Costs and benefits of a more sustainable production of tropical timber

Arets, E.J.M.M.; Veeneklaas, F.R.


This study is part of the TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) study of trade chains, and assessed the impact of harvesting tropical timber on ecosystem services and the costs and benefits of more sustainable production. The costs of implementation and the benefits from increased ecosystem services levels were assessed for two alternatives to conventional selective logging (CL), sustainable forest management (SFM) and forest plantation. The SFM alternative involves certified forest management implementing reduced impact logging techniques. The forest plantation alternative involves high-yield plantations that have a larger impact on ecosystem services than CL on the actual plantation area, but require only an equivalent of 11-42% of the CL area due to the higher yields per unit of area, and thus allows a larger area of primary forest to be conserved. The majority of Dutch imports of tropical timbers are from South America and South East Asia. We conducted separate analyses for South America and South East Asia to account for regional differences in terms of logging practices, timber yields and the extent and value of ecosystem services