The Tropical Timber Trade and Sustainable Development

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Science  19 Jun 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5064, pp. 1651-1655
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5064.1651


The tropical timber trade appears to have promoted neither sustained forest management nor sustained forest-based industrialization. The boom-and-bust export pattern is often blamed on demand by developed countries, high import barriers, and low international wood prices. In fact, it is rooted in tropical countries' own policies related to timber concessions and wood-processing industries. These policies suppress timber scarcity signals and must be revised if the trade is to promote sustained economic growth. Even if this is done, the trade may not promote sustained-yield forestry in individual countries.