A sustainable tree plantation conserves native ecosystems, enhances local welfare and is financially profitable. Well designed tree plantations can also help save existing natural forests.
Although fast-growing tree plantations cover only around 4% of the world’s forests, they are a significant source of industrial wood supply. Sustainably managed tree plantations also have an increasing strategic importance for Stora Enso.
Stora Enso has large-scale tree plantation operations – including some of our own, and others owned through joint ventures – in Brazil, Uruguay and China, as well as a pilot project in Laos. Around 6% of our wood is sourced from tree plantations.
We never convert native forests into plantations
At Stora Enso we do not convert natural forests or protected areas into plantations, and we identify and protect areas that are important from a social, cultural or economic standpoint. We establish our tree plantations on lands with low biodiversity value, and we monitor the water balance at these locations carefully.
Benefiting local communities
Tree plantations can provide new opportunities for local communities and help to reverse economic decline and rural depopulation. When establishing plantations Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) are conducted to identify the potential impacts of our operations and to find ways to mitigate adverse impacts and enhance positive ones.
A new tree plantation has an effect on the local landscape and can raise questions in local communities. For this reason, we engage local stakeholders in dialogue. We fully recognise the rights of indigenous people and do not establish plantations in territories belonging to them.
Tree plantations and water
Stora Enso does not establish tree plantations in hydrologically sensitive areas, and we take such impacts into account already during the planning stage.
The overall hydrological impacts of plantations depend on many factors including previous land use, rainfall patterns and plantation design in the local landscape.