New Generation Plantations Project
The New Generation Plantations project is managed by WWF, with participation from forest companies and governments around the world.
The project promotes responsible plantation practices by learning from the experiences of participants in the field. It is supported by research organizations, local people and other stakeholders.
Why are New Generation Plantations needed?Currently, plantation forestry accounts for 7% of total forest cover, and already has the potential to provide two-thirds of the global industrial round wood supply, according to FAO statistics. Also, forest plantations are needed for bioenergy and biomaterials production, and can store carbon.
A proportion of plantations, often referred to as fast wood plantations, is more intensively managed. In Asia, Africa and Latin America, it is estimated that 40% of industrial wood supply originates from such sources.
Plantations generally use less land to produce a given volume of fibre than logging natural forests. They can make more room on the planet for conservation of remaining natural forests.
However, forest plantations can be controversial: some of their expansion has resulted from the conversion of natural forests and areas of high conservation values, such as grasslands and wetlands.
If poorly managed, the establishment of forest plantations may also result in negative social consequences due to a disregard for the rights and interests of communities.
Negative impacts can be avoidedThat is why WWF has initiated the New Generation Plantations project, an initiative for developing better plantation practices around the world.
The New Generation Plantations project:
- Promotes a better understanding of the role plantations can play in forest landscapes by reducing pressure on natural forests
- Collects and shares information on plantation forestry practices that can help achieve responsible plantations
- Requires that plantations are compatible with both nature and human needs; it calls for safeguarding biodiversity as well as rights and livelihoods
- Consists of WWF and leaders of the plantations sector, including forest plantation companies and government institutions
- Goes beyond biodiversity, as it encompasses bioenergy considerations, the role of forest carbon markets, and responsible finance in plantation forestry.