Sustainability of the Supply of Timber and Non-timber Forest Products

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


Although forest sustainability is as much about biodiversity and the environment as it is about forest products, the latter are both the largest source of forest-based revenue and employment in many countries and a major driver of deforestation and forest degradation. Analysis of the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment data suggest that illegal and unrecorded production of industrial roundwood accounts for an additional 30% of the recorded production. Most of the unrecorded production supplies undemanding domestic markets, while certified recorded production is largely exported. 85 countries appear to be seriously overcutting their forests and overall forests globally appear to be at a tipping point with the annual harvest now only just balanced by annual growth. The existence of so much illegally harvested timber contributes to the low market value of logs. Certification and Voluntary Partnership Agreements need to apply to all forest in a country and not just those units that are engaged in exports, because of leakage of unsustainable harvesting from certified forests to other forest areas. The importance and value of non-timber forest products such as fuelwood, bamboo, rattan and others is discussed.


Supply Demand Balance Market value Unsustainable harvest Leakage 


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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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