The Current Status of Sustainably Managed Forests

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


In this chapter, the current status of sustainably managed forests is discussed and the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment 2015 is analysed in some detail. Only 12.5% of the total forest area is currently certified, much of it temperate plantation forests. While the net loss of forest from 2010 to 2015 was 16 million ha, it was made up of 38.7 million ha loss in 77 countries and 22.7 million ha increase in 71 countries. The analysis shows that forest cover and change in forest cover is strongly correlated with population density and the change in population density in the heavily forested regions of the temperate and tropical parts of the world. The drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are discussed. While expansion of agriculture and economic development are direct drivers, there are major indirect drivers in the form of insecure land property rights, excess of wood processing capacity and demand for forest products over the available sustainable supple, market failure with regard to forest products and failure to treat timber as a renewable resource. However, there is one example of a sustainably managed forest in the tropics.


Certification Deforestation Population density Drivers of deforestation Market failure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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