Published In

Computer-based Tools for Supporting Forest Management. The Experience and the Expertise World-wide

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Forest management -- Computer programs, Forest management -- Decision making, Forest ownership, Decision support systems


Computer-based tools for supporting forest management. The experience and the expertise world-wide answers a call from both the research and the professional communities for a synthesis of current knowledge about the use of computerized tools in forest management planning. According to the aims of the Forest Management Decision Support Systems (FORSYS) ( this synthesis is a critical success factor to develop a comprehensive quality reference for forest management decision support systems.

The emphasis of the book is on identifying and assessing the support provided by computerized tools to enhance forest management planning in real-world contexts. The book thus identifies the management planning problems that prevail world-wide to discuss the architecture and the components of the tools used to address them. Of importance is the report of architecture approaches, models and methods, knowledge management and participatory planning techniques used to address specific management planning problems. We think that this synthesis may provide effective support to research and outreach activities that focus on the development of forest management decision support systems. It may contribute further to support forest managers when defining the requirements for a tool that best meets their needs.

The first chapter of the book provides an introduction to the use of decision support systems in the forest sector and lays out the FORSYS framework for reporting the experience and expertise acquired in each country. Emphasis is on the FORSYS ontology to facilitate the sharing of experiences needed to characterize and evaluate the use of computerized tools when addressing forest management planning problems. The twenty six country reports share a structure designed to underline a problem-centric focus. Specifically, they all start with the identification of the management planning problems that are prevalent in the country and they move on to the characterization and assessment of the computerized tools used to address them. The reports were led by researchers with background and expertise in areas that range from ecological modeling to forest modeling, management planning and information and communication technology development. They benefited from the input provided by forest practitioners and by organizations that are responsible for developing and implementing forest management plans. A conclusions chapter highlights the success of bringing together such a wide range of disciplines and perspectives.

This book benefited from voluntary contributions by 94 authors and from the involvement of several forest stakeholders from twenty six countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia over a three-year period. We, the chair of FORSYS and the editorial committee of the publication, acknowledge and thank for the valuable contributions from all authors, editors, stakeholders and FORSYS actors involved in this project.


This is a section of an Open access publication; the complete work is available in the SLU publication database:

Persistent Identifier