Associate Professor John Herbohn
Associate Professor John Herbohn
Reader in Tropical Forestry, currently also Professor of Tropical Forestry at Southern Cross University


Professional Membership of: 

Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia

Expertise Topics

  • Restoration of tropical forests
  • Forestry economics
  • Tropical mixed species plantations
  • Socio-economic aspects of tropical reforestation
  • Hydrological and nutrient impacts of reforestation
  • Small-scale and community forestry
  • Carbon dynamics in tropical forests
  • Climate change policy and forests
  • Multi-dimensional reporting systems
  • Management of tropical forests 

Research Projects

  • Enhancing the implementation of community forestry approaches in PNG.  ACIAR, $2.1M over 3.5 years commencing 2013
  • Improving watershed rehabilitation outcomes in the Philippines.  ACIAR $2.2M over 5 years commencing 2012

Research Project Opportunities

  • Field-based projects in Philippines and PNG in a wide range of areas related to improving the outcomes of reforestation and related to my areas of expertise listed abovel.  Possible projects include the following.
  • Design of mixed species plantations
  • Socio-economic assessment of reforestation programs
  • Carbon dynamics in tropical forests
  • Climate change policy related to tropical forests
  • Multidimensional reporting systems for the forests
  • Sapflow and water relations in tropical plantations
  • Nutrient cycling dynamics in tropical plantations
  • Impacts of plantations on soil properties

Selected Publications

  • Herbohn, J.L. Harrison, S.R., Bliss, J., McDaniel, J., Suh, J., Teeter, L., Vanclay, J. (in process).  Social and Economic Research Methods for Forest Management.  CAB International
  • Dayanandra, D., Irons, R., Harrison, S., Herbohn, J.  and Rowland, P.  (2005). Capital Budgeting: Financial Appraisal of Investment Projects – Chinese Edition.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 302 pp.
  • Dayanandra, D., Irons, R., Harrison, S., Herbohn, J.  and Rowland, P.  (2002). Capital Budgeting: Financial Appraisal of Investment Projects.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 321 pp.
  • Harrison, S.R., and Herbohn, J.L.  Eds. (2001).  Sustainable Farm Forestry in the Tropics: Social and Economic Analysis and Policy. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 292 pp.
  • Harrison, S.R., Herbohn, J.L. and Herbohn, K.F. Eds. (2000).  Sustainable Small-scale Forestry: Social and Economic Analysis and Policy.  Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. 247 pp.
  • Medrilzam, Carl, S., Dargusch, P., Herbohn, J., (accepted subject to revision). Smallholder farmers and the dynamics of degradation of peatland ecosystems in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.  Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.
  • Gregorio, N., Herbohn, J., Harrison, S. and Smith, C. (currently being revised following review). A systems approach to improving the quality of tree seedlings produced for agroforestry, tree farming and reforestation in the Philippines.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
  • Le, H.D., Smith, C and Herbohn, J.L. (accepted).  What drives the success of reforestation projects in tropical developing countries? The case of the Philippines. Global Environmental Change (accepted 18 August).
  • Tran, D.B., Dargusch, P., Herbohn, J., and Moss, P. (published on line). Interventions to better manage the carbon stocks in Australian Melaleuca forests.  Land Use Policy.
  • Medrilzam, Dargusch, P., Herbohn, J., and Smith, C.. (accepted) The socio-ecological drivers of forest degradation in part of the tropical peatlands of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Forestry (accepted July 2013).
  • Herbohn, J., Vanclay, J., Nguyen, H., Dinh Le, H., Baynes, J. Harrison, S. R., Cedamon, E., Smith, C., Firn, J., Gregorio, N. O., and Mangaoang, E. (published on line June 2013). Inventory procedures for smallholder and community woodlots in the Philippines: Methods, initial findings and insights. Small-Scale Forestry.
  • Herbohn, K., Herbohn, J. Smith, C., and Hartebrodt, C. (2013). A balanced scorecard experiment - experiences from Baden Württemberg.  Society and Natural Resources. 26 pp. 865–882
  • Meadows, J. Emtage, N. and Herbohn, J. (2013). Supporting Cooperative Forest Management Amongst Small-Acreage Lifestyle Landholders: Evidence from Case Studies in South-East Queensland, Australia. Society and Natural Resources. 26 pp.745–761
  • Cedamon, E, Harrison, S. and Herbohn, J. (2012, published on line).  Comparative analysis of on-site free-hand chainsaw milling and fixed site mini-bandsaw milling of smallholder timber.  Small-scale Forestry.
  • Herbohn, K.F., Herbohn, J.L., Dargusch, P (2012). Climate Change Policy in Australia: Organisational Responses and Influences. Australian Accounting Review 22(2) pp. 208-222. 
  • Emtage, N.E. and Herbohn, J.L. (2012). Landholders Management Goals, Use of Information and Trust of Others in Relation to the Adoption of Recommended Management Practices on Rural Land in the Wet Tropics Region of Queensland, Australia.  Landscape and Urban Planning 107, pp 351-260.
  • Emtage, N.E. and Herbohn, J.L. (2012). Assessing rural landholders diversity in the Wet Tropics region of Queensland Australia in relation to natural resource management programs: a market segmentation approach. Agricultural Systems 110 pp. 107–118.
  • Ngyuen, H., Herbohn, J., Firn, J., and Lamb, D. (2012). Biodiversity-production relationships in small-scale mixed-species plantations using native species in Leyte Province, Philippines.  Forest Ecology and Management, 274 pp. 81-90.
  • Dinh Le, H., Smith, C., Herbohn, J. and Harrison, S. (2012).  More than just trees: Assessing reforestation success in tropical developing countries.   Journal of Rural Studies 28, pp 5-19.

