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Special Issue "Policies Affecting Development and Forest Conservation"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Economics and Human Dimensions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alexander Pfaff

Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, 302 Towerview, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Forestry policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The scale of forest loss from business-as-usual development is immense. Taking development as given and simply conserving around the margin will not be sufficient for many forest objectives. Conservation policies may target more developed sites for greater impacts, albeit at greater costs. Less studied, though, are the options for adjusting development policies to help forests. The Global Environment Facility, e.g., has long suggested adjusting locations for large transport infrastructure projects. Also, an expanding suite of actors are participating in certification of compliance with standards for adjusting production to improve forests and other outcomes (e.g., from logging concessions). Shifting how development is done can help forest conservation. Further, interactions between development policies and conservations policies may suggest trying integrated planning. In this Special Issue, submissions broadly related to policies affecting development and forest conservation are strongly encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Pfaff
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Development
  • Deforestation
  • Concessions
  • Management
  • Sustainability
  • Certification
  • Information
  • Infrastructure
  • Transport
  • Roads

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Simulated Impacts of Soy and Infrastructure Expansion in the Brazilian Amazon: A Maximum Entropy Approach
Forests 2018, 9(10), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100600
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
Historically, the expansion of soy plantations has been a major driver of land-use/cover change (LUCC) in Brazil. While a series of recent public actions and supply-chain commitments reportedly curbed the replacement of forests by soy, the expansion of the agricultural commodity still poses [...] Read more.
Historically, the expansion of soy plantations has been a major driver of land-use/cover change (LUCC) in Brazil. While a series of recent public actions and supply-chain commitments reportedly curbed the replacement of forests by soy, the expansion of the agricultural commodity still poses a considerable threat to the Amazonian and Cerrado biomes. Identification of areas under high risk of soy expansion is thus paramount to assist conservation efforts in the region. We mapped the areas suitable for undergoing transition to soy plantations in the Legal Amazon with a machine-learning approach adopted from the ecological modeling literature. Simulated soy expansion for the year 2014 exhibited favorable validation scores compared to other LUCC models. We then used our model to simulate how potential future infrastructure improvements would affect the 2014 probabilities of soy occurrence in the region. In addition to the 2.3 Mha of planted soy in the Legal Amazon in 2014, our model identified another 14.7 Mha with high probability of soy conversion in the region given the infrastructure conditions at that time. Out of those, pastures and forests represented 9.8 and 0.4 Mha, respectively. Under the new infrastructure scenarios simulated, the Legal Amazonian area under high risk of soy conversion increased by up to 2.1 Mha (14.6%). These changes led to up to 11.4 and 51.4% increases in the high-risk of conversion areas of pastures and forests, respectively. If conversion occurs in the identified high-risk areas, at least 4.8 Pg of CO2 could be released into the atmosphere, a value that represents 10 times the total CO2 emissions of Brazil in 2014. Our results highlight the importance of targeting conservation policies and enforcement actions, including the Soy Moratorium, to mitigate future forest cover loss associated with infrastructure improvements in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Policies Affecting Development and Forest Conservation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Theory-of-Change Development for the Evaluation of Forest Stewardship Council Certification of Sustained Timber Yields from Natural Forests in Indonesia
Forests 2018, 9(9), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090547
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To illustrate the importance of theories-of-change (ToCs) for evaluation of conservation interventions, we consider the global ToC from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and then develop a more explicit ToC focused on the sustained timber yield (STY) aspiration for natural forest management in [...] Read more.
To illustrate the importance of theories-of-change (ToCs) for evaluation of conservation interventions, we consider the global ToC from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and then develop a more explicit ToC focused on the sustained timber yield (STY) aspiration for natural forest management in Indonesia. We use these ToCs to consider certification implementation processes vis-à-vis indicators for STY extracted from FSC’s Indonesian Stewardship Standard that mentions STY explicitly in 45 and implicitly in 21 of 237 indicators. Analysis of 38 audit reports about 23 enterprises (2001–2017) revealed that only 77 of 504 major non-conformities assigned by auditors addressed STY. This apparent lack of attention to STY is surprising given the exhaustion of timber stocks in many production forests and the closure of many forest enterprises over the past two decades, but our ToC reveals numerous unsatisfied and unsatisfiable assumptions in certification that preclude detection of unsustainable harvests. Furthermore, compliance with governmental regulations on harvest intensities does not allow full timber recovery. To sustain yields, logging intensities need to be reduced and/or silvicultural treatments applied to increase yields, both of which reduce short-term profits. Declining yields might be accepted if the capacity of logged forests to grow timber is not impaired, but forest abandonment due to timber stock depletion is worrisome if it fosters illegal forest conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Policies Affecting Development and Forest Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Rural Landscape Planning and Forest Management in Tuscany (Italy)
Forests 2018, 9(8), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080473
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
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Abstract
The article analyzes the relationships between landscape planning and forests in Italy with a specific focus on Tuscany. For the Tuscan region landscape represents a fundamental value from the cultural, economic, environmental and social point of view. This is why it was the [...] Read more.
