Tropical Forest Update

How deep does your cash flow?

Cover image

Photo: G. Wetterberg

Economic viability is one of the three basic tenets of sustainable forest management (SFM). SFM might be perfectly feasible technically, but it will still fail if the enterprises that are supposed to be implementing it struggle to make ends meet.

One big problem is the availability of finance. Banks are reluctant to lend to timber operators, particularly small ones. The bottom line is that small businesses stay small, with the ever-present possibility of shrinking away to nothing. Larger enterprises might be more resilient, but they might also find best forest practice elusive if they continually have to pay high rates for their capital. Who is going to invest in natural tropical forest management? Articles in this edition of the TFU explore this question.


  • Putting up the money

    Photo: J. Mentore, Farfan &
    Mendes Ltd

    ITTO and partners have initiated a round of forums aimed at encouraging new investments in tropical forest enterprises engaged in sustainable forest management

  • Attracting institutional investors

    Pension funds, endowments and foundations have trillions of dollars to invest. Can they be convinced to direct such investments towards tropical forests?

    By Peter Vind Larsen

  • Mexico's mission

    Photo courtesy Mexican Forestry

    Attention to markets and public policies is crucial to the promotion of sustainable forest management in the country's tropical forests

    By Markku Simula, Gilberto Siqueira, Victor Sosa Cedillo & Timothy Synnott

  • Forest certified in Congo

    Photo: Edward Parker/
    Images Everything

    ITTO has assisted a large timber concession in its successful bid for FSC certification

    By Björn Roberts

  • ITTO's recently funded projects

    The projects summarized here were financed at the fortieth session of the International Tropical Timber Council, which was held in May/June 2006

  • Palms deserve a big hand

    Photo: Haroldo Castro/

    An ITTO project proposes mechanisms for the sustainable utilization of palm trees in a conservation area in Bolivia and Peru

    By Lucas Benites & Clea Paz

  • Out on a limb

    The nature of investment in natural tropical forests is changing

    By Adrian Whiteman

  • On the conference circuit

    Reports on the 15th Session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, the ASEAN-ITTO Regional Workshop on Perspectives of Clean Development Mechanism Forestry Projects in Asia and the Pacific, and the 40th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council

  • Courses

    Short training courses for professionals in forestry and related disciplines

  • Meetings

    A comprehensive listing of coming conferences relevant to sustainable tropical forest management

Full edition

The ITTO Tropical Forest Update is published quarterly in English, French and Spanish.
The French and Spanish editions are usually posted about one month after the English.

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