption and demand, production, and policy options for SCP and conserving tropic forests.

• Sustainable consumption and production is defined in the context of forest products.

• Voluntary and regulatory actions in consumer economies can support producer countries in their sustainable forest management; these include decisions by end consumers in addition to a policy mix.

• Actions by consumer economies should be coordinated with efforts to assist forest managers in the tropics to improve forest management practices and the security of supply chains to increase supplies of verified legal and certified sustainable timber.

• Unilateral action by some consumer countries to promote the consumption of sustainable wood could result in the movement of unsustainable wood supplies to countries that have not taken action. Research is now required to identify options for promoting sustainable consumption in the “new” wood consumer economies of the Asia-Pacific region.