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Third International Congress on Planted Forests: Planted Forests on the Globe - Renewable Resources for the Future

Guest Editorial

This Special Issue of the Journal comprises peer-reviewed papers that were submitted following the Third International Congress on Planted Forests. This Congress was organized by the Atlantic Regional Office of the European Forest Institute (EFIATLANTIC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Union of Foresters of Southern Europe (USSE). The Congress comprised three scientific workshops held in Bordeaux, Dublin and Porto from 15 to 18 May 2013, and one plenary meeting held in Estoril from 20 to 21 May 2013. The Congress was attended by around 200 participants, with more than 60 invited papers from more than 20 countries.

The Congress was the third in the series with the first held in Santiago, Chile in 1999, and the second in Wellington, New Zealand in 2003. The Congress focussed on global perspectives on planted forest development, vulnerability and risk management, ecosystem services and landscape restoration, and governance, economics, trade markets and profitability of planted forests.

A full summary report drafted by a panel of international experts can be found on the Congress website ( The Congress noted that the global planted forest area and wood production was continuing to increase, with expansion mainly in Asia, and that planted forests are being increasingly seen as complementary to natural forests and not as a replacement. Global risks were projected to increase both from a changing climate and from socio-economic factors where population pressure is high or there is a high incidence of poverty. It was noted that adaptation strategies to respond to these risks and to mitigate and lessen the damage from these threats were in their infancy.

Planted forests are also being seen increasingly as more than just a source of wood and there is increasing recognition of the provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (such as fresh water, clean air, bioenergy, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, or recreation) that these forests provide.

Good governance and management standards were emphasised, and the need to think of planted forests as an integral part of the landscape and land-use matrix rather than just alone. Security of tenure and management certainty are critical for long term activities such as forestry, and to ensure the attractiveness of planted forests to investment funds and to encourage a good economic environment for commercial activities.

Overall, the outlook for planted forests and their global contribution is positive though major challenges are expected arising from on-going climate change and from increasing socio-economic and environmental impacts. The papers in this special issue provide a permanent record of some of the topics discussed at the Congress. Special thanks go to the editorial and production teams at the New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science for preparing this special issue, and to the numerous anonymous manuscript reviewers for their valuable comments on each of the contributions.


Publication of this supplement was funded by the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited (trading as Scion).

This article has been published as part of JOURNAL Volume 44 Supplement 1, 2014: Proceedings of the Third International Congress on Planted Forests. The full contents of the supplement are available online at

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Correspondence to Tim Payn.

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Payn, T., Carnus, J.M., Freer-Smith, P. et al. Third International Congress on Planted Forests: Planted Forests on the Globe - Renewable Resources for the Future . N.Z. j. of For. Sci. 44 (Suppl 1), S1 (2014).

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