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  • Chief Editor: Philip WardleCo-editors: Libor Jansky, Gerardo Mery, Matti Palo,

    Jussi Uusivuori and Heidi Vanhanen

    World Forests,Society and Environment

    - Executive Summary

    World Forests,Society and Environment

    - Executive Summary

    World Forests,Society and Environment

    - Executive Summary

    ISBN 92-808-8016-0


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  • About the United Nations University (UNU)

    The United Nations University is an organ of the United Nations established by theGeneral Assembly in 1972 to be an international community of scholars engaged inresearch, advanced training and the dissemination of knowledge related to thepressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare. Its activitiesfocus mainly on peace and conflict resolutions, development in a changing world, andscience and technology in relation to human welfare. The University operates aworldwide network of research and post-graduate training centres, with its planningand coordinating headquarters in Tokyo.

    The United Nations University, 2003

    Edited by: Philip Wardle (Chief Editor)Libor JanskyGerardo MeryMatti PaloJussi UusivuoriHeidi Vanhanen

    The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarilyreflect the views of the United Nations University.

    First edition published: August 2003Environment and Sustainable Development ProgrammeThe United Nations University53-70, Jingumae 5-chomeShibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, JapanTel: +81-3-3499-2811Fax: +81-3-3499-2828E-mail: mbox@hq.unu.eduWebsite:

    Designed and printed by: Orange Corp., Tokyo, Japan

    ISBN 92-808-8016-0

  • World Forests, Society andEnvironment

    Executive Summary

    Chief Editor:

    Philip Wardle


    Libor Jansky,

    Gerardo Mery,

    Matti Palo,

    Jussi Uusivuori,

    Heidi Vanhanen

  • World Forests, Society andEnvironmentEdited by Matti Palo and Jussi Uusivuori

    WORLD FORESTS VOLUME I 1999ISBN 0-7923-5594-6 (HB)ISBN 0-7923-5595-4 (PB)ISSN 0785-8388Published by Kluwer Academic Publishers,P. O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

    World Forests fromDeforestation to Transition?Edited by Matti Palo and Heidi Vanhanen

    WORLD FORESTS VOLUME II 2000ISBN 0-7923-6683-2 (HB)ISBN 0-7923-6684-0 (PB)ISSN 0785-8388Published by Kluwer Academic Publishers,P. O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

    World Forests, Marketsand PoliciesEdited by Matti Palo, Jussi Uusivuori and Gerardo Mery

    WORLD FORESTS VOLUME III 2001ISBN 0-7923-7170-4 (HB)ISBN 0-7923-7171-2 (PB)ISSN 0785-8388Published by Kluwer Academic Publishers,P. O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

    (See p. 52 for a listing of the authors of these WFSE publications).

    2 World Forests, Society and Environment - Executive Summary

  • World Forests, Society and Environment - Executive Summary 3

    The last decades of the twentieth century witnessed anincreasing awareness by people and institutions aroundthe world of important issues related to forests andforestry. Tropical deforestation, desertification, decreasingbiodiversity, climate change and the scarcity of fresh waterare issues of recent and ongoing global conflict anddebate. The 1990s saw a rapid globalization of forestpolitics, forest industries, NGOs and consumers of forestproducts and services. A historical turning point wasreached when forestry issues appeared on the globalpolitical agendas of both the United Nations and the G8Summits. The globalization of the forest sector calls forglobal research.

    The World Forests, Society and Environment (WFSE)research project was created as a response to this globalconcern. The project was initiated in May 1996 by threepartners: the Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA), theUnited Nations University/Institute of Advanced Studies(UNU/IAS) and the European Forest Institute (EFI). Later on,UNU Centre, through its Environment and SustainableDevelopment Programme, and five new institutionsengaged in international forest research joined WFSE. Thepartners constitute an important alliance with a missionfor globally relevant research, effective dissemination andhuman capacity building on the interrelationships betweenforests, society and environment in support of sustainabledevelopment and the well-being of people. In its work, theWFSE maintains an independent and non-governmentalpoint of view.

