From the middle of the 19th century forestry strongly favoured the economic approach of attaining the maximum forest rent,an approach that was extended to most of the world under the framework of the «imperial forestry» model. Forest history in this period dealt primarily with the history of forestry and economic aspects. Forestry was changed during the 1950s, 1960s,and 1970s, by the rapid growth of the world's population and its economy, but was challenged by the rise of concern for the environment. In the following years forest history began to develop new approaches. The UNCED conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 advocated the notion of sustainable development,from which the criteria of Sustainable Forest Management are derived. These principles, however, neglected culture,history and landscape values. This problem has consequently been addressed by number of initiatives of the iufro group on forest and woodland history, supporting the need to include these values in SFM.

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