Roelof A. A. Oldeman Tropical hardwoods are one of the essential cogs in the complex socio-economic machinery keeping alive an ever-increasing humanity with steadily rising claims upon a finite-resource environment. Their position in this context at first sight seems to be analogous to that of other commodities, such as rubber, metals, mineral oil, tropical fruits and many more. Looking closer, however, tropical hardwoods occupy a special place. Their vast majority, unlike tropical crops, still comes forth from natural forests being exploited by man. This exploitation straight from the natural resource is something they have in common with oil and metals, but the fact that they grow in living systems places them closer to crops. Natural forest ecosystems are not renewable. Timber producing trees, however, can be made into a renewable resource on condition that ways and means are found to cultivate them as a crop. be understood as a socio-economic The tropical hardwood situation can best chain, with the resource base at one end, the consumer community at the other and everything that has to do with the market in the middle.
Now, at the resource side, the economics of tropical hardwood extraction barely got out of the primeval ways of wood-gathering by hand and by axe, which were still predominant in the nineteen-forties. There, the offer of natural products was so immense and so near to hand that no care had to be taken of the resource.
Section I - Tropical hardwood resources.- 1. Introduction to the resource question.- 2. Tropical hardwood resources.- 3. Draft list of large-scale forest inventories carried out in the tropics.- 4. Present and future forest and plantation areas in the tropics.- 5. Devastation of tropical forest through forest exploitation - myth or reality?.- 6. Life insurance for tropical hardwood resources.- 7. Prospects of plantation and lesser-known tropical hardwood species for commercial utilization.- 8. Guidelines for Brazilian forestry policy, period 1979-1985.- Section II - Tropical hardwood markets and marketing.- 9. Introduction to tropical hardwood markets.- 10. Study on the trade and utilization of tropical hardwoods.- 11. The United States market for tropical hardwoods.- 12. Characteristic features of individual markets for tropical hardwoods in Europe.- 13. Examples of other European tropical hardwood markets.- 14. Viewpoints from tropical hardwood producing countries.- 15. Example of an institutional framework in an importing country: The Netherlands.- Section III - End-uses of tropical hardwoods.- 16. End-uses of tropical hardwoods: introduction.- 17. Timber use for joinery in Britain.- 18. Developments and opportunities in the British tropical timber market.- 19. Technical and economic aspects of the utilization of tropical woods in industrial joinery in France.- 20. Tropical hardwood in doors: experience in Sweden.- 21. Final use of tropical hardwoods: furniture.- 22. The structural use of tropical hardwoods.- 23. Wood in hydraulic engineering.- 24. Natural durability assessment of tropical timber in connection with end-uses in external joinery in The Netherlands.- 25. Research on joints in Ekki and Bilinga.- 26. Choice patterns for tropical timber imported in seven European countries.- 27. Criteria for the choice of tropical timber species with emphasis on non-technical and non-economic aspects.- Section IV - Grading and standardization.- 28. Grading and standardization: an introduction.- 29. Knowledge of tropical hardwood and information requirements: market, commercialization and promotion studies.- 30. Classification and standardization of tropical timber.- 31. Grading and standardization in major timber producing countries in the south-east Asian region.- 32. A market classification of sawn tropical hardwood.- 33. Specific end-use determination system for sawn timber and roundwood.- Section V - Tropical hardwood expertise - international cooperation.- 34. International cooperation: a short introduction.- 35. Cooperation of importers and users of tropical timber products with manufacturing industries in exporting countries.- 36. Cooperation with production enterprises in wood-producing tropical countries.- 37. Intercontinental management and the cultural effect.- 38. Steps to develop a lumber or plywood mill from an existing timber resource base.- 39. Professional organizations and institutions concerned with tropical timber.- 40. Information ... a necessity.- Some final remarks.