Natural Forest Management
Approaches for the Improvement of the Economic Sustainability of Natural Forest Management in the Tropics
The conservation of tropical forests is of international concern, to which also Germany is committed. To reduce the pace of tropical forest destruction we analyse approaches for a sustainable utilization of remaining natural forests and their rehabilitation – among other countries - in Vietnam, Nepal and Suriname.
Background and Objective
International rule systems and German political commitments in the forest sector form the background of our activities. In details these are
- The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF),
- the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests (NLBI),
- the four global objectives for forest conservation and the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs),
- Results of the CBD and objectives for the climate protection of the IPCC (REDD, SFM) under the Kyoto Protocol
These commitments require advice for policy makers. We contribute with research results on a scientific basis.
We develop approaches for the optimization of forest management practices and models for different land-use options with links to market economics. Furthermore we integrate climate protection goals in our approach which contain aspects of income and food security as well as macroeconomics.
Data and Methods
We analyse which effects subsistence, communal and concessional utilization of forests have. We identify weak points which challenge for improvement and develop solutions for an improved sustainable forest management practice of natural forests. We apply empiric methods of interviews and surveys as well as forest inventories and stand analyses.
We could demonstrate that it is economically advantageous for a concessionaire to apply low impact harvest methods in tropical lowland forests. Prerequisite is a careful forest inventory with determination of tree coordinates. On this basis optimized skid roads can be planned. We detected a loss of value when no grading of the harvested timber is applied before it is sold. Furthermore we identified a great potential for adding value in the processing chain of wood as approx. 50 % of the processed material is wasted.
When analysing communal forestry we identified positive impacts on forests. Communal-made regulations contribute to the conservation of forests and alleviate the consequences of previous forest degradation. Private forest home-gardens can bridge gaps when scarcity in timber supply occurs. The subsistence utilization of forests plays an important role for local populations with low income possibilities in remote areas. Nevertheless due to a missing market access the contribution to the household income from the trade of timber products is low.
The overall results of the project can be found in a comprehensive publication: Michael Köhl, Thomas Schneider, Prem Neupane, Jutta Lax, Jutta Poker (2014): Approaches for the Improvement of the Economic Sustainability of Natural Forest Management in the Tropics - including REDD+ Mechanism. Published by Institute for World Forestry/Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (Editors). Berlin: Rhombos. 352 S.
Further results: Publications, Policy Brief, Ph.D. Theses, M.Sc. and B.Sc. Theses
The project was jointly organized by the University of Hamburg and the former Thünen Institute for World Forestry (Head: Prof. Dr. Michael Köhl).
Involved external Thünen-Partners
Dupaul Wood Treatment
Forstverwaltung von Madagaskar
Forstverwaltung von Nepal
Forstverwaltung von Nicaragua
Forstverwaltung von Suriname
Forstverwaltung von Vietnam
Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MFSC)
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)
Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (SBB)
Ministry of Environment, Water, Forests and Tourism (MEEFT)
Ministry of Environment and natural Resources (MARENA)
Centre for International Cooperation and Development (CIM)
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
German Agency for INternational Cooperation (GIZ)
4.2008 - 9.2013
List of Publications
Köhl M, Schneider TW, Neupane P, Lax J, Poker J (2014) Approaches for the improvement of the economic sustainability of natural forest management in the tropics – including REDD+ mechanism. Berlin: Rhombos-Verl, 352 p
Lax J (2014) Community forestry - enhanced sustainability through involvement of local stakeholders : Chapter 5.4. In: Approaches for the improvement of the economic sustainability of natural forest management in the tropics – including REDD+ mechanism. Berlin: Rhombos-Verl, pp 130-134
Köthke M (2014) Opportunity costs of natural forest management : Chapter 5.5. In: Approaches for the improvement of the economic sustainability of natural forest management in the tropics – including REDD+ mechanism. Berlin: Rhombos-Verl, pp 135-137
Lax J (2014) Subsistence economy at the forest margin - an indispensable livelihood strategy : Chapter 4.4. In: Approaches for the improvement of the economic sustainability of natural forest management in the tropics – including REDD+ mechanism. Berlin: Rhombos-Verl, pp 92-96
Lax J, Krug J (2013) Livelihood assessment : a participatory tool for natural resource dependent communities. Hamburg: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 22 p, Thünen Working Paper 7, DOI:10.3220/WP_7_2013
Stier A, Lax J, Krug J (2012) Setting up locally appropriate ecological criteria and indicators to evaluate sustainable forest management in Dinh Hoa District (Northern Vietnam). In: Martin-Garcia J, Diez JJ (eds) Sustainable forest management. London: InTech, pp 203-218
Lax J (2010) Economic evaluation of forest products in Dinh Hoa (Northern Vietnam). Hamburg: Univ, 135 p, Hamburg, Univ, Fakultät für Mathematik, Informatik und Naturwissenschaften, Diplomarbeit, 2010