The accounting of land use changes in the forest sector : a review
The use of wood is increasingly being promoted as a means of carbon substitution (material, energy) and storage to replace fossil fuels and GHG-emitting materials in order to contribute to climate mitigation efforts. The additional production of biomass may result in dynamics in land uses that have impacts on the environment. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) methods such as life-cycle analysis (LCA), ecological footprints, material flow analysis (MFA) are commonly used to quantify the impacts of land use dynamics on the environment. This study provides an overview of what types of LUC’s are identified in the forest sector and how? The research question is divided as follow : which LUC’s phenomena are studied, what are the methods used, and what environmental impacts are studied. Based on a systematic review, we identify 64 articles, out of which 42 were relevant. We distinguish two types of LUCs studied in this literature of the forest sector : at the extensive margin (extension or reduction of a production surface) and at the intensive margin (by intensifying forest management practices). A majority of articles study the impacts at the extensive margin in terms of carbon emissions using ecological footprint methods. Impacts in terms of biodiversity loss, water pollution and soil erosion were barely accounted for. This study concludes by giving insights on The environmental impact of forest management and on the definition of LUC’s concepts in the forestry sector.