Efforts to protect, conserve and sustainably use tropical forests are gaining support worldwide. They include improved management of natural forests, the establishment of timber plantations, the planting of trees in agroforestry systems, and the promotion of the use of non-timber forest products (e.g. rattans, medicines, edible fruits and nuts, essential oils), to serve environmental, socioeconomic and commercial interests. Increasing the use of lesser-known timbers is part of this trend. It augments the forests' value and economic importance, which in turn enhances rural development within the region and at the same time encourages the sustainable management of the forest resources.
In a parallel development, new technologies have extended the uses of a large variety of timbers, including lesser-known species, and have opened up new markets. The promotion, planning and scientific monitoring and evaluation of this increased use of lesser-known timbers must, however, be based on up-todate information. It is in this respect that this Prosea volume on lesser-known timbers is so useful, summarizing as it does the existing information on about 1550 species in 309 genera. It completes the Prosea trilogy on timber trees: the previous volumes, published in 1993 and 1995 respectively, being on major and minor commercial timbers. Like its predecessors, 'Lesser-known timbers' contains detailed information on wood anatomy, on which computer-assisted identification keys could be based in the near future. This publication is the result of the exemplary coll
- Published: 1998
- Publisher: Backhuys Publishers, Leiden