Report of the First Phase Strategic Research
Forest Conservation Project

During its first phase of research the IGES Forest Conservation Project attempted to identify principles and measures for sustainable forest management (SFM) based on experiences in the Asia-Pacific region. Extensive studies were carried out within a framework of four interrelated sub-teams by in-house research staff, visiting researchers and many outside collaborators. Based on diverse research activities, including four international workshops and three local policy dialogues, the Project reached many useful conclusions related to each sub-team. The structural analysis confirmed that the root causes of forest destruction include “the insufficient base of local participation and community rights” and “impact of market forces under an incomplete market system,” as well as the “forest development paradigm with an industrial emphasis,” and “economic/political instability.” The participatory forest management policy sub-team categorized existing participatory forest management styles into several types based on their main actors, legal status of forest land and activities. The team made policy recommendations based on their examination of internal and external constraints on participation. The Timber Trade policy sub-team conducted time-series economic analyses of the timber trade in the Asian market, and collected data for space equivalent analysis of the timber trade. The Legal/Administrative sub-team focused on international legal measures related to SFM, international processes for policy dialogue on forest issues, and domestic legal/administrative measures relating to participatory forest management. The sub-team elaborated the principles and measures for sustainable forest management with special reference to local participation in SFM, in cooperation with other sub-teams. With respect to project implementation the Project has successfully constructed valuable networks with researchers, NGOs, local communities, and government officials.