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Evaluation of the commitment of the Krakow Regional Directorate of State Forests and its organizational units to the development of recreational and tourist forest functions

Abstract

Forest management affects the scope of various functions provided by forests. Considering the increasing expectations of the society about utilizing non-productive forest, it is important to investigate the commitment of the State Forest units to the development of forest functions. The study’s aim was to evaluate the activity of particular organizational units, namely forest districts of the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Kraków (RDSF Kraków), in adapting forests to serve tourism and recreation. Our analysis covered data from the years of 2005–2009, which was obtained from forest management plans, financial statements and department reports of the RDSF Kraków as well as a questionnaire survey. Both direct and indirect additional costs incurred in order to adapt forests for their recreational function, were included in the analysis. We also attempted to estimate the potentially lost profits. The zero unitarization method was used to identify units showing the greatest and lowest commitment.

In the area of the RDSF Kraków, a total of 1 765 500 PLN was spent on tourism management and activities supporting recreation. Average direct costs amounted to 1.24 PLN/ha/year, while the workforce expenditure for maintenance of tourist infrastructure and historical buildings was estimated to be 60 700 PLN. Expenses incurred for cleaning up litter in forests attained 629 800 PLN in the considered time period. Profits potentially lost due to the lack of management in the protected zone ‘A’ surrounding health resorts, reduced by the costs of timber harvesting and extraction, were estimated to total 58 200 PLN. Our study indicates that during the analyzed period, forest districts differed in their commitment to the development of recreational and tourist forest functions. The synthetic measure of commitment varied between 0.114 and 0.694 in the State Forest units. The greatest additional costs were incurred by forest districts with towns and areas of high natural and landscape value. The Directorate of State Forests took the financial responsibility for adjusting forest complexes to tourist and recreational needs, but should nevertheless seek external financial and specialist support. The issue of internalization of the positive outward effects of forest management also needs to be discussed.

Open access
From production to multifunctional utilization of forest ecosystems

Od produkcie k multifunkčnému využívaniu lesných ekosystémov

Charakterizuje sa vývoj využívania lesov ako producenta dreva a zdroja nedrevných produktov. Osobitná pozornosť sa venuje verejnoprospešným (mimoprodukčným) funkciám lesov. Definuje sa multifunkčné (funkčne integrované) lesné hospodárstvo. Uvádza sa súčasná situácia v jeho realizácii, ako aj jej bariéry. Je to najmä finančná podvýživenosť lesného hospodárstva, keď až 80 % príjmov je z predaja drevnej suroviny. Navrhuje sa verejnoprospešné funkcie lesov včleniť do ekonomického mechanizmu subjektov obhospodarujúcich lesy. Tieto činnosti zabezpečovať ako riadne platené služby.

Open access
Social importatance of public forest functions - desirable for recreation model of tree stand and forest

Społeczne znaczenie publicznych funkcji lasu - pożądany dla rekreacji i wypoczynku model drzewostanu i lasu

Open access
Sustainable forest management in Poland – theory and practice

Abstract

The conception of sustainable development has been implemented into practice in numerous economic sectors, including forestry. Forest ecosystems are extremely important in the global ecological system, therefore maintenance and appropriate management of forest resources according to sustainable development principles have engaged a great deal of attention. The concept of sustainable forest management (SFM) encompasses three dimensions: ecological, economic and social. A powerful tool to promote SFM are criteria and indicators. The aim of the article was evaluation of SFM in Poland, using one of the methods proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). According to data available, Polish forestry has a number of advantages: Poland has avoided the problem of deforestation, forest area has been permanently increasing, there has been observed improvement of forest health and vitality as well as a significant share of forests has carried out protective functions with no impact on timber production. Poland’s model of SFM is an adaptive process of balancing the ever-changing set of economic, environmental and social expectations. Such a complicated undertaking requires constant assessing and adjusting forest practices, in response to new circumstances, scientific advances and societal input

Open access
Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services Across Europe – Main Approaches and Examples from Slovakia

Abstract

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are flexible, financial mechanisms for utilisation of available finances for environmental improvement. Payments for forest ecosystem services (PFES) have gained increasing policy acceptance at national and international levels. However, evidence about their implementation is limited and rather mixed. PES design is a complex task. There are a number of PES design features that need careful understanding of the specific ecological and socio-economic context. The aim of this article is to analyse main approaches to PFES and types of PES schemes or financial arrangements with the emphasis on three basic schemes: (i) public schemes or government-financed PES (Pigouvian type), (ii) private schemes or user-financed PES (Coasean type) and (iii) public–private schemes (a mixed type). The empirical part is based on the review of PES schemes implemented in different Forest Europe signatory countries. The main features of PES schemes are described on chosen examples from Slovakia.

