The forest sector in Chile: an overview and current challenges


Chile has a strong forest sector based on plantations of exotic species and an extensive area of temperate rainforests with unique ecological features and a wealth of biodiversity and endemism. We present an overview of the forest sector of Chile focused on forest resources, silviculture, economy, social and environmental aspects, and forestry education and research. The Chilean forest sector is internationally known for its success. Although this is one of the most important economic activities of Chile, management between exotic species plantations and natural forests is very asymmetric. Currently, highly intensive silviculture is applied to forest plantations of Pinus radiata (radiata pine) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus nitens) but only limited operational silviculture is applied to natural forests, even though there is considerable research to support it. There are still unresolved issues related to: conversion from natural forests to other land uses; pulp mills, and new efforts are needed from the government and large forestry companies to account for social and environmental demands. There is a good amount of university-level forestry education; however, there is an oversupply of professional foresters.

Journal of Forestry, 114(5) : 562–571.