Module 4 Introduction

As stated previously, forest management requires a variety of skills and disciplines of study. Foresters must combine knowledge drawn from biology and other natural sciences, applied sciences, and social and economic sciences. This module presents how to conduct forest management analyses from the perspectives of social and economic science to promote the sustainable use of forest resources. We also explain forest resource policy and the economics of forest management and community forestry. Forests are economic resources that we can use to produce goods and provide services. The goal of forest policies is to influence the way forest resources are developed, managed, and used, and on the economic efficiency of forest resource use.

There is an important temporal dimension to economic efficiency in forestry, the investment and utilization of the resource over time. The temporal dimension of efficiency is especially important in forestry because forests take so long to grow and can be harvested over a broad span of time.

Community forestry is an evolving branch of forestry whereby the local community plays a significant role in forest management and land use decision-making with the facilitating support of government as well as change agents. Forest management, in this case, also has a strong influence on the development of forest-based community.