This indicator measures the extent of forests managed primarily for their cultural, social and spiritual values to people and communities, including indigenous communities and others with strong ties to forests. The protection of forests to meet such needs and values is a reflection of the extent to which they are recognised by society.
The protection of important cultural sites, particularly wāhi tapu sites (sacred or sites of special cultural significance to local Maori) in the management of plantation forests is provided for through statutory planning processes under the Resource Management Act 1991 (see Indicator 7.1.a).
Management of Māori-owned plantation forests, and of plantation forests on Māori-leased land, commonly gives recognition to Māori customary values.
Social values are not generally accorded primary recognition in plantation forest management, though with third-party certification placing emphasis on social values, their incorporation in forest management is increasing.