Module 3 Introduction

Forests can be managed for a variety of purposes; it depends on the management objectives of the forest owner. The concept of multiple-use as applied to forests is well recognized by governments, private companies, and communities. It is based on the recognition that a variety of forest ecosystem services can be produced from the same land either simultaneously or serially, and this management will increase the net value of the forest. The management of forests for multiple purposes can occur across different forest lands at different times. However, for long term management, forest area is generally identified and classified for multiple-use based on certain objectives using various criteria as required by law. As such, forest management should be designed based on sound ecological, social, and economic aspects so as to ensure sustainable forest management. Determining the optimal mix of forest for multiple-use requires a systematic evaluation of the benefits and costs of forest ecosystem services and entails trade-off analysis. This is one of the challenges faced by forest managers. Understanding the concept of multiple-use and its trade-offs will help forest managers determine the optimal sustainable forest management strategies. This module introduces the multiple-use concept for sustainable use of forest ecosystem services.