Planted forest area has increased by over 110 million hectares in the last 25 years, and accounts for 7 per cent of the world’s forest area, according to the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.
Plantations carry potential risks and benefits, depending on their placement and management. WWF’s Living Forests Model suggests that a projected 250 million hectares of new tree plantations are needed between 2010 and 2050 to meet increasing demand, so the potential impact of plantations is significant.
Well managed plantations in the right places can help conserve biodiversity, protect natural forests and meet human needs while contributing to sustainable economic growth and local livelihoods. Plantations should not replace natural forests or other important natural ecosystems but rather be focused on degraded land, while safeguarding the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. Plantations should also maintain ecosystem integrity, protect and enhance high conservation values, be developed through effective stakeholder involvement processes and contribute to economic growth and employment.