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Large acquisition of rights on forest lands for tropical timber concessions and commercial wood plantations

Molnar A., Barney K., DeVito M., Karsenty A., Elson D., Benavides M., Tipula P., Soria C., Shearman P., France M.. 2011. Rome : ILC, 5 p.. (Policy Brief / ILC, March 2011).

The recent attention given to the growing large-scale acquisition or leasing of public and private lands by commercial investors fails to pay attention to the extensive practice of and current trends in the leasing of industrial-scale forest concessions in forest lands claimed by the state. There are important lessons to be learned from assessment of these concessions, as well as important linkages between these and the acquisition or leasing of lands for commercial agriculture, wood, and energy plantations. 1. Allocations of forest land to industrial-scale timber concessions and plantations are relatively stable or declining, but are still orders of magnitude larger in the most forested developing countries than community ownership or administration of forest lands. 2. Despite an increase in independent certification and country reforms, there is a gap between mandated social and environmental standards and current practice. Many concession areas planned for long-term sustainable logging rotations continue to be converted or reassigned for commercial plantations as degraded lands. 3. While negative impacts on local tenure, livelihoods, and income are greater in areas acquired for non-forestry use, developing countries continue to fail to support community and smallholder forest management and enterprises that generate more jobs and a much wider range of benefits to local and regional economies, along with conservation values. 4. Policy-makers require a better understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and poverty impacts of large- and small-scale forest land use options. They must support those forest land policies that respect tenure and rights, and comply with desired minimum standards, rather than substituting one form of unsustainable forest land use for another.

Mots-clés : plantation forestière; forêt tropicale; utilisation des terres; cameroun; congo; république démocratique du congo; cambodge; gabon; malaisie; pérou; indonésie; concession

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