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Plantations and Protected AreasA Global History of Forest Management$
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Brett M. Bennett

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029933

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029933.001.0001

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The Conservation Model: Universal Pattern, Local Adaptation

The Conservation Model: Universal Pattern, Local Adaptation

(p.17) 1 The Conservation Model: Universal Pattern, Local Adaptation
Plantations and Protected Areas

Brett M. Bennett

The MIT Press

This chapter traces the origins, development and spread of the “conservation model” of forest management from the late 1400s until the mid-20th century. It challenges historical interpretations which see Germanic-speaking countries as the putative origins of European and global forest management practices. The chapter shows how ideas of forest management developed widely throughout Europe in response to perceived and real wood shortages that threatened the security of states. It situates the rise of scientific forestry and the idea of sustainability as part of broader responses to the challenges of the “organic economy” in the early modern era. German forestry practices were not applicable globally. The ecology of central Europe made it possible to regenerate native tree species, a development that aided the creation of plantations, but this was not feasible in tropical or arid climates. Fears of deforestation and climate change—key drivers of the global adoption of the conservation model—were inspired by examples from outside of Europe, not Germany. Foresters in most countries sought to conserve and regenerate native forests, when possible, and only used plantations when absolutely necessary. Foresters conserved many of the world’s forests rather than turning them monocultures prior to World War II.

Keywords:   Climate change, Deforestation, German forestry, James Scott, Plantations, Silviculture, Sustainability

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