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Survey: Forest management improving

  |   June 7, 2011 at 9:44 PM
LONDON, June 7 (UPI) -- An increasing percentage of the world's tropical forests are being better managed now than they were five years ago, an international timber group says.

A survey by the International Tropical Timber Organization found that tropical forest area under some form of sustainable management plan increased by about 50 period in that time period, the BBC reported Tuesday. However, the survey said, about 90 percent of the globe's tropical forests remain without protection.

The ITTO, a pro-sustainable use trade body of 60 member countries accounting for 90 percent of the global timber trade, analyzed data from 33 important forest countries.

"The top line is that the area under sustainable forest management has gone up from 36 million to 53 million hectares (89 million acres to 131 million acres) in five years," said Duncan Poore, one of the report's authors and a former head of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

"That's a substantial improvement, but there's still a long way to go," Poore told BBC News.

The ITTO survey found countries that have made major increases in protection include Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Peru and Venezuela.

Pressure to clear forests persists with the expansion of the world's population, growing use of raw materials such as wood, and increasing demand for land on which to settle and grow food, the ITTO said.

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