The socioeconomic impacts of large-scale tree plantations

Lead Reviewer: Arttu Malkamaki, University of Helsinki

Systematic review protocol: CIFOR Working Paper 222

To meet increasing demand for forest products and services, the global area of planted forests has increased dramatically over the past 25 years. Further investments in large-scale tree plantations are expected due to their high productivity, economic profitability and contribution to climate change mitigation targets. This raises questions about their long-term sustainability, as well as their impacts on forest ecosystem services and local livelihoods, particularly in countries characterized by rural poverty and insecure property rights.

Previous studies have discovered the mixed impacts of large-scale tree plantations across different geographical and governance settings, although the particular conditions that have led to positive outcomes have not been examined in detail. This systematic review aims to synthesize the available evidence on the direct and indirect impacts of large-scale plantations on local communities, and will also identify trends, bias and gaps in existing research. A deeper understanding of the local socioeconomic impacts of existing large-scale tree plantations, the interlinkages between certain outcomes and impacts, and those conditions that have resulted in positive impacts is required to better define the concept of a “sustainable plantation” and support the development of better targeted policy interventions.

Funding Partners