Evolutionary dynamics of selective logging in the tropics: A systematic review of impact studies and their effectiveness in sustainable forest management
Publication date: 15 December 2018
Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 430
Author(s): Bishnu Hari Poudyal, Tek Maraseni, Geoff Cockfield
Selective logging is the dominant timber harvesting practice in natural tropical forests. Considering its scale and its contribution to forest management outcome, efficient management of selective logging is crucial to address challenges associated with timber demand, carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. Ongoing selective logging has been a key reason for forest degradation despite a set of recommended practices such as reduced-impact logging. With the objective of drawing the attention of scholars and policy makers to answer the question why effectiveness of selective logging practice is still an issue, we tracked the trend and pattern of scholarly research related to the impact of selective logging. Using a systematic review of literature, we explored and discussed the possible factors hindering implementation of improved forest harvesting practices and the overall knowledge gaps yet not explored in this field of research. This review found consensus among scholars that implementation of improved forest harvesting is still rare despite the constant efforts made by researchers since the 1970s. Based on the review findings we concluded that concentration of research on specific countries, insufficient coverage of diversified forest dimensions/thematic areas, and higher concerns relating to ecological impacts of forest management are the reasons behind poor adoption of research outcomes of improved logging practices. Likewise, their implementation is further hindered by limited attention to the interests and needs of the forest managers/owners, lack of coordination and collaboration among stakeholders and negligible support to develop stakeholders’ capacity. Our review suggests a broadening of the geographical and thematic focus of the study as well as a consideration of effective engagement and capacity development of the forest managers/owners and stakeholders in selective logging policies and practices.
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