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Chapter 3. Guiding principles

This section describes guiding principles for the sustainable management and use of planted forests, as well as key guidelines for each principle. Although the principles are grouped according to institutional, economic, social and cultural, environmental and landscape approaches, they are closely interlinked. Some guidelines are listed under more than one principle to reinforce these linkages. Planted forest policies, planning, management and monitoring need to embrace these principles and guidelines in holistic approaches.

The understanding and application of the principles and recommendations will be determined by the prevailing governance, economic, cultural, social, environmental or other contexts. The extent to which country economies are industrialized, in transition or developing will determine the application of each principle.

The principles apply to all types of institutions, including government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and civil society, and do not replace existing national or international laws, commitments, treaties or agreements. A comprehensive bibliography for further reading is provided in Annex 5.

3.1 Institutional principles

Principle 1: Good governance

Taking into consideration the time frame and risks in establishing and managing planted forests, as well as their use, marketing and trade, governments should facilitate an environment of stable economic, legal and institutional conditions to encourage long-term investment, sustainable land-use practices and socio-economic stability.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

Principle 2: Integrated decision-making and multistakeholder approaches

Taking into consideration the multifaceted interfaces of planted forests with communities, agriculture, animal husbandry, naturally regenerating forests and agroforestry land uses, both with and in the landscape, policy-makers should encourage integrated decision-making by stakeholders in planning, managing and utilizing planted forests.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

Principle 3: Effective organizational capacity

Governmental, private-sector and other organizations require the capacities and capabilities to deliver knowledge, technology and other support services for sound planted forest management – at all levels.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

3.2 Economic principles

Principle 4: Recognition of the value of goods and services

Planted forests, whether productive or protective, should be recognized for their provision of both market and non-market benefits, including wood and non-wood forest products and social, cultural and environmental services.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

Principle 5: Enabling environment for investment

Governments should create the enabling conditions to encourage corporate, medium- and small-scale investors to make long-term investments in planted forests and to yield a favourable return on investment.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

Principle 6: Recognition of the role of the market

To improve the probability of achieving acceptable returns on investment, investors in planted forests, particularly those having productive functions, should design their planning and management to respond to signals from international and national markets. Establishment and management of planted forests should be market- rather than production-driven, unless established for environmental, protective or civic reasons.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

3.3 Social and cultural principles

Principle 7: Recognition of social and cultural values

Social and cultural values should be taken into consideration in planning, managing and using planted forests, including the welfare and empowerment of adjacent communities, workers and other stakeholders.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

Principle 8: Maintenance of social and cultural services

The balancing of competing objectives in planted forest investment causes social and cultural changes. Thus it is necessary to adopt planning, management, utilization and monitoring mechanisms to avoid adverse impacts.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

3.4 Environmental principles

Principle 9: Maintenance and conservation of environmental services

Planted forest management will impact the provision of ecosystem services. Thus planning, management, utilization and monitoring mechanisms should be adopted in planted forests in order to minimize negative impacts and promote positive ones, as well as to maintain or enhance the conservation of environmental services.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

Principle 10: Conservation of biological diversity

Planners and managers of planted forests should incorporate the conservation of biological diversity at stand, forest and landscape levels.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

Principle 11: Maintenance of forest health and productivity

Arrangements are needed at national, subnational and forest levels to ensure that planted forests are managed so as to maintain and improve forest health and productivity and reduce the impact of abiotic and biotic damaging agents.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

3.5 Landscape approach principles

Principle 12: Management of landscapes for social, economic and environmental benefits

As planted forests interact with and impact local land uses, livelihoods and the environment, integrated planning and management approaches should be adopted within a landscape or watershed to ensure that upstream and downstream impacts are planned, managed and monitored within acceptable social, economic and environmental standards.

Guidelines include but are not limited to:

monitoring upstream and downstream water quality and quantity as appropriate.

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