The Value of Timber and Non-timber Forest Products

  • Alastair Fraser
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


In this chapter, the disparity in value between the marketable values of forests and the main alternative land-uses is discussed. This results from the low value of logs and, especially in the tropics the low proportion of commercially usable log volume. Thus the returns on investing in sustainable forest management and the establishment of plantations are low compared with alternatives. If land developers had to pay for all the carbon in forest that they wished to clear it would raise the opportunity cost substantially and give a strong incentive to minimise the area cleared and focus on making the alternative land-use as efficient as possible. The low value of logs especially those harvested illegally is a disincentive to invest in modern efficient wood processing resulting in very high levels of waste. The area of plantations needs to be greatly expanded, but finding suitable land will be difficult, and the plantations will need to be made more environmentally acceptable by incorporating multi-purpose species.


Opportunity cost Timber values Carbon price Wastage Plantations 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alastair Fraser
    • 1
  1. 1.Consultant in Forest Policy and EconomicsPerthshireUK

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