A guide to 'forest quality' assessment, addressing the 'authenticity' of forests and criteria for determining the environmental, economic and social value of different types of forest. It is a practical hands-on manual for professionals involved in forestry, conservation and resource management worldwide. Case study material from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America shows the practical uses of the new 'landscape' approach to forest conservation. Deforestation is frequently a topic of discussion in the environmental arena, but it is not just the number of trees that matters; the quality of the forest is also important. Even where the forest area is stable or increasing, there are often rapid changes in its character. Natural forests are being replaced by plantations or by intensively managed forests. Around the world, forests are becoming younger and less diverse, in both species and structure; this has important impacts for biodiversity, and also affects many human values.
In this groundbreaking text, forest quality is discussed as a useful new concept in forest conservation and management. Three main assessment criteria are used: authenticity; environmental benefits; and social and economic benefits. A methodology and protocol for collecting and analysing data is described, and the approach needed with each indicator is outlined in detail. A landscape approach to assessment is advocated, as meeting conservation goals also means addressing human needs, and balancing the trade-offs involved is only possible at a landscape scale. Assessment is demonstrated in a series of case studies from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, showing how this method can be used in many ways to help forest conservation management.
- What is Forest Quality?
- Why Assess Forest Quality at a Landscape Scale?
- Who Should Assess Forest Quality?
- How to Assess Forest Quality at a Landscape Scale?
- Criteria of Forest Quality
- Applying Forest Quality Assessments in Management
- Case Studies
- Broader Issues and Sources of Information
Nigel Dudley is an environmental consultant and senior forest adviser to WWF-Int, and co-author of Bad Harvest (1995). Rodolphe Schlaepfer is Professor of Ecosystems Management at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud is Head of the Industry and Environment section at WWF-Int. William Jackson is Director of Global Programmes at IUCN. Sue Stolton is an environmental consultant and co-author, with Nigel Dudley, of Partnerships for Protection (1999).