Many communities depend on forests directly or indirectly for a wide range of forest-based goods and services. The productive capacity of the forest determines the sustainable level at which these services can be provided. If this capacity is exceeded - for example through reduced productivity or over-harvesting - there is a risk that the forest ecosystem may decline or collapse.
Understanding the levels at which goods and services may be extracted or used without undermining the functioning of forest ecosystems and processes is the key to sustainable management.
The productive capacity of a forest can be measured in terms of:
(i) timber values
(ii) non-timber values.