The relationship between the forest sector and the well-being of people that depend on it for their economic livelihoods in rural areas is of strong interest in forest policy. In this sense, Chile has developed a forest policy that has had positive impacts, particularly on economic and productive aspects, but also negative impacts, such as the reduction of natural forest area, biodiversity, and provision of ecosystem services, as well as the increase in social conflicts and land abandonment. However, there are few studies that have evaluated the impacts of forest policy on rural population and development of the territory. Therefore, the objective of this research is to evaluate the impacts of Chilean forest policy on rural communities, particularly in terms of demographic variables and indicators of community well-being. The study area corresponds to the Bio Bio and Ñuble Regions (Chile), and the analysis includes productive, demographic, socioeconomic, and educational characteristics of population. The results show that the forestry policy implemented was able to generate a significant increase in the proportion of forest area. However, when this increase is mainly of the type of exotic forest plantations, it is associated with a demographic and socio-economic detriment of the population in some counties of the study area.
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