Key Stakeholder Engagement

Substantial involvement in policy development in the Philippines especially in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  Similar involvement in PNG.


I have a background in both ecology (BSc, PhD) and business (GradDipAcc, MCom).  In addition to my academic duties I am also a director of one of the largest forestry companies in NZ.  My research group is diverse, with individual team members investigating reforestation systems in the tropics spanning biophysical, socio-economic and policy issues. 
The overarching aim of my research has been to understand the factors that influence the biophysical and socio-economic performance of small-scale forestry systems with an objective to improving these systems, particularly in respect to smallholder and community forestry in tropical developing countries.  My research has a strong applied research and policy focus and is directed at informing evidence-based changes to practice and for policy development and implementation.  I have published five books with international publishers (one currently in process), including one which has been translated into Chinese, over 70 journal articles and 42 book chapters.
My PhD research investigated the impacts of selective harvesting on tropical rainforest, with a focus on the ecophysiology of early and late successional species.  My initial post-PhD research dealt with farm forestry in north Queensland and since 2003 I have worked collaboratively with researchers at the Forest Research Institute in Baden Württemberg to apply much of the NQ-based research to the Black Forest region in Germany.
Most of my research in the past 15 years has bridged the social and biophysical sciences.  I have led a series of large multidisciplinary research projects dealing with smallholder and community forestry in the Philippines and Australia. The focus of my recent research has been on smallholder and community forestry in developing tropical countries, especially related to timber production associated with small-scale farming systems.  Recently, I have also broadened my research to include issues related to climate change, particularly from the perspective of sustainable forest management and REDD in Indonesia and the role that forests (both natural and plantation) can play in carbon sequestration and how this role may be integrated into rural agricultural production systems at a landscape scale in Australia and the Philippines.   This work formed the basis of the Charles Bullard Fellowship that I recently completed at Harvard University. 
From April 2012, I commenced a large multidisciplinary project ($2.2M over five years) in the Philippines funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The aim of this project is to improve the rehabilitation of critical watersheds in the Philippines by identifying the key technical, socio-economic and policy drivers for successful rehabilitation and then applying this knowledge to design and pilot test initiatives to improve the outcomes from watershed rehabilitation including improved watershed health, sustainable landuse, and increased livelihood opportunities for rural upland poor leading to decreased poverty.  The project involves collaboration of researchers from a broad range of disciplines including forest scientists, forest modellers and economists (Herbohn, Harrison, Smith, Dargusch, Lamb - University of Queensland, Vanclay - Southern Cross University), ecologists (Firn - Queensland University of Technology, Foster et al. Harvard University), hydrologists (Bruijnzeel, van Meerveld -  VU University, Netherlands) and anthology (Dressler, Wageningen University)
In 2012 I completed a scoping study for a community forestry research project in Papua New Guinea which spans both the biophysical and social sciences.  I have subsequently developed a larger research project which is due to commence in November 2013 and has a budget of just over $2 million over three years.  The project team includes two anthropologists along with team members with forest science, economics and ecology backgrounds.   The focus is on improving both 'ecoforestry' (harvesting of natural forests by clans using portable sawmills) in the lowlands and reforestation of degraded grasslands in the Eastern Highlands.


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