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World Series


IUFRO World Series Vol. 25 - Forests and Society – Responding to Global Drivers of Change

IUFRO World Series Vol. 25, produced by IUFRO-WFSE, is the result of a collaborative effort involving researchers in multiple disciplines from throughout the world.

The publication was conceived as a forum to analyse the challenges, threats, and opportunities facing the forest sector due to the profound changes that our planet and contemporary society are experiencing. The unprecedented pressures produced by these changes – many of which are global in nature, such as climate change, the growing demands of human society on natural resources, and increasing deforestation – often place the very survival of numerous ecosystems at risk, threatening their resilience, and seriously affecting the biodiversity of the planet and the well-being of society.   

This book follows our previous publication, Forests in the Global Balance: Changing Paradigms (Mery et al. 2005), and uses a similar research approach in which the analyses evolve in broad global or regional levels, and the phenomena studied are intended to describe problems and challenges in a comprehensive manner. Our aim has been to avoid an analysis of the forest sector in isolation. We wanted to consider the pressures and synergies on forests presented by other socio-economic sectors, particularly those that have a clear impact on forests and forestry, such as wood-based industries, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the complex array of pressures from a growing human population and the resultant high demands for forest products and services. We wanted to apply an interdisciplinary approach to the topics studied.   

Our primary interest was to identify the main drivers of change and their direct or indirect repercussions on forests and forestry, to propose ways to reduce the adverse effects posed by these drivers, and to identify the benefits or opportunities these drivers of change may bring. We have included a number of case studies that serve to illustrate how society and institutions are striving to respond to the aforementioned drivers of change, at different scales, and in diverse parts of the world.   

A key aspect in this publication was to investigate whether the foremost paradigm that has governed forestry during the last two decades, namely sustainable forest management (SFM), is really working in practice for people and nature. We acknowledge the strategic impetus provided by SFM in the sustained production of goods and services, and in the maintenance of future options related to forests, without damaging other ecosystems. However, the rampant rate of deforestation and forest degradation that still exists, the continuity of the serious problems affecting our planet’s biodiversity, and the persistence of poverty in areas where forest resources play an important role in socio-economic development, has led us to think that the ultimate solution to these problems must be found not only by considering forests and forestry activities, but also in looking beyond the forest sector.

Recommended catalogue entry:

Gerardo Mery, Pia Katila, Glenn Galloway, René I. Alfaro, Markku Kanninen, Max Lobovikov and Jari Varjo. (eds.). 2010.
Forests and Society – Responding to Global Drivers of Change.
IUFRO World Series Volume 25. Vienna. 509 p.

ISBN 978-3-901347-93-1
ISSN 1016-3263

Additional information and downloadable chapters:

Available from:

IUFRO Secretariat, Hauptstrasse 7, A-1140 Vienna, Austria;
Tel: +43-1-877-01-51-0; Fax: +43-1-877-01-51-55; e-mail: office(at)


IUFRO WFSE/Metla, P. O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland;Tel: +358 10 211 2153, Fax: +358 10 211 2202, e-mail: gerardo.mery(at), web site:

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