Rethinking Forest Resource Use Contracts in Latin America

Jun 1999
This study challenges the current design of forest resource use contracts in Latin America. Radical rethinking of forest resource contracts is imperative, due to the constraints that now face the successful achievement of forest policy objectives of economic development and conservation of forest resources. The constraints identified in this study include: 1) financial incentives that favor selective logging rather than management in tropical forests; 2) lack of a technical basis for silviculture in neo-tropical forests; 3) governments that lack the administrative capacity and political will to impose management; 4) cultural and social norms that fail to recognize local users of forest resources. This study is intended to serve as a turning point in forest concession policy and provide useful guidelines for policy analysts, non-governmental organizations, and multilateral lending institutions interested in facilitating this process. A comprehensive rethinking of forest resource contracts will greatly benefit all those relying on the economic development and conservation of forests in Latin America.