Sustainable forest management is an imperative response to continuing deforestation and forest degradation, and the associated decline in forest productivity and supply of ecosystem services. This paper analyses progress towards sustainable forest management globally as well as by climatic domains and national income levels using data from the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020. It also examines progress towards sustainable forest management relate to the presence of enabling factors. The findings reveal global expansion of sustainable forest management supported by the widespread presence of enabling framework as manifested in the slowing rate of forest loss in large deforesting countries, increase in forest area designated for conservation, and the rapid expansion of certified forest area. However, such progress has been uneven, and the rate of forest loss is accelerating in tropical low-income countries. In addition to inadequate forest governance in general, factors contributing to this deterioration include: low coverage of long-term forest management plans; high proportion of forests without designated management objectives; and unclear ownership of forests. To enhance the implementation of sustainable forest management in these priority geographies, this paper proposes conservation through sustainable use, including strengthening the role of well-managed production forests in maintaining forest cover and ecosystem services at the landscape level.
Authors and Publishers