Forest management

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Forest management is a branch of forestry concerned with overall administrative, legal, economic, and social aspects, as well as scientific and technical aspects, such as silviculture, protection, and forest regulation. This includes management for timber, aesthetics, recreation, urban values, water, wildlife, inland and nearshore fisheries, wood products, plant genetic resources, and other forest resource values. [1] Management objectives can be for conservation, utilisation, or a mixture of the two. Techniques include timber extraction, planting and replanting of different species, building and maintenance of roads and pathways through forests, and preventing fire.



The forest is a natural system that can supply different products and services. Forests supply water, mitigate climate change, provide habitats for wildlife including many pollinators which are essential for sustainable food production, provide timber and fuelwood, serve as a source of non-wood forest products including food and medicine, and contribute to rural livelihoods. [2]

The working of this system is influenced by the natural environment: climate, topography, soil, etc., and also by human activity. The actions of humans in forests constitute forest management. [3] In developed societies, this management tends to be elaborated and planned in order to achieve the objectives that are considered desirable.[ citation needed ]

Some forests have been and are managed to obtain traditional forest products such as firewood, fiber for paper, and timber, with little thinking for other products and services. Nevertheless, as a result of the progression of environmental awareness, management of forests for multiple use is becoming more common. [4]

Public input and awareness

Deforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest are a significant concern because of increased human encroachment upon wild areas, increased resource extraction and further threats to biodiversity. Amazonie deforestation.jpg
Deforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest are a significant concern because of increased human encroachment upon wild areas, increased resource extraction and further threats to biodiversity.

There has been increased public awareness of natural resource policy, including forest management.[ citation needed ] Public concern regarding forest management may have shifted from the extraction of timber for economic development, to maintaining the flow of the range of ecosystem services provided by forests, including provision of habitat for wildlife, protecting biodiversity, watershed management, and opportunities for recreation. Increased environmental awareness may contribute to an increased public mistrust of forest management professionals. [5] But it can also lead to greater understanding about what professionals do for forests for nature conservation and ecological services. The importance of taking care of the forests for ecological as well as economical sustainable reasons has been shown in the TV show Ax Men.

Many tools like remote sensing, GIS and photogrammetry [6] [7] modelling have been developed to improve forest inventory and management planning. [8] Since 1953, the volume of standing trees in the United States has increased by 90% due to sustainable forest management. [9]

Wildlife considerations

The abundance and diversity of birds, mammals, amphibians and other wildlife are affected by strategies and types of forest management. [10] Forests are important because they provide these species with food, space and water. [11] Forest management is also important as it helps in conservation and utilization of the forest resources.[ citation needed ]

Approximately 50 million hectares (or 24%) of European forest land is protected for biodiversity and landscape protection. Forests allocated for soil, water, and other ecosystem services encompass around 72 million hectares (32% of European forest area). [12] [13] [14] Over 90% of the world's forests regenerate organically, and more than half are covered by forest management plans or equivalents. [15] [16]

Management intensity

Forest management varies in intensity from a leave alone, natural situation to a highly intensive regime with silvicultural interventions. Forest Management is generally increased in intensity to achieve either economic criteria (increased timber yields, non-timber forest products, ecosystem services) or ecological criteria (species recovery, fostering of rare species, carbon sequestration). [17]

Proportion of forest area with long-term management plans, by region, 2020 Proportion of forest area with long-term management plans, by region, 2020.svg
Proportion of forest area with long-term management plans, by region, 2020

Most of the forests in Europe have management plans; on the other hand, management plans exist for less than 25 percent of forests in Africa and less than 20 percent in South America. The area of forest under management plans is increasing in all regions – globally, it has increased by 233 million ha since 2000, reaching 2.05 billion ha in 2020. [19]

Forest certification is a globally recognized system for encouraging sustainable forest management and assuring that forest-based goods are derived from sustainably managed forests. [20] [21] [22] This is a voluntary procedure in which an impartial third-party organization evaluates the quality of forest management and output against a set of criteria established by a governmental or commercial certification agency. [23] [24]

See also


Definition of Free Cultural Works logo notext.svg  This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0( license statement/permission ). Text taken from Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 Key findings , FAO, FAO. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see the terms of use.

