Micro-processes and system-level sustainability : an analysis of small-scale forestry in Australia

Surrao, Suzanne. (2001). Micro-processes and system-level sustainability : an analysis of small-scale forestry in Australia Honours Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Surrao, Suzanne.
Thesis Title Micro-processes and system-level sustainability : an analysis of small-scale forestry in Australia
School, Centre or Institute School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2001
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Language eng
Subjects 14 Economics
Formatted abstract
There are currently strong economic, social and political forces in the Australian forestry sector that are increasing the importance of the small-scale forestry industry. As a distinctive industry within the broader forestry sector, small-scale forestry involves the establishment of smaller size tree plantings on private land, typically associated with farming systems, and multiple-use management objectives associated with the full range of forest resources (both timber and non-timber benefits, including biodiversity). These production and ownership conditions in small-scale forestry are highly conducive to sustainable forest management (SFM). Referring to SFM as incorporating efficiency in the use of forest resources as well as flexibility to generate a range of timber and non-timber benefits, it follows that increased productivity in small-scale forestry will necessarily lead to increased progress towards SFM. Building on theoretical and empirical findings that support the idea of SFM in small-scale forestry, this thesis proceeds to construct an analytical framework based on evolutionary economic concepts in order to understand the long-term development of the small-scale forestry industry. Emphasis is on micro-level processes and system-level sustainability, with the diversity of small-scale forest owner behaviours and techniques, linked to their multiple-objectives, a fundamental property of the systems' interconnectedness. Unifying themes include the coevolution of productivity and SFM in the small-scale forestry industry, the progressiveness of small-scale forestry in terms of SFM as an outcome of innovation and diffusion processes, and self-organisation featuring qualitative systemic change along a trajectory of 'SFM regimes'. The analytical results imply that small-scale forestry policy should be process-oriented and not goal-oriented, experimental, and that policy-makers should pay more attention to their own learning process in order to gain knowledge about the feasibility, social costs and social acceptance of their policies.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Mon, 06 Dec 2010, 13:39:52 EST by Ning Jing on behalf of The University of Queensland Library