Tropical forest could satisfy multiple demands for goods and services both for present and future generations. Yet integrated approaches to natural forest management remain elusive across the topics.

Forest management can be defined as "deciding what one wishes to do with a forest, talking into account what one can do with it and deducing what one should do with it" (FAO,1991c)(FN 1). The objectives of management are represented by what one wishes to do, the physical and socio-economic context by what one can do and the presriptions for the conservation and use of the forest by what one should do.

Forest can be manage in many ways and for many purposes. The technique used in each case will depend on the objectives, the type of forest, the available capacities and resources and the local conditions and constraints.


What is sustainable forest?

A sustainable forest is a forest that is carefully managed so that as trees are felled they are replaced with seedlings that eventually grow into mature trees. This is a carefully and skilfully managed system. The forest is a working environment, producing wood products such as wood pulp for the paper or card industry and wood based materials for furniture manufacture and the construction industry. Great care is taken to ensure the safety of wildlife and to preserve the natural environment.

Sustainable Forest Management ( SFM)

Forest burning

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) is the management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development.

Sustainable forest management has to keep the balance between three main pillars : Socio-cultural, Ecological and Economic.

Successfully achieving sustainable forest management will provide integrated benefits to all, ranging from safeguarding local livelihoods to protecting the biodiversity and ecosystems provided by forests, reducing rural poverty and mitigating some of the effects of climate change.


For example, in France, climate, biodiversity, food security, energy, water health, sustainable production and consumption, forests are the core of the priorities defended by France, at national, as well as at international level.

With its significant forest cover in temperate and tropical regions and, its centuries old forestry tradition, France is renowned for it expertise on sustainable forest management.


Malaysia perspectives

Forest logging in hilly areas
Impacts of harvesting on water quality and sendiment
Impacts on other land uses (agriculture)
Upstream and Downstream interaction
Cumulative effects (forest management practices)

International perspectives

There are some Global objectives on forest :

  • Reverse the loss of forest cover
  • Enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits
  • Increase the area of protected forests and other areas of sustainably managed forests
  • Reverse the decline of ODA for SFM and mobilize new and additional resources for the implementation of SFM


  • Continued deforestation, forest degradation and biodiversity losses
  • Weak governance of forest sector
  • High levels of poverty in forested areas
  • Low visibility of forestry in development strategies
  • Inadequate information availability
  • Increasing land use competition and insecure resource tenure by local people'
  • Profitability of forest management


Sustainability in forest management is a dynamic, evolving concept, reflecting changing social values and the evaluation in our scientific understanding of the effects of human activities on the functioning of forest ecosystems.


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