Planted Forests: Combining the Interests of Nature and Man?`

Rune Peter Wingård & Charlotte Lunden Rønje

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This report has the following problem formulation: How can planted forests relieve pressure on natural forests and under which circumstances can planted forest area be expanded? The report takes its departure in the issue of deforestation and how this constitutes a serious threat to the natural forests of the world. The main reasons for deforestation are particularly agriculture and to a smaller extent need for wood. The first analytical part of the project investigates planted forests to see if these can relieve this pressure on natural forests. The corporate private sector is focused upon as it is found to be the most productive and the Danish forest investment company International Woodland Company is used as an example. We find that planted forest can relieve pressure on natural forests, as they can provide the wood resources the world needs. Planted forests also hold a potential to relieve natural forests in the sense they can provide a better alternative than conversion of natural forests to agriculture. They hold this potential as they are more productive than natural forests and hence a financially viable alternative, and as they can provide more biological benefits than agriculture in relation to biodiversity. Certification of wood from planted forests is found to be a good method to ensure that biodiversity is preserved. The second part of the project investigates under which circumstances planted forest area can be expanded under the framework of the investment theory New Institutional Theory by Trevino et al. This theory describes that in order to attract investments there is a need for regulative, cognitive and normative aspects in a country to function, these we examine. We find that states through clear and enforced legislation and having a stable functional state apparatus, as well through providing tax benefits and subsidies (or removing subsidies from agriculture) can help to attract investments in planted forests, this is related to the regulative aspect. Additionally, states can develop the cognitive and normative aspects by engagement with businesses, other governments, international institutions, environmental organization and local communities, in multi-stakeholder involvement and certification. This can also help to attract investments in planted forests. We introduce the concept of eco-effectiveness described by McDonough and Braungart in the book “Cradle to Cradle” since we see it as a way to overcome the duality of a nature versus man debate by combining the interests of nature and man. We use the concept to discuss whether planted forests are eco-effective in order to put a broader perspective on the matter. We establish that since planted forests provide financial benefits to man – which IWC is a good example of – and to some extent relieve pressure on natural forests planted forests are eco-effective, at least more than the alternative of agriculture. Certification is found to be problematic in the sense that on one hand it can, by forbidding conversion of natural forests to planted forests, conserve natural forests, on the other hand this legislation can lead to that natural forests are instead converted to agriculture which is considered less optimal in relation to biodiversity. The report concludes that planted forests can through supplying wood, by providing some of the biological benefits of forests as well as by being an interesting investment, relieve pressure on natural forests and under the circumstances of stable states providing clear property rights, and encouraging tax and subsidy conditions, as well as through good involvement of stakeholders and certification, can planted forest area be expanded.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 maj 2010
VejledereThorkil Casse


  • Deforestation
  • Nature
  • Cradle to Cradle
  • New Institutional Theory
  • Man
  • Planted Forests
  • Biodiversity
  • Certification