Selective Logging Reported to have Benign Impacts

2012 Rain Forest Rescue Report

Manuel R. Guariguata, principal scientist for the Center for International Forestry Research, reported in the July issue of Forestry Source (Society of American Foresters) that "not all is lost" when selective logging is carefully used in the world’s tropical forests. He cited two meta-analyses of published research that offer fresh evidence to back the claim. Meta-analyses are statistical tools to detect trends among a disparate set of studies. Despite acknowledged short comings of the methodology, Guariguata stated, "Both articles provide compelling evidence that selectively logged tropical forests across the globe are critical for conserving the full spectrum of biodiversity - from beetles to orangutans."

Guariguata goes on to indicate that perhaps a larger concern is that income from sustainable timber harvest alone is not enough to fend off other market forces such as agro-industrial expansion. Instead of lumber production alone, there needs to be a balance of other income generators such as those illustrated elsewhere in this website. Guariguata also suggests techniques need to be implemented such as financial compensation for carbon sequestration, increased financial benefits for complying with standards leading to forest certification, and clamping down on illegally-obtained lumber to prevent it from having access to international markets.

Picture of members of an ejido, or communally-owned territory, at a training course
Members of an ejido, or communally-owned territory, at a training course on how to log selectively and produce lumber in ways that protect the biodiversity of the rain forest