Forest Sustainability Reporting in the United States
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Indicator 7.62: New technologies and the consequences associated with their introduction

An indicator for Criterion 7: Legal, Institutional, and Economic Framework for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Management

What is the indicator and why is it important?

Indicator 7.62 is a measure of the capacity to assess the effects of new technologies in a broadly defined forest sector on the socioeconomic structure in which the technologies are applied (e.g., employment, industrial output, valued added, or productivity in the forest sector). New technology drives economic efficiency but has potential social and environmental consequences that should also be considered.

What does the indicator show?

Development of new technologies for sustainable forest management is largely a research and planning exercise, but is not mandatory or prescriptive in most cases. Federal research was classed as prescriptive earlier, so it is included here for consistency. But the brunt of technology development and assessment is derived from informational, educational, fiscal, or economic policy mechanisms.

Private enterprise interests drive much of the implementation of new technologies based on the research performed, as described in Indicator 7.60. Implementation occurs through voluntary adoption of promising technologies, supported by a variety of government incentives, subsidies, and taxes. Most of this technology adoption is market driven, based on public research that is disseminated through extension, education, scientific publications, conferences, and technical meetings.

Table 62-1: Policy and Governance Classification

What has changed since 2003?

Little direct evaluation of the socioeconomic consequences of the introduction of new technologies exists, although some socioeconomic studies and rural development analyses include this as a component of their analyses. No notable changes have occurred since 2003.

Criterion 7 Indicators