The forestry sector encompasses a wide range of industries, from forest management and cutting, to the manufacturing and sales of wood products. Forestry practices and activities throughout the forestry sector are important parts of the transition to a green economy. The adoption of sustainable forest management principles can play a major role in both mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. New business opportunities may also be generated due to this transition.
The difference between sustainable and unsustainable forestry practices comes down to whether the activities within the sector are depleting natural resources at a greater rate than the resource is being renewed. For example, a tree marker can mark trees for cutting that will produce maximum revenue immediately or provide reduced revenue on an annual basis, but sustain those returns over a longer period of time. Depending on the motivation of the landowner, either approach can be applied.
Consumer awareness of climate change and other environmental
issues is a main driver of these changes – studies show that over 90%
of newspaper readers would like to see publishers use paper from
sustainable sources. This is pushing businesses to address issues like
climate change in their operations. Sourcing materials from
sustainably managed forests will likely become a central part of a
business’ sustainability plan.
Healthy, sustainably managed forests also provide myriad social benefits to the surrounding community. Forested properties provide habitats for important wildlife, protect the region’s biodiversity, and offer recreational activities to the public. Sustainably managed forests with long-term management plans can also present opportunities for business development in tourism and recreation industries.