Maintaining and enhancing the socio-economic benefits of forests

Forests provide a wide variety of social, cultural and economic goods, services and benefits. In some parts of New Zealand, forests and forestry are the significant or major source of income, livelihood and wellbeing. In other regions, forestry is an increasingly important source of local wealth and economic activity.

Levels of production and consumption of forest products, employment, and health and safety in the forest sector, all contribute to an understanding of the socio-economic benefits of forests,

Forest-based recreation and tourism, and other social and cultural forest values also illustrate the many benefits forests provide.

Measuring the socio-economic benefits of forests

There are a wide range of measures which can be used to describe the socio-economic benefits of forests, including:

(i)    forest production

(ii)    investment

(iii)   employment and wages

(iv)   health and safety

(v)    social, cultural and spiritual values.

  • Forest production has increased over the past decade, while employment in forestry and wood processing has declined.
  • Reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries is a high priority for both government and industry.
  • The social, spiritual and cultural values of planted forests are being increasingly recognised as more forests join certification schemes.

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