Open access
Perceptions of Forest Owners and the General Public on the Role of Forests in Slovakia

Abstract

During the past decades, the awareness of environmental issues in forest management is increasing due to changes in environmental education. The perceptions of forests, sustainable management, and ecosystem services were studied through two surveys. The general public and forest owners were the two target groups. The questionnaires had similar questions, though two different methodological approaches were used - the CATI system, for general public opinion survey, and semi-structured questionnaires for forest owners. The second survey contained more detailed questions regarding forest properties. Combined answers from 1503 respondents from the general public and 150 forest owners were evaluated on the following topics: sustainable forestry, major ecosystem services, and perceptions of forests. The majority of the Slovakian public regards ecological values as the most important element, whereas forest owners prefer the economic purposes for the maintenance and enhancement of forests. Forest owners tend to visit their forests once per week, whereas the general public tend to visit only once per month. The main cause for this non-attendance in the general public was a lack of recreational time, followed by a disinterest in forests. The main purpose for visiting forests for both groups was recreation. Overall, it can be concluded that people are mostly satisfied with forest management in Slovakia. Forest owners are satisfied with their forest properties, and plan to keep them for their children. In the future, more attention should be focused on investigating the younger generation’s perception of forests.

Open access
Forests in the Czech Public Discourse

Abstract

Forests are being increasingly studied within the framework of social sciences, especially in relation to environmental problems and global climate change. This article deals with the perception of Czech forests and their management at two basic levels: at the level of sociological analysis of in-depth interviews with experts in the field of forestry and at the level of public opinion research. The main aim of this study was to describe the attitudes of professionals and the general public towards forests and forestry, especially with regard to climate change. Qualitative analysis of interviews with professionals discerned two main categories of opinion: ecological realism and social constructionism. The results of the study show that the Czech public, in agreement with ecological realists, considers it highly important to preserve and support the non-productive environmental functions of forests. The public also prefers close-to-nature forest management practices. Czech Republic is witnessing a fundamental shift in the mindset about forests. Although the public still expects forests to retain their production function, it perceives their environmental functions as increasingly important.

Open access
Forest ecosystem services – assessment methods

Abstract

Forest ecosystems represent the most important values of natural assets. In economic valuation techniques, to estimate the value of forest ecosystem services, the attention is still focused mainly on their market values, i.e. the value of benefits measured in the economic calculation based, first of all, on the price of timber. The valuation of natural resources is currently supported by considerations of the global policy, in order to strengthen the argumentation justifying the need to incur expenditure related to the protection of biodiversity. There is increasing evidence that biodiversity contributes to forest ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services. Natural capital of forests can be consumed directly as food, wood and other raw materials or indirectly – by benefitting from purified water and air, safeguarded soils or protected climate. At the same time, forest ecosystems provide us with a range of intangible values – scientific, cultural, religious as well as encompass heritage to pass on to future generations. In the era of increasing pressure on the use of free public goods (natural resources), it is necessary to improve understanding of the role of forests in creating national natural capital, and in enhancing the quality of human life. All things considered, the so called non-market forest ecosystem services may have a much higher value than the profits from the production of timber and raw materials. Needless to say, non-market values of forest ecosystems are of great importance for the quality of human life, and the awareness of this should translate into social behavior in the use of natural resources. This paper reviews the methods to estimate the value of forest ecosystem services in view of recently acknowledged paradigm to move forward from economic production to sustainable human well-being.

Open access
Ekonomická doba obmýtní / Economic rotation period

Abstract

The article presents selected results of the project of the Czech National Agency for Agricultural Research, “Differentiation of intensities and management practices in relation to forest biodiversity and economic sustainability of forestry” executed at the Department of Forest Economy and Forestry Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Agriculture in Prague. The results included the quantification of forest rotation periods derived from total mean increment, total mean value increment, and annual gross profit of forest production. Significant differences between the rotation period currently recommended and the rotation period relevant to economic optimum (maximum) were observed. The better the forest site (site quality class), the bigger is the difference

Open access
Developmental Dynamics of Localities Severely Affected by Anthropogenic Activities on the Example of Doly Bílina

Developmental Dynamics