Session 1.1 Forest policy and governance in Balkan, Baltic and Central and Eastern European countries

Chair:

Jaroslav Šálka

TA: Julia

This panel will share research studies about different patterns of forest policy and forest governance. Our regional scope are post-transitional societies and economies in Balkan, Baltic and Central-Eastern European countries.

Planned presentations and presenters:

  1. Ekaterina Makrickiene: Forest policy and governance in Balkan, Baltic and Central and Eastern European countries: A state of the art review
  2. Mersudin Avdibegović: Contribution of Forest Stewardship Council Certification to Sustainable Forest Management of State Forests in Selected Southeast European Countries
  3. Klára Báliková: Evaluation of the state forest enterprises – Examples from Czechia and Slovakia
  4. Zuzana Dobšinská: Comparison of media discourse on forest ecosystem services provision in two national parks in Czech Republic and Slovakia
  5. Ekaterina Makrickiene: How far did we move from command-and-control to good governance? A comparative study of Lithuania and Slovakia

Ekaterina Makrickiene, Vytautas Magnus University

Forest policy and governance in Balkan, Baltic and Central and Eastern European countries: A state of the art review

The Balkan, Baltic and Central and Eastern European countries are in transition from authoritarian regimes to democracies and from centrally planned to market economies that has been ongoing since 1990s. Yet, each of them went its own way. Today, some of them are parts of the European Union, others not, in some of them private forest owners are stronger than in others, process of restitution is at different stages, etc., which all creates a very exciting variety. The aim of this presentation is to consolidate the available knowledge as well as to promote the emerging forest policy research in the region. It focuses on different patterns of forest policy and forest governance in this region. This paper reviews articles published in scientific journals in last three decades.

Mersudin Avdibegović, University of Sarajevo

Contribution of Forest Stewardship Council Certification to Sustainable Forest Management of State Forests in Selected Southeast European Countries.

In recent decades, the concept of forest certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has been widely adopted in selected Southeast European countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia). As sustainability is traditionally recognised as   leading principle in the forest management doctrine in these countries, the aim of this study was to understand whether and, if so how, FSC forest certification contributes to the sustainable management of state forests. The research was carried out in two phases. First, in order to assess forest management compliance with FSC standard, non-conformities for the period 2014–2018, identified in audit Public Summary Reports, were analysed in all public companies that managed state-owned forests. Further, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with the professionals responsible for forest certification in these companies were conducted (n = 11) to determine the contribution of forest certification to the economic, ecological, and social aspects of sustainable forest management. In total, 185 non-conformities were analysed. The results show that FSC certification was successful in addressing certain problems in forest management practices and contributes to sustainable forest management, mainly covering social and ecological issues. The most frequently identified non-conformities were those related to FSC Principle 4 »Community relations and worker’s rights« (32.3% of all non-conformities) and Principle 6 »Environmental impact« (30.4% of all non-conformities). The contribution of FSC certification to sustainable forest management is mainly reflected in the following aspects: worker’s rights, health and safety of employees, availability of appropriate personal protective equipment, consultation with local people and interest groups, awareness of environmental impacts of forestry operations, waste disposal and storage of fuel, improving the image of forest companies and maintenance of high-conservation-value forests. The majority of non-conformities were minor and required procedural changes to be closed. Moreover, there are no statistically significant differences between the countries with regard to the number of non-conformities for all principles. It can be concluded that FSC certification, as a market-driven mechanism, plays an important role, influencing forest management practices and business operations of public forest companies in a positive manner.

Co-authors: Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh, Dženan Bećirović, Bruno Marić, Jelena Nedeljković, Stjepan Posavec, Nenad Petrović

Klára Báliková, Technical University in Zvolen

Evaluation of the state forest enterprises – Examples from Czechia and Slovakia.

Forests are fulfilling many functions that are essential for human-well being. Therefore they are under scrutiny of the general public. This is even more the case in the state property. The public want the state to manage forests in sustainable way with emphasis on wide range of their needs. The subject of the study is the evaluation of the success of two biggest state forest enterprises (SFEs) in the Czech and Slovak Republics: two neighbouring countries, which shared their history since 1918 until they separated 27 years ago. The success is there defined as a fulfilment of all aspects and sub-goals stemming from the overarching goal – sustainable forest management. The evaluation is done using 3L Evaluation Model based on the principles of benchmarking. The 3L Model (three-layer model) consists of designing criteria (C) and indicators (I) for comprehensive, science-based evaluation of state forest institutions with management tasks. The results show that both SFEs are strongly focused on sustainable forest stands, what is mainly caused by strong state regulation in both countries. Surprisingly, the evaluation of the economic effectiveness show significant difference between evaluated SFEs that used to be part of one state. The authors also pointed out rather weak orientation of both SFEs toward non-market demand, despite their efforts made in the context of increasing public pressure to improve the non-productive forest functions.

Co-authors: Jitka Krykorková, Mirjana Stevanov, Peter Surový, Jaroslav Šálka, Max Krott

Zuzana Dobšinská, Technical University in Zvolen

Comparison of media discourse on forest ecosystem services provision in two national parks in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The provision of ecosystem services in national parks is subject to conflicting views depending on the importance of the ecosystem service assigned by various actors. This article focuses on media discourse analysis and evaluates the opinions about public requirements for forest ecosystem services on the territory of two national parks – Šumava in Czech Republic and National Park High Tatras in Slovakia. Articles published in professional forestry and nature conservation journals between the years 2009-2019 were analysed using selected criteria. All together 35 (10 from Slovakia, 25 from Czech Republic) articles dealing with ecosystem services provision in these national parks were subject to the analysis. The results show that the discourse is framed around logging and conflicting views on how to balance silvicultural operations, non-intervention and recreation in national parks. Most of the actors agree that the problem is political and should be solved using public policy instruments.

Co-authors: Bianka Dúbravská, Marcel Riedl, Vilém Jarský, Jaroslav Šálka

 

Ekaterina Makrickiene, Vytautas Magnus University

The analysis of possibilities for diversified activities of State Forest Enterprise in Lithuania.

The experience of several European countries shows that state-owned enterprises can provide services that the private sector does not have the opportunity to develop. Growing interest to the ecosystem services, that are different form provision, brings a strong potential for the economic development of state forest enterprises. The aim of our research was to assess the possibilities to expand the range of services provided by a Lithuanian State Forest Enterprise (SFE). To identify the main possible activities, we analyzed the diversified activities of SFEs in 7 European countries, performed the analysis of the corresponding Lithuanian legal acts and performed the survey among state forest sector representatives.
Overall, we identified 6 possible additional activities for the Lithuanian SFE. However, currently there are no legal opportunities to develop most of them. For the further development of such activities, the corresponding legal acts should be modified.
The results of the survey showed the positive attitude of the majority of respondents to the development of new activities in the SFE. Most of the respondents observe a current decrease in the social potential of the SFE and regard diversified activities as a potential for the bigger contact between the SFE and society.

This is a picture caption @unsplash