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Breaking the Logjam

Obstacles to forest policy reform in Indonesia and the United States

Examines underlying economic, social, and political forces that drive forest conversion and exploitation and reforms in which local participation, national institutions, donor assistance, and international action can promote effective forest management.

Executive Summary

Tropical forests are vanishing at alarming rates throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and their many contributions to huan welfare are being undermined. Despite increased efforts to stem deforestation, recent findings indicate that the problem is getting worse.

Saving endangered species and ecosystems requires taking steps immediately to protect such forests as the old growth of the U.S. Northwest and the rainforests of Sumatra and Kalimantan. But since jobs and revenues will be lost as a result, government must help communities adapt, ensuring that the benefits and burdens of an unstoppable but potentially wrenching transition are equitably shared.

This report focuses on the underlying economic, social, and political forces that drive forest conversion and exploitation. Arguing that local, state, and international institutions involved with tropical forests need to reevaluate their roles and responsibilities, Breaking the Logjam examines a variety of possible reforms. It suggests ways in which local participation, national institutions, donor assistance, and international action can proote effective forest management.

Unless these structural issues are squarely addressed, neither the United States nor Indonesia can enter the coming century with a healthy and productive forest estate. To make sustainable forestry a reality, both must make significant policy changes, beginning with the reform of policy-making itself.

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