A thorough assessment of various forest management planning initiatives and development of improvement strategies towards an ecosystem-based planning

Baskent E. Z.

Environmental Development, vol.50, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.envdev.2024.101006
  • Journal Name: Environmental Development
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Decision support system, Ecosystem services, Forest management planning, Management principles
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Management planning for forests in Turkey has undergone gradual evolution over the last century. Developing and implementing a comprehensive management planning framework present significant challenges. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of various forest management planning approaches implemented across the country over different time periods, with overarching planning principles. It formulates a robust planning framework and proposes improvements grounded in scientific advancements and international standards. The assessment indicated that the management plans were developed using reputable scientific methods and principles aimed at ensuring the sustainable management of forest resources with certain strengths and opportunities presented by SWOT analysis. All management plans shared a common planning concept primarily focused on maximizing wood production through the area-control harvest scheduling method (except for continuous cover forest, which employed the single tree selection method). Each management plan established its unique vision, targets, policies, objectives, and planning guidelines. Forest inventory data were gathered through a combination of ground surveys and remotely sensed data to characterize and stratify the landscape. A robust in-house management authority and governance system with appropriate technical capacity and guidelines were developed and implemented, fostering a sound common working culture and tools. However, some notable drawbacks were identified, including political pressure, biomass/carbon accounting, growth-yield modelling, economic analysis, limited characterization of the full range of ecosystem services, risk and uncertainty analysis, food security and, particularly, long-term sustainability and scenario analysis with the appropriate decision-making tools and methods. Despite a few strengths, these limitations may raise concerns about the far-sighted design and application, potentially jeopardizing the sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Proposed improvement strategies for an efficient forest ecosystem management planning system include characterization of ecosystem services, modelling their productivity, scenario analysis with a decision support system, stakeholder involvement, balancing utilization and conservation targets, conducting risk and uncertainty analysis and economic analysis of management actions.