Tropical Forest Update

The prospects for plantation teak

Cover image

Photo: A. Compost

Teak has a centuries-old reputation as the king of timbers. It is highly durable, easily worked, attractive, strong and relatively light. It has been used as both a structural and decorative timber in the temples, palaces and houses of the Indian sub-continent for perhaps 2000 years, where its durability has been proved: though popular with priests, princes, carpenters and the common man, termites and fungi tend to shun it.

As short-rotation teak plantations spring up around the tropics, how will this new kind of teak fare in the timber markets of the future?


  • Teak growers unite!

    Photo: H.O. Ma

    Teak is one of the pre-eminent timbers of the tropics, but growers and processors need to work together if that status is to be maintained

    By K. M. Bhat and Hwan Ok Ma

  • Making the grade

    Photo: H.O. Ma

    The challenge for teak-growers is to improve the wood quality of fast-grown trees

    By Andrew Akwasi Oteng-Amoako

  • How communities can cash in on teak

    Community plantation teak initiatives should link with private-sector ventures to increase their access to high-value markets

    By Raymond M. Keogh

  • Teak as social engineer

    Photo: Floresteca

    Floresteca says that its teak operations are performing significant social services in a poor region of Mato Grosso

    By Sylvio de Andrade Coutinho

  • Thinking big about small-scale enterprises

    Photo: H.O. Ma

    Small-scale forest enterprises play a significant role in India’s forestry sector, but their role and full potential is not completely understood

    By Sharmistha Bose and Sushil Saigal

  • Small change from climate-change negotiations?

    Photo: E. Müller

    The latest Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has set the rules for applying the Clean Development Mechanism to forest-related activities

    By Carmenza Robledo

  • Out on a limb

    India could become a dominant player in the global forest products trade—if its timber sector becomes more transparent

    By Maharaj Muthoo

  • Council’s latest grants

    Initiatives in forest conservation, management planning, forest statistics and the development of small-scale forest industries, among others, received funding at the 35th session of the International Tropical Timber Council, held in Yokohama, Japan, in November 2003

  • Fellowship report

    Photo: A. Compost/ITTO

    With the assistance of an ITTO fellowship the author has developed a systematic approach to the assessment and monitoring of forest biological diversity

    By Dr Karan Deo Singh

  • On the conference circuit

    Reports on a workshop on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, a workshop in China on value accounting for tropical forest environmental resources, and the 7th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity

  • Noticeboard

    Toolkit for phased approach to certification, RIL software available, making contact, and more

  • Courses

    Short training courses for professionals in forestry and related disciplines

  • Meetings

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

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