chapter  4
23 Pages

Unsustainable timber harvesting, deforestation and the role of certification

At the same time, demand for timber products is rapidly increasing, essentially in the developing world. FAO projections mention an annual worldwide consumption increase of 1.5 percent for sawnwood, 3.3 percent for wood-based panels, and 3 percent for paper for the 2005-20 period (FAO 2009). A natural question is then whether forest harvesting is

sustainable worldwide. Sustainable forest harvesting should not be related to deforestation, which is defined as a radical removal of vegetation, to less than 10 percent crown cover. This definition refers to a change in the land use and long-term removal of tree cover (Angelsen and Kaimowitz 1999). If it is sustainable, harvested timber should either come from secondary forest plantations, or selected harvest in natural forests concessions. In both cases, the harvested area should be replanted or left to recover. In any case, it should not be related to a change in the land use.