In this module, you have examined many of the social, economic, cultural and legal aspects of sustainable forest management. Within the Montreal Process and other criteria and indicator systems, socio-economic factors are rarely given the attention they deserve. There are many reasons for this, but the most important is that such systems were developed by specialists with little understanding of the socio-economic aspects of forest management. This is changing as it becomes recognized that modern forest management is as much about people as it is about the forest ecosystems. This is perhaps best expressed by stating that forest management is not about managing forests: it is about managing the human activities that take place on forest lands. Expressed this way, it is clear that people are central to forest management.
In the next and final module, you will learn how to put this information into practice.