Module 4 Summary

This module provides social and economic perspectives of forest management and protection. The ultimate goal of applying social and economic theories to forest management is to improve allocation efficiency and ensure equity of forest resource. In order to fulfill that goal we need to know what forest resource policy is and how to formulate forest resource policies. The introduction of China’s forest resource policy could help deepen your understanding of the practical operations of forest resource policy.

Economics is another instrument that can ensure forest resources are allocated efficiently. Since forest growth covers a long time span, we must use investment theory to figure out optimal forest rotation age that achieves maximum net present value of forest management outputs. The Hartmann formula and Faustmann formula can both be used to confirm optimal rotation age, but the Hartmann formula involves non-timber value as benefit. Theoretical analysis of optimal forest rotation age is usually conducted under some simplification of benefit cost. However forest management practice can be much more complicated.

Community plays a significant role in forest management. Conversely, development of forest-based communities is highly affected by quality, amount, utilization and protection of forest resources. Engagement of community into forest management is facilitated through a thorough understanding of the operational mechanisms of community forestry. A review of China’s collective forest tenure reform will help you have a better understanding on how to promote development of community forestry.