ITTO defines sustainable forest management (sometimes abbreviated to SFM) as:
the process of managing forest to achieve one or more clearly specified objectives of management with regard to the production of a continuous flow of desired forest products and services without undue reduction of its inherent values and future productivity and without undue undesirable effects on the physical and social environment.
What this means is that forest-related activities should not damage the forest to the extent that its capacity to deliver products and services - such as timber, water and biodiversity conservation - is significantly reduced. Forest management should also aim to balance the needs of different forest users so that its benefits and costs are shared equitably.
ITTO's action program is designed to assist tropical member countries to manage and conserve the resource base for tropical timber. It embraces aspects of SFM such as planning, reduced impact logging, community forestry, fire management and biodiversity and transboundary conservation. The Organization also has special themes on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, restoration and planted forests, forest law enforcement and the sustainable use and conservation of mangrove ecosystems.
For a detailed account of ITTO's action agenda, please refer to the current ITTO Action Plan.