4.04.02 - Planning and economics of fast-growing plantation forests
Fast-growing plantation forests are broadly defined as having average growth rates ranging from 10 to in excess of 40 m3/ha/yr, with shorter rotations from less than 6 years to around 35 or 40 years.
Establishment of fast growing forests is one of the most effective ways to meet the growing demand for wood. Small in area, they are disproportionately significant in terms of world wood supply. They can decrease the pressure to log natural forests and can help protect natural resources such as water, soil and wildlife. They have the potential to improve the economic welfare of the communities in which they are sited.
At the same time, intensively managed, industrial forest plantations of a single species on a short rotation arouse controversy as to their benefits for the community, the land and the environment. Social and environmental needs are increasingly affecting planning and management methods applied to plantations whose original prime objective was the profitable production of industrial wood.
Before the 2004 IUFRO Division 4 reorganisation, this Unit was numbered 4.04.06
The Unit was started in 1986 with the title of "Management Planning and Managerial Economics in Short Rotation Timber Plantations". Previous coordinators were Klaus von Gadow and Oscar Garcia. The original question motivating the start-up of the Unit was "what are the fundamental differences in outlook and methods between long- and short- rotation forestry planning".
Add the phrase "between fast-growing and slow growing", and the question is as valid today.