Tree plantations currently provide a third of the world’s industrial wood, a proportion expected to increase significantly in coming decades. They also have potential to deliver environmental services and social benefits, such as combating climate change and implementing conservation efforts. However, many aspects of tree plantations have been and remain controversial, with concerns that associated environmental and social costs often outweigh economic and other benefits.
The TPL initiative explores the evolving state of issues related to tree plantations and planted forests within the larger landscape context through engaging key stakeholder groups at the international, national and local levels. The Forests Dialogue (TFD) launched the Tree Plantations in the Landscape (TPL) Initiative in September 2015 at the XIV World Forestry Congress in South Africa with the first field dialogue in Chile in 2016. The TPL Initiative in Brazil will build on TFD’s previous Intensively Managed Planted Forests (IMPF) meeting, held in 2008, which identified priority environmental and social measures.
This dialogue meeting on Tree Plantations in the Landscape was the first effort in a partnership with the New Generation Plantations (NGP) platform, launched ten years ago by WWF with the participation of many companies and government forest departments that manage plantations. NGP aims to identify and promote better practices for plantation design and management, learning and sharing experiences from around the world. Although they approach the issue from different perspectives and contexts, participants share a belief that as tree plantations grow over the coming decades they can – and must – bring real benefits to people and nature.
In order to complement and support existing processes in the sector, the TPL initiative has been developed to enhance discussions through field dialogues that address the TPL Initiative’s five key topic areas, listed below:
(1) Revisit issues raised in the IMPF dialogue in 2008, noting any resulting outcomes including changes by companies and new or remaining concerns;
(2) Identify the dialogue’s role to complement other international processes;
(3) Gather and share learnings and best practices from related processes;
(4) Catalyze and support regional and national level processes;
(5) Develop alliances, broaden reach and be implemented in collaboration with partners to avoid duplication
Photos from the field dialogue can be found here.