Tropical forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services and thereby benefits to local populations, especially in tropical countries with high dependencies on the natural resources, forests often support local livelihoods. For example, they stabilize the climate through the storage of greenhouse gases and are an essential source of biomass and energy, food and employment. Additionally, they serve as natural habitat to large proportion flora and fauna.
Timber logging and the expansion of the agricultural frontier, which strongly relate to local income and development, also lead to forest degradation and deforestation, which reduces for regulating services, supporting and cultural services and the conservation of biodiversity.Forests in tropical landscapes are crucial for the conservation of biodiversity, climate change mitigation and delivery of ecosystem services for local livelihoods. However, the ability of forests to fulfil these functions is severely threatened by ongoing deforestation and forest degradation.
There are various forest types in tropical landscapes (e.g., old-growth forests, regenerating secondary forests or plantations with native or exotic species), which can be managed for different objectives (e.g., production of timber, fuelwood or NWFPs and/or carbon sequestration) or be under protection. These different silvicultural options have the potential to improve functions that forests provide and reduce risks they face. However, not all options contribute equally to all functions; instead, there are synergies and trade-offs between different objectives.