Partner Event

Webinar series: Smallholder Planted Forests and Trees for Climate, Restored Landscapes, and Livelihoods

21 - 28 February 2023
12:00 - 13:00 America/New_York

The Yale Forest Forum is excited to announce the next speaker series for spring 2023, taking place on TuesdaysJanuary 17 – April 25th from 12:00 – 1:00 pm US ET. Hosted by The Forest School at the Yale School of the Environment(link is external) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Smallholder Planted Forests and Trees for Climate, Restored Landscapes, and Livelihoods

Planted forests, defined as forests that at maturity are predominantly composed of trees established through planting and/or deliberate seeding[i] represent 7 percent of global forest area[ii]. While the world’s natural forests are shrinking, with 420 million ha of forest lost through deforestation over the last 30 years[iii], the surface of planted forests is continuously expanding. Planted forests and trees outside of forests e.g., woodlots, fruit trees, hedgerows, etc. harbor an untapped potential to fulfill future needs through area expansion and productivity increases in existing planted forests[iv].

A significant portion of planted forests and trees outside forests are owned and/or managed by smallholders. Smallholder forestry usually takes place on land privately owned by non-industrial stakeholders. While smallholder forestry has a long history in Western Europe and North America, it has rapidly expanded in recent years to other parts of the globe[v]. Between 1990 and 2005, the area under smallholder ownership has increased three-fold[vi] and by 2005, smallholders owned 26% of planted forests globally[vii], largely exceeding planted forest area under corporate ownership. Furthermore, planted forests managed for productive functions made up 32% of all global planted forest area[viii].

Despite these increases, smallholders face technical, commercial, policy, and institutional challenges that hamper their performance, negatively impact their returns on investment, and ultimately affect their long-term viability. As reported by FAO[ix], smallholders have driven the dramatic expansion of tree plantations worldwide in the recent past and this trend may reverse if smallholders are forced to change from forestry to another land use.

This webinar series will focus on ways to harness the potential of smallholder planted forests and trees to contribute to the provision of environmental services, including addressing climate change, and livelihoods. It will primarily focus on the following questions:

  • What are the key success factors in the establishment and management of planted forests and trees outside forests by smallholders?
  • Which management objectives do smallholders pursue and how are they implemented according to business best-practices?
  • What are the operational risks, financial risks, and vulnerabilities smallholders face related to quickly evolving markets and a changing climate?
  • Which models and practices are most promising?
  • Which opportunities and business models arise from the transition towards carbon-neutral economies and the global momentum for ecosystem restoration?
  • What can be done to support smallholders? (i.e., policy, producers’ organizations, etc.

Join us every Tuesday from January 17 – April 25 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm U.S. ET.

Note there will be no webinar on March 14 and March 21.


Click here to register

Register once to attend all webinars and view the recordings.