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Forestry or “The Art of Flying Blind”. Sustainability in an Era of Global Change

  • Ulrich Schraml
  • Roderich v. DettenEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Managing Forest Ecosystems book series (MAFE, volume 19)

Abstract

Sustainable development has become the most important normative landmark for international environmental policy. In the realm of forestry, the fact that governments, organizations, and business have discovered this concept marks the renaissance of an identical desire for benevolent forest use back in the eighteenth century. Today sustainable forest management (SFM) is still the leading principle in forest management.

The term “sustainability” is so imprecise and ambiguous that in the course of policy discussions it can be easily shaped according to interests and political intentions. For this reason, it is relatively easy to criticise a piece social or scientific analysis with the nebulous accusation that it has failed to take “issues of sustainability” into account.

Against this backdrop, the authors have reflected on the contradiction that, on the one hand, forestry derives strategies for future planning from the traditional approach of “sustainability” while, on the other hand, there are recommendations to address the growing uncertainties and risks related to forest production using adaptive strategies.

In following paper, we describe the relevance of the term “sustainability” for forestry, addressing first and foremost its symbolic meaning to the actors. Further, supported by data from a recent empirical study, we present decisive strategies on how forest enterprises and forest policy can deal with and prepare for future forest use. Based on this analysis, we draw conclusions on how to approach sustainability in forestry and propose suggestions for the further development of the term “sustainability” and the strategies based upon it.

Keywords

Forest Management Adaptive Management Natural Capital Future Orientation Forest Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Forest and Environmental PolicyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Forest EconomicsUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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