The article analyzes the relationships between landscape planning and forests in Italy with a specific focus on Tuscany. For the Tuscan region landscape represents a fundamental value from the cultural, economic, environmental and social point of view. This is why it was the first region of Italy to develop a landscape plan in 2014, according to the National Code for Cultural Heritage, setting up a Landscape Observatory to monitor the application of the plan in 2016. The plan is the main instrument providing a vision for the development model of the region and guidelines for the planning of rural areas also affecting forest management. The construction of the plan has caused an intense debate, due to the strict limitations imposed to soil consumption, to agricultural and forest activities. Forests cover more than the half of the regional surface, but 30% of them is the result of the abandonment of farmed land occurred in the last decades, while 50% of the forests are currently managed. The article examines how the values connected to the forests have been identified an assessed in the plan, the strict limitations for their protection but also the decision to allow the restoration of farmed land to maintain a balance between farmed and forest land in the landscape. Landscape and forest is the topic of the chapter about Italy in the FAO SOFO 2018. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Policies Affecting Development and Forest Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Forest Management Certification in Romania: Motivations and Perceptions
Forests 2018, 9(7), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070425
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 15 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Forestland privatization and transition to a market economy triggered important changes in the Romanian forest sector, imposing challenges for forest management structures. Voluntary forest management certification has been considered a possible solution; therefore, the certified forest area has increased rapidly regardless of the [...] Read more.
Forestland privatization and transition to a market economy triggered important changes in the Romanian forest sector, imposing challenges for forest management structures. Voluntary forest management certification has been considered a possible solution; therefore, the certified forest area has increased rapidly regardless of the land owner. The purpose of this study is to provide an insight into the certification process. It presents the result of a survey applied to 417 forest management structures in Romania, which was intended to identify the perception of their managers regarding the reasons to adopt certification, the changes determined by the certification, the problems during the process, and the benefits. The study reveals the difference in perception among different types of forest management structures. Non-state management structures voluntarily adopted FSC certification, mainly aiming to obtain economic advantages. Most of the respondents indicated important changes in the consultation with stakeholders including local communities, transparency and clear records, the use of chemicals, and biodiversity protection. Although the FSC certification was not perceived as solving issues like illegal logging, there is a general perception that it improved forest management. The study concludes that the FSC certification proves the willingness of the Romanian forest management sector to cope with the market and trends and clarify its position in society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Policies Affecting Development and Forest Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Reasons for Choosing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) Schemes and the Effects of Certification Acquisition by Forestry Enterprises in Japan
Forests 2018, 9(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040173
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) are deployed as forest certification schemes in Japan. This study aimed to identify the reasons that enterprises choose the FSC or the SGEC scheme and the effects of certification. A questionnaire [...] Read more.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) are deployed as forest certification schemes in Japan. This study aimed to identify the reasons that enterprises choose the FSC or the SGEC scheme and the effects of certification. A questionnaire survey was conducted on 126 forestry enterprises with certification as of May 2014. The results of questionnaire tabulation found different reasons for choosing FSC (high reliability of the international certification system) or SGEC (examination costs and difficulty of acquisition, certification acquisition by neighboring enterprises in the region, and guidance and information from familiar people and enterprises). The results suggest that choosing FSC or SGEC depended on international or domestic emphasis, reliability, cost, and difficulty of acquisition. Both schemes reportedly improved management planning, environmental impact assessments, and monitoring, but increased timber value was not reported. Japanese consumers’ understanding of forest certification should be enhanced and attention to forest management certification in Japan should increase because the SGEC now offers international certification. If SGEC certification is easier to obtain than FSC certification, and FSC is relatively expensive, the SGEC forest area should continue to expand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Policies Affecting Development and Forest Conservation)
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