Application of the Global Forest Products Model to predict deforestation due to the wood sector through 2050
Although the wood sector is not the most significant driver of tropical deforestation it could become increasingly important in the future as demand for wood is expected to grow to 11.4 – 13.1 billion m3 in 2050. However, based on changes in the global wood market over the past decades, the expected product distribution of future demand will not parallel historical demand. Instead, demand is expected to continue to increase for paper and wood-based panels while not increasing proportionally for other products. Therefore, the relative role of forest plantations is expected to increase. We used the Global Forest Products Model to evaluate the role of forest plantations in meeting future wood demand and provide insight into how plantations may allow for land-sparing and increased conservation of natural forests.
Our results indicate increased future consumption of sawnwood, roundwood, wood based panels, veneer/plywood, particleboard, fiberboard, waste paper, paper and paperboard, newsprint, printing and writing paper, and other paper and paperboard. At the same time, forest area is expected to decrease in Africa, South America, Oceania and increase in North/Central America, Asia, Europe, and the former USSR. Such an understanding of the future demands for wood products, and the role of forest plantations in meeting the demand for products like paper, panels, particleboard and fiberboard, can provide insight into the effectiveness of policies to reduce deforestation. Furthermore, as efforts to address deforestation increasingly focus on shifting consumption patters, the efforts to impact the global supply chain will need to be based on an evaluation of future relationships of production and trade.