Definition of Free Cultural Works logo notext.svg  This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO( license statement/permission ). Text taken from The State of the World’s Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people – In brief , FAO & UNEP, FAO & UNEP. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see the terms of use.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest</span> Dense collection of trees covering a relatively large area

A forest is an area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing, and ecological function. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines a forest as, "Land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban use." Using this definition, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 found that forests covered 4.06 billion hectares, or approximately 31 percent of the world's land area in 2020.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forestry</span> Science and craft of managing woodlands

Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, planting, using, conserving and repairing forests and woodlands for associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The science of forestry has elements that belong to the biological, physical, social, political and managerial sciences. Forest management plays an essential role in the creation and modification of habitats and affects ecosystem services provisioning.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Global Environment Facility</span> A multilateral environmental Foundation that protects the climate

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral environmental fund that provides grants and blended finance for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forest management, food security, and sustainable cities in developing countries. It is the largest source of multilateral funding for biodiversity globally, and distributes more than $1 billion a year on average to address inter-related environmental challenges.

A green economy is an economy that aims at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities, and that aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment. It is closely related with ecological economics, but has a more politically applied focus. The 2011 UNEP Green Economy Report argues "that to be green, an economy must not only be efficient, but also fair. Fairness implies recognizing global and country level equity dimensions, particularly in assuring a Just Transition to an economy that is low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Old-growth forest</span> Type of forest

An old-growth forest, sometimes synonymous with primary forest, virgin forest, late seral forest, primeval forest, first-growth forest, or mature forest—is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance, and thereby exhibits unique ecological features, and might be classified as a climax community. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines primary forests as naturally regenerated forests of native tree species where there are no clearly visible indications of human activity and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed. More than one-third of the world's forests are primary forests. Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystem. Virgin or first-growth forests are old-growth forests that have never been logged. The concept of diverse tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters, and diverse tree species and classes and sizes of woody debris.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ecosystem service</span> Benefits provided by healthy nature, forests and environmental systems

Ecosystem services are the many and varied benefits to humans provided by the natural environment and healthy ecosystems. Such ecosystems include, for example, agroecosystems, forest ecosystem, grassland ecosystems, and aquatic ecosystems. These ecosystems, functioning in healthy relationships, offer such things as natural pollination of crops, clean air, extreme weather mitigation, and human mental and physical well-being. Collectively, these benefits are becoming known as ecosystem services, and are often integral to the provision of food, the provisioning of clean drinking water, the decomposition of wastes, and the resilience and productivity of food ecosystems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Certified wood</span> Wood product from a responsibly managed forest

Certified wood and paper products come from responsibly managed forests – as defined by a particular standard. With third-party forest certification, an independent standards setting organization (SSO) develops standards for good forest management, and independent auditing companies issue certificates to forest operations that comply with those standards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forestry law</span> Field of law

Forestry laws govern activities in designated forest lands, most commonly with respect to forest management and timber harvesting. Forestry laws generally adopt management policies for public forest resources, such as multiple use and sustained yield. Forest management is split between private and public management, with public forests being sovereign property of the State. Forestry laws are now considered an international affair.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest ecology</span> Study of interactions between the biota and environment in forets

Forest ecology is the scientific study of the interrelated patterns, processes, flora, fauna and ecosystems in forests. The management of forests is known as forestry, silviculture, and forest management. A forest ecosystem is a natural woodland unit consisting of all plants, animals, and micro-organisms in that area functioning together with all of the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification</span> International, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Switzerland

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization which promotes sustainable forest management through independent third party certification. It is considered the certification system of choice for small forest owners.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sustainable forest management</span> Management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development

Sustainable forest management (SFM) is the management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development. Sustainable forest management has to keep the balance between three main pillars: ecological, economic and socio-cultural. Sustainable forestry can seem contradicting to some individuals as the act of logging trees is not sustainable. However, the goal of sustainable forestry is to allow for a balance to be found between ethical forestry and maintaining biodiversity through the means of maintaining natural patterns of disturbance and regeneration. The forestry industry mitigates climate change by boosting carbon storage in growing trees and soils and improving the sustainable supply of renewable raw materials via sustainable forest management. Successfully achieving sustainable forest management will provide integrated benefits to all, ranging from safeguarding local livelihoods to protecting biodiversity and ecosystems provided by forests, reducing rural poverty and mitigating some of the effects of climate change. Forest conservation is essential to stop climate change.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Non-timber forest product</span> Commodities obtained from forests other than timber

