What Is Multiple-Use Management?

Forestry and Land Management

Usa, Oregon, Boardman, Orderly Stacks of Timber in Timber Plantation

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Multiple-use refers to the management of land or forests for more than one purpose and often combines two or more objectives for land use while preserving the long-term yield of wood and non-wood products. This sometimes includes, but is not limited to foraging and browsing for domestic livestock, proper environmental conditions, and landscape effects, protection against floods and erosion, recreation, or protection of water supplies.

In terms of multiple-use land management, on the other hand, the primary concern of the farmer or landowner is to achieve optimum yields of products and services from a given area without impairing the productive capacity of the site.

In any case, implementing successful multiple-use management techniques help to prolong resource availability and keep forests and land viable for future yields of precious goods.

Forestry and Domestic Policy

Because of the high volatility of products yielded from forests across the world and their subsequent importance to not only the environment but international economies, the United Nations, and its 194 member countries, have agreed to sustainable practices regarding forestry and cultivation of agricultural land.

According to the Food and Agricultural Administration of the United Nations:

"Multiple-use forest management (MFM) is stated in the laws of many countries, in much the same way as the guiding principles of sustainable forest management (SFM) became entrenched in laws following the Rio Earth Summit in 1992."

Among those most affected remain the tropical rainforests, which had very low population densities and subsequently limited demand for products thereof in the past, but have come under rapid deforestation in the rapidly expanding global market. However, according to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) report from 1984, MFM is formally re-emerging in international policies because of the high demand placed on the ecosystems in recent years.

Why MFM Is Important

Multiple-use forest management is important because it maintains the delicate and necessary ecosystems of forests while still allowing populations to meet the rising demand for products yielded from them. 

Increased societal demands on forests for everything from timber to water and prevention of land erosion have recently driven increased environmental and social awareness around the concepts of deforestation and over-consumption of natural resources, and according to the FAQ:

"Under the right conditions, MFM could diversify forest use, broaden forest productivity and provide incentives for maintaining forest cover. It could also allow a greater number of stakeholders to receive forest benefits."

Additionally, implementing workable MFM solutions could cut down on international conflict, especially when it comes to environmental policies of rival nations and their concerned citizenry, thereby also decreasing risks and increasing the long-term yield of one of our planet's most precious and increasingly abused resources.

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Nix, Steve. "What Is Multiple-Use Management?" ThoughtCo, Sep. 2, 2021, thoughtco.com/multiple-use-1341734. Nix, Steve. (2021, September 2). What Is Multiple-Use Management? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/multiple-use-1341734 Nix, Steve. "What Is Multiple-Use Management?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/multiple-use-1341734 (accessed June 6, 2023).