While the total area of forests is declining globally, the extent of plantations is increasing at a rapid rate. In many parts of the world, plantations already comprise an important component of the landscape. While there are many different types of plantations established for different purposes, the majority of plantations have been established with the aim of producing timber and other wood products. In some parts of the world, plantations have been established with the explicit aim to reduce the reliance on native forests. Increasingly, plantations are established to meet also other objectives such as land rehabilitation, erosion control, control of the water table etc. At the same time, as native forests disappear or become less accessible, people are becoming more reliant on ecosystem goods and services provided by plantations, in particular in densely populated areas of the world.
It is thus timely to ask, to what extent plantations can provide different ecosystem goods and services, how far they can substitute or augment ecosystem goods and services from native forest, and how they may be designed and managed to consider or optimise the provision of ecosystem goods and services such as provision of habitat, clean water, non-timber forest products etc. It is the aim of this conference to present the current knowledge on theses issues.
In particular the conference will focus on the following topics
Ecosystem services from plantations: carbon sequestration, biomass production, land rehabilitation, control of water table, etc.
The role of plantations in biodiversity conservation
Plantations and livelihoods
Assessment methods for EG&S from plantations
Design and management principles to optimise the provision of EG&S from plantation forests
Conversion of plantations to semi-natural forests
Interactions between plantations and other land uses in the landscape
Standards for sustainable plantation management
Markets for ecosystem services from plantation forests
Contributions in the form of oral presentations and posters will be invited to the above topics.
This scientific conference on Ecosystem Goods and Services from Planted Forests will be organised by the EU-NETFOP (Networking Forest Plantations in a Crowded World) project through the Institute of Silviculture at Freiburg University and the European Institute of Cultivated Forests (IEFC - project centre of the European Forest Institute) under the auspices of IUFRO, CIFOR and other international organisations. It will be part of a larger event on the role of planted forests in sustainable development.