Communicating forestry facts via hearts and minds

Authors: Michelle Harnett, Tim Payn
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2020, Issue N.Z.J.For. 65(3) 2020, pp 10-14, Nov 2020
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: To combat some of the common misconceptions about plantation forests, the current science and knowledge around some of their lesser known benefits have been summarised in a series of fact sheets hosted on the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA) website. The fact sheets focus on the environmental benefits (ecosystem services) provided by New Zealand plantation forests, and on the need to protect the environment through sustainable forestry practices. The information is accessible to anyone who is interested - landowners, owners and managers of small, medium and large forests, district and regional councils, and the public. The environmental fact sheets are just one communication tool. Different approaches are needed for different audiences. Conversations between peers that place science (or the facts) in the context of what people value are one of the most effective and influential tools we have to change attitudes, opinions and behaviours.