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.