Is forest management really a tool for the conservation of tropical forests ? A forest ecologist's perspective

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Online seminar followed by Q&A – all welcome. NB – all times given in UK time

The monitoring of tropical rainforest dynamics for several decades within permanent plots suggests that the rules of selective logging in tropical rainforests (cutting intensity and duration of rotations) currently set by most forestry legislation cannot ensure a sustainable timber yield on a long term basis. The present conditions, which are supposed to promote sustainable management, are largely questioned by science. It is therefore urgent to think about new management rules and practices and to anticipate new sources of timber because natural forests alone will not be able to supply tomorrow’s timber demand. The very principles of tropical silviculture still in force today as well as the place of natural tropical production forests in a context of climate change must be completely reviewed. Restoration programs are an opportunity to think about a planned forestry transition adapted to this paradigm shift, which is as necessary as it is vital for the future of tropical rainforests.

Plinio Sist is the director of the Research Unit Forests and Societies at Cirad ( and the coordinator of subdivision 1.02.00 Tropical and subtropical silviculture at IUFRO. He is a tropical forest ecologist with more than 25 years experience in South America (Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Costa-Rica) and South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia).