Intense debates have taken place on the role of forest taxation in forest management and its potential as a component of public policies. Some reforms, such as the introduction of auctions for allocating concessions in Cameroon, have been controversial and their effects are being assessed in different ways by analysts. Empirical analysis and data suggest that two different aspects have often been confused but should be considered separately: the level of taxes and the structure of the taxation system. The heterogeneity of companies has often been overlooked in economic models. The specific context in which the fiscal reform is planned is critical and a combination of instruments — fiscal and non fiscal, economic and regulatory — should be designed and implemented together to create systemic effects. This is rarely possible through a single reform. The potential of fiscal instruments in fostering SFM should not be over-emphasized, but certain possibilities do exist if taxation is not used alone but as an auxiliary in a coherent set of actions and public policies.
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Vol. 12 • No. 2