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Environmental Management

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 931–940 | Cite as

How Socio-Economic Conditions Influence Forest Policy Development in Central and South-East Europe

  • Dijana VuletićEmail author
  • Nenad Potočić
  • Silvija Krajter
  • Ivan Seletković
  • Christine Fürst
  • Franz Makeschin
  • Zoran Galić
  • Carsten Lorz
  • Dragan Matijašič
  • Matjaž Zupanič
  • Primož Simončič
  • Harald Vacik
Article

Abstract

In this article, several findings on socio-economic conditions derived from national reports and a web-based questionnaire are discussed and related to the changing role of forestry and the future forest policy development. A number of Central and South-eastern European countries taking part in a SEE-ERA-NET project ReForMan project (www.reforman.de) participated in data acquisition: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Serbia and Slovenia. The aim of the research was to illustrate the present structure of forestry sector, as well as investigate newly emerging topics in forestry of Central and South-eastern Europe. The results indicated certain patterns in attitudes and perceptions among stakeholders that can be related to socio-economic conditions defined for each country. Clear differences between member and non-member countries exist only in level of implementation of EU legislation. Results showed consensus on main threats to the forests among all countries, but also some country specifics in perceptions of factors influencing forestry, their importance and professional competencies. These results could be additionally explained by influence of historical conditions which shaped development of forest sector in SEE region especially in its organizational dimension as well as in perceived role of forestry expressed through recognition of main forest functions. The influence of European forest policy processes in the region is evident through adaptation of EU legislation and perceived implications of international processes on national levels. Based on this observation, two possible options for future development of the forestry sector can be foreseen: (i) focusing on the productive function of forests and fostering its’ sustainable use; or (ii) putting an emphasis on environmental and social issues. In both cases supporting public participation in decision-making processes is recommendable. Another conclusion based on perceived medium to low professional competencies to cope with new topics, that there is lack of confidence and need for professional support in decisionmaking processes.

Keywords

Central and South East Europe Forest management Forest policy development Policy processes Stakeholders Web-based 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The article is based on the study carried out as a part of Re-For-Man project (Regional forest management support needs––comparative user requirements analysis with regional stakeholder groups in Balkan countries and middle and eastern European countries), funded in the frame of the South-east European Era-Net (SEE-ERA-NET). We are grateful to all participants of the survey who provided us with substantial input in order to develop this contribution. Without their vital interest in socio-economic and forest policy issues this work would not have been possible.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dijana Vuletić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nenad Potočić
    • 1
  • Silvija Krajter
    • 2
  • Ivan Seletković
    • 1
  • Christine Fürst
    • 3
  • Franz Makeschin
    • 3
  • Zoran Galić
    • 4
  • Carsten Lorz
    • 3
  • Dragan Matijašič
    • 5
  • Matjaž Zupanič
    • 5
  • Primož Simončič
    • 6
  • Harald Vacik
    • 7
  1. 1.Croatian Forest Research InstituteJastrebarskoCroatia
  2. 2.Croatian Forest Research InstituteZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Institute for Soil Science and Site EcologyDresden University of TechnologyTharandtGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Lowland Forestry and EnvironmentNovi SadSerbia
  5. 5.Slovenian Forestry ServiceLjubljanaSlovenia
  6. 6.Slovenian Forest InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  7. 7.Institute of SilvicultureUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesViennaAustria

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