Module V: Objectives

The objective of this topic in this module is to provide you with an understanding of the indicators that are used to determine how well the social, economic and cultural values associated with forests are being maintained. In particular, you will learn how humans benefit from forests, whether it be in the form of economic returns, or a range of more intangible values such as cultural and social benefits. The importance of this aspect cannot be over-emphasized, yet it is amongst the most difficult to measure and monitor. While it is relatively easy to monitor financial aspects of forests, in this module you will learn about many other benefits that humans derive from forests, and how these are assessed.

In the second topic of this module, we will look at the legal aspects of forests. The objective here is to demonstrate to you how the legal system influences the way that you practise forestry. This may consist of direct effects, such as legislation related to the practice of forestry where you are working, or indirect effects, caused by legislation imposed in other jurisdictions, or by international convention. Every country (and many regions within countries) have unique combinations of laws and regulations governing forest management. Here will only look at those affecting Australia, and you will need to familiarize yourself with the legislation applicable to any area that you are working in.

Relevant Components

  • The economic contribution of forests
  • Value of non-timber forest products
  • Forest ecosystem services and non-consumptive uses
  • Forest governance and rights
  • Social, cultural and spiritual needs and values

After taking this module, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the economic role of forests
    1. Describe how the socio-economic benefits can be measured
    2. Describe how trends in forest sector employment can be reported
    3. Describe how the forest sector contribution to the global economy can be reported
  2. Assess non-timber forest products and their role in the forest-based economy
    1. Describe some of the variety of non-timber forest products
    2. Describe how the production of non-timber forest products and timber can be integrated
    3. Provide some in-depth accounts of some non-timber forest products
  3. Explain the importance of forest ecosystem services
    1. Describe the range forest ecosystem services and non-consumptive uses
    2. Explain how forest ecosystem services are valued
    3. Explain the role of forest ecotourism as a forest ecosystem service
  4. Explain the principles of forest governance
    1. Describe how forest policies encourage sustainable forest management
    2. Explain different perspectives on sustainable forest management
    3. Describe the changing roles of forest stakeholders
  5. Describe the importance of social, cultural and spiritual values associated with forests
    1. Describe the special needs associated with forest-dependent indigenous peoples
    2. Explain how spiritual needs of forests have been present in most societies
    3. Describe values associated with national parks and wilderness areas
    4. Describe contemporary cultural values associated with forests