Forest ethics

Development does not always advance human wellbeing and the global ecosystem on which that wellbeing depends. This project interrogated some of the value assumptions behind development. Due to the cross-sectoral benefits and challenges of forests, the forest sector is often used as a testing ground for broader development solutions. Nowhere is this more true than in the arena of development ethics.

Duncan Macqueen

Director of forests, Natural Resources research group

The aim of this project was to investigate the role of forest ethics in advancing sustainable development in the forest sector.

The essential task of forest ethics is to ensure that actions launched under the banner of ‘forest development’ do not diminish human wellbeing.

What IIED did

Through analysis and the publication of reports, we drew attention to the mismatch between the driving forces behind expressions of human aspiration and the driving forces that shape outcomes in the forest sector.

A preliminary framework was developed to consider key problem areas in practice and to identify which national and international policies and agreements might be most useful in addressing them.