THE unsustainable development of the forest industry could affect other sectors of the economy such as tourism.
Prof Biman Prasad of the USP said if regional governments were not careful of their forest-related projects, it would likely lead to the unsustainable development of the forest industry.
"The importance of forestry is that it's for the poor, the importance of forestry is that it's for sustainable development in general and we need to support it because of such issues as its contribution to climate change," Prof Prasad told at a regional forestry meeting in Nadi.
"Governments need to be careful and improve forestry-related to projects because if they are not careful, some of these activities can lead to unsustainable harvests of forests.
"It could lead to environmental degradation that could affect other sectors of the economy, and so managing forests in a sustainable way is very important consideration for sustainable forest policy in the Pacific."
Prof Prasad highlighted for Fiji, there had been mixed results.