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are useful foods, substances, materials and/or commodities obtained from forests other than timber. Harvest ranges from wild collection to farming. They typically include game animals, fur-bearers, nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, oils, sap, foliage, pollarding, medicinal plants, peat, mast, fuelwood, fish, insects, spices, and forage. Overlapping concepts include non-wood forest products (NWFPs), wild forest products, minor forest produce, special, minor, alternative and secondary forest products – for further distinctions see the definition section below

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest product</span> Material derived from forestry

A forest product is any material derived from forestry for direct consumption or commercial use, such as lumber, paper, or fodder for livestock. Wood, by far the dominant product of forests, is used for many purposes, such as wood fuel or the finished structural materials used for the construction of buildings, or as a raw material, in the form of wood pulp, that is used in the production of paper. All other non-wood products derived from forest resources, comprising a broad variety of other forest products, are collectively described as non-timber forest products (NTFP). Non-timber forest products are viewed to have fewer negative effects on forest ecosystem when providing income sources for local community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deforestation in Cambodia</span>

Deforestation in Cambodia has increased in recent years. Cambodia is one of the world's most forest endowed countries, that was not historically widely deforested. However, massive deforestation for economic development threatens its forests and ecosystems. As of 2015, the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Community forestry</span>

Community forestry is an evolving branch of forestry whereby the local community plays a significant role in forest management and land use decision making by themselves in the facilitating support of government as well as change agents. It involves the participation and collaboration of various stakeholders including community, government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The level of involvement of each of these groups is dependent on the specific community forest project, the management system in use and the region. It gained prominence in the mid-1970s and examples of community forestry can now be seen in many countries including Nepal, Indonesia, Korea, Brazil, India and North America.

Forest genetic resources or foresttree genetic resources are genetic resources of forest shrub and tree species. Forest genetic resources are essential for forest-depending communities who rely for a substantial part of their livelihoods on timber and non-timber forest products for food security, domestic use and income generation. These resources are also the basis for large-scale wood production in planted forests to satisfy the worldwide need for timber and paper. Genetic resources of several important timber, fruit and other non-timber tree species are conserved ex situ in genebanks or maintained in field collections. Nevertheless, in situ conservation in forests and on farms is in the case of most tree species the most important measure to protect their genetic resources.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest degradation</span> Loss of biological wealth of a forest

Forest degradation is a process in which the biological wealth of a forest area is permanently diminished by some factor or by a combination of factors. "This does not involve a reduction of the forest area, but rather a quality decrease in its condition. "The forest is still there, but with fewer trees, or less species of trees, plants or animals, or some of them affected by plagues. This degradation makes the forest less valuable and may lead to deforestation. Forest degradation is a type of the more general issue of land degradation. Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity.

Forest pathology is the research of both biotic and abiotic maladies affecting the health of a forest ecosystem, primarily fungal pathogens and their insect vectors. It is a subfield of forestry and plant pathology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest restoration</span>

Forest restoration is defined as “actions to re-instate ecological processes, which accelerate recovery of forest structure, ecological functioning and biodiversity levels towards those typical of climax forest” i.e. the end-stage of natural forest succession. Climax forests are relatively stable ecosystems that have developed the maximum biomass, structural complexity and species diversity that are possible within the limits imposed by climate and soil and without continued disturbance from humans. Climax forest is therefore the target ecosystem, which defines the ultimate aim of forest restoration. Since climate is a major factor that determines climax forest composition, global climate change may result in changing restoration aims. Additionally, the potential impacts of climate change on restoration goals must be taken into account, as changes in temperature and precipitation patterns may alter the composition and distribution of climax forests.

A private forest is a forest that is not owned by municipal authorities, church authorities or the state. It can refer to woodland owned by a natural or juridical person or a partnership.It is the forest which is planted, nurtured or conserved in any private land.


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