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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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Plantations: From Security to Profitability

Plantations: From Security to Profitability

(p.57) 2 Plantations: From Security to Profitability
Plantations and Protected Areas

Brett M. Bennett

The MIT Press

This chapter analyzes the historical evolution of management methods for establishing timber plantations, from their earliest origins to the proliferation of plantations in tropical developing countries. It divides plantations into three ecological types: “afforestation,” planting trees where none existed; “reforestation,” using native species; and “exotic reforestation,” reforesting cut-over forests with exotics. Reforestation became the basis of plantations in much of Europe because native species proved suitable to planting in monocultures and mixed forests. Outside of Europe, plantations were usually only created after native forests were destroyed or when they could not provide useful timbers. Reforestation was possible in much of the United States of America after native forests had been destroyed. Governments in timber-deficient regions, such as South Africa, invested in afforestation and funded research that made growing exotic tree viable. Attempts to establish exotic plantations in tropical regions largely failed until foresters after World War II found ways to pursue exotic reforestation using exotics such as Eucalyptus. Trade liberalization made it cheaper for developed countries to source timber from cheaper developing countries. Neo-liberalization encouraged Western governments to privatize or lease state plantations. Native forests thus became less valued for their wood and more valued for biodiversity.

Keywords:   Eucalyptus, Free trade, Global history, Globalization, Forestry, Plantations

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