Review of forest industry and wood supply development opportunities in Bangladesh

The demographic and economic development are the macro drivers of forest products demand. The forest sector of Bangladesh enjoys an extremely positive demand scenario, thanks to the very dynamic demographic and economic development. Fuelwood accounts for the most of wood harvesting and consumption. Natural forest resources are small & fragmented but the wood supply from village forests is increasing.

Paper & paperboard consumption is mostly based on imports and production from import pulp & recovered paper in Bangladeshi mills. Sawn wood consumption is mostly based on local log supplies and that of wood-based panels on imports. Raw materials are imported at competitive world market prices and products are subject to import duty. The import value of forest industry raw materials & products amounts nowadays to some USD 1400 million/a, increasing annually.

Delta 2100 Plan recommends the intensification of reforestation as one means improving the living conditions across Bangladesh. Bangladesh has 7 distinct types of lands areas with each of them presenting different conditions & opportunities of reforestation.

Globally, plantation forests are accounting for increasing shares of industrial wood supply. Bangladesh should study at early convenience the possibilities of establishing a maximum area of high-yielding industrial forest plantations, in sustainable locations and utilizing suitable, sustainable & at districts acceptable wood species. Given the complexity of the land use conditions at districts and the broad development requirements of the forest sector (forestry and forest industry), Bangladesh may use the participatory forest sector master and cluster planning method to prepare the road map of reforestation and downstream pulpwood and log utilization. The forest sector master & cluster plan would enable the revitalization of the forest sector, resulting in a wide range of benefits at sub-district to division level and national level.