Considering background condition effects in tailoring tropical forest management systems for sustainability

  • Hammond D
  • Zagt R
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Systems devised for managing tropical forests sustainably have yet
to prove successful. In many instances, they have fallen short of
initial prospects, but the reasons for these shortfalls are often
not apparent. Here, we explore factors that can shape the likelihood
of success, collectively referred to as background conditions, which
are not always adequately considered prior to selecting a suitable
management system. We examine the ability of one background condition,
geologic terrane, to explain crude spatial variation in a number
of trailing indicators of varying forest land use. Forest areas on
Precambrian and Phanerozoic terranes show significant differences
in production of fossil hydrocarbons, gold, and tropical roundwood,
among other indicators, even after considering regional effects.
Background conditions are considered to be factors capable of quantifying
spatial variation in the likelihood of achieving management success
given predefined benchmarks of sustainability. A number of avenues
for further exploring and discriminating spatial variation of background
conditions are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Climate
  • Enabling conditions
  • Geological terrane
  • Sustainable development
  • Tropical forest management

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  • David S. Hammond

  • Roderick J. Zagt

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