Planted forests, such as this teak forest in Togo, can help bridge the timber supply gap to meet the needs of a growing global population, while bringing other benefits. ITTO assists member countries in creating an enabling environment for appropriately planned planted forests. Photo: G. Dieterle/ITTO
Planted forests can fulfill many roles, including the production of timber and non-timber forest products, the protection of soils and water catchments, and the sequestration of carbon. Planted forests in the tropics can also generate rural employment, produce valuable products and environmental services, assist in the restoration of degraded lands, and protect against desertification.
The expansion of planted forests in the tropics can help reduce pressure on natural tropical forests—although they are not a substitute for natural forests. Planted forests are set to become increasingly important for closing the timber supply gap as the global population grows and demand for wood products escalates.
ITTO assists its member countries to create an enabling environment for the appropriate expansion of planted forests by, for example, helping:
- develop or improve forest policies and laws
- land-use planning
- build technical capacity
- promote research and development
- organize smallholder forest-growers
- provide market information on tropical timbers
- develop guidelines for the establishment and management of planted forests.