    The project was planned and conducted by ProfessorMatti Palo until 2001. Dr. Jussi Uusivuori also played animportant role in the work of WFSE. Research,coordination and editing were performed at METLA andEFI in Finland by an international team of researchers fromseven countries. The team assembled a collaborativenetwork with 149 scientists from all continents. WFSE hasalso been able to disseminate its research results in Africa,the Americas, Asia and Europe at numerous conferences,workshops, seminars and lectures.

    Kluwer Academic Publishers established for WFSE a"World Forests" series with academics, students and

    experts as target audiences. Policy makers and policyadvisors constitute another important target group whosespecial requirements are being covered by the presentexecutive summary that highlights the research resultsfrom three volumes that were published by WFSE in 1999-2001:World Forests, Society and Environment (edited by

    M. Palo and J. Uusivuori 1999) was Volume I in the"World Forests" series. It contained 40 articles and 19boxes by 70 authors, more than half of whom camefrom non-OECD countries.

    World Forests from Deforestation to Transition?(edited by M. Palo and H. Vanhanen 2000) was VolumeII. It contained articles of 15 authors from 9 countries onfour continents.

    World Forests, Markets and Policies (edited by M.Palo, J. Uusivuori and G. Mery 2001) was Volume III. Itcontained 33 articles and 24 boxes by 98 authors fromfive continents.

    In addition, WFSE in collaboration with EFI hascreated a Forest Products Trade Flow Database. Some ofthe results obtained in this research activity werepresented in the book A Global Study of Regional TradeFlow of Five Groups of Forest Products (B. Michie and S.Kin 1999) published independently by WFSE.

    As partners, we are very satisfied with the scientificproductivity, relevance and quality of the results achievedby the researchers of the METLA/UNU/EFI project. Weappreciate the special collaboration and quality input ofthe international forest research community for thisinitiative. With its renewed, ten-partner structure withinthe International Union of Forestry Research Organizations(IUFRO), we are optimistic that IUFRO-WFSE will continueto make important scientific contributions in this crucialarea.


    Eljas Pohtila, Hans van Ginkel, Risto Pivinen,METLA, Helsinki UNU, Tokyo EFI, Joensuu

  • 4 World Forests, Society and Environment - Executive Summary

    The World Forests, Society and Environment (WFSE)research project leading to the three published volumes inthe "World Forests" series during 1999-2001 was aresponse to the increasing demand for researchinformation concerning the world's forest issues.

    Although the demand regarding many specific issuesrelated to the world's forests is still growing, there issimultaneously an urgent need to present existingscientific results on global issues addressing theinterrelations between forests, societies and environmentsin a more accessible form for scientists, policy makers andpractitioners. This is precisely the main aim of the SpecialProject of the International Union of Forest ResearchOrganizations (IUFRO) on World Forests, Society andEnvironment, IUFRO-WFSE, in 2002-2005.

    To the international scientific community, the projectprovides an innovative forum for critically reviewing andsynthesizing relevant existing knowledge on key issues offorestry and related disciplines. In addition, it provides aunique scientific debate for challenging and testing newideas through a scientific approach. IUFRO-WFSE buildson the worldwide partnership of ten research institutionsand benefits from IUFRO connections in working towardsstrengthening a global collaborative network. The projectis based on high-quality output, objectivity and scientificindependence.

    IUFRO-WFSE aims to achieve the following specific results: to create an active scientific network for critically

    analysing and synthesizing research findings on specificrelevant global forest issues;

    to produce a new book, to be printed and widelydistributed in 2005, mainly addressed towards theacademic community;

    to edit and distribute two executive summaries, onepublished in 2003 (the current one) and one in 2005,for policy makers, practitioners and interestedindividuals; and

    to generate dissemination materials for training andcapacity building purposes.

    The results of IUFRO-WFSE will assist and enhancethe dialogue of policy makers and opinion formers withscientists who deal with key issues in global forests,society and environment, and with people who areinvolved in international cooperation processes.

    World Forests, Society and Environment was anambitious initiative that brought together the research ofnumerous scientists from many countries in the threevolumes published during 1999-2001. IUFRO hasestablished its special project to build on this initiative.We would like to extend our appreciation to the chiefeditor Philip Wardle, who has succeeded in summarizingthe information in an easily accessible manner for a widevariety of readers, and to the co-editors for their valuablecontributions. Our acknowledgement also goes to LiborJansky and the United Nation University for pioneeringthe