Planning is the process of producing information for decision making. Planning is necessary in forestry in particular due to the long rotations (maturing time of trees). Forest planning occurs usually at many levels in forestry: forest holding level (of the private forest owner) is the basic level, but different organisations such as state forestry agency may have several spatial levels and different planning horizons. Regional or landscape level planning may occur in many countries. All plans are important forest policy instruments but of course, for national forest policy the national level planning deserves special attention.
Until recently, the primary emphasis in forestry sector planning was on assessing forest timber resources and formulating strategies, primarily in relation to forest industries. Nowadays, its scope has expanded needs for environmental issues (incl. habitat protection, wildlife), reforestation, contributions of forests to sources of energy, and building the capacity of national forestry administrations.
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