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Discussion And Debate Over The Importance Of Definitions
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Discussion and debate over the importance of definitions

The choice of definition is important because it can directly influence the administration of research and development programs and the application of planning guidelines or codes of practice.

In Creating a viable farm industry in Australia What will it take? (AHM-1A), Alexandra and Hall (1998) highlight the importance of clearly distinguishing farm forestry from industrial plantation forestry because " … the lumping of all forestry together tends to blur the issues which are important to farm forestry." They also argue that " … detailed definitions of plantation ‘types’ are required, not for pedantic reasons but because, by accurately recognising the differences, polices and programs can be targeted accurately." The full report is available at: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/AFT/AHM-1A.doc

In Social research to support successful farm forestry, (2001) Pearson, Coake and Aslin. agree, adding that " … language is important and acceptance of farm forestry is made more difficult when it is confused with social, stakeholder and environmental issues which relate to plantation or industrial forestry."

In It’s not easy being green: perceptions of the 2020 vision for plantation forestry in Australia, (2001) Shirmer’s social research confirmed that rural communities that felt threatened by industrial forestry did not feel threatened by farm forestry, or the " … development of plantations on agricultural land owned by farmers … " They saw farm forestry as being very different to industrial forestry despite the similarities between the two.

In Farm Forestry—Why is it different, Cummine (1999), the then National Policy Director for Australian Forest Growers, acknowledges that political forces contributed to encouraging industry sector and government support for particular definitions during the 1990s. He suggests that the industrial sector, whilst initially keen to discredit farm forestry, were nonetheless seeking to promote the idea of a seamless link between industrial forestry and farm forestry when funding for the National Farm Forestry Program was increased in 1995 in the hope that they could share in the increased funding.

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