Sustainable management of SDF is innovative and differs from both plantation forestry on the one hand and natural primary tropical forest management on the other. Most forestry projects today either consist of the protection, conservation and management of primary forests or of conventional even-aged forest management. To reconcile ecological and economic objectives, the approach should be based on a set of alternative principles including the avoidance of clear-cutting, emphasis on structural diversity, small scale variability, the deployment of mixed local species with natural regeneration and the avoidance of intensive site preparation.
These principles ensure the balance between ecological concerns and importance of local biodiversity, economic interest to optimise monetary value-creation and long-term social interest to have functioning forest eco-systems.
(1) Our model bridges a financial gap for landowners, allowing them to earn a living whilst nurturing the forest to profitability. Once achieved, this land use is more profitable than any other (soy bean cultivation, cattle ranching, etc.) and, critically, can continue indefinitely, preserve biodiversity and mitigate climate change.