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There is growing international recognition of the multiple benefits of forests to the environment, society and the economy. Forests mitigate climate change, protect biodiversity, improve water quality and soil conservation, sustain livelihoods, provide recreational facilities, and support economic development. Sustainable forest management can be described as achieving a balance between the productive uses of a forest and not unduly affecting its future productivity or causing undue negative effects on the physical and social environment. New Zealand participates in a range of forums and regional and international agreements which cover sustainable forest management issues:
These international forums and processes have differing roles and objectives, and contribute in varying degrees to policy design, implementation of policy, providing technical assistance or reporting on forestry issues.