In complex systems, small anthropogenic changes of the initial conditions could lead to profound changes in the entire system. In this sense, the present literature review has surveyed several studies related to the multiple uses of forest resources and sustainability in small and medium-sized farms in the tropics. In 1985, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a work addressing multiple uses of forests in the tropics. Since then, despite the technological advances, multiple practices in forest management have not expanded as expected. The Forest Principles from 1992 emphasizes that forests should be managed to meet social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations. In many tropical countries, multiple use management of forest products and services has traditionally been neglected or it is not well known by policy makers and farmers. Laws are usually written with narrow objectives and tend to decrease social inclusion because of the limited cross-sector dialogue. In spite of these issues, several success stories are reported around the world.
Key words: Forestry enterprises, natural resources management, sustainable use of forest resources, land use, multiple use.
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