Tropical Forest Update

Paying our dues

People are accustomed to benefiting from tropical forest environmental services for free or at minimal cost. We use the clean water tropical forests deliver, take for granted their function in absorbing and storing carbon, and exploit their biodiversity in agriculture, the pharmaceuticals industry and forestry.
The time has come, however, for the world to start paying for these environmental services-or face the consequences of losing them. An underlying cause of tropical forest loss is that agriculture out-competes forest as a land use, and, as a result, tropical forests continue to be cleared or degraded. On the other hand, demand for tropical forest environmental services is increasing: expanding cities need more drinkable water, biodiversity is increasingly seen as an essential resource for ecotourism, science and agriculture, and climate change due to rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases looms as a global calamity, which can partly be mitigated by maintaining healthy tropical forests.

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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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Latest editions

Issue 31 No. 2

Polishing tropical timber’s green credentials

Wood is part of the answer to global challenges. It stores carbon and is energy-efficient and aesthetically ple...

Issue 31 No. 1

ITTO’s next five years

Sustainable tropical forest use can help restore the planet’s environmental balance while enabling pe...

Issue 30 No. 3/4

Council appoints new Executive Director

In this edition of the TFU we report on the outcomes of the most recent session of the International Tropical Timber C...

Issue 30 No. 2

Looking for the money tree

Sustainable forestry has always struggled to remunerate forest owners and managers as liberally as various forms ...

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Content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITTO. ITTO holds the copyright to all photos unless otherwise stated. Articles may be reprinted without charge providing the Tropical Forest Update and author are credited and the editor notified (tfu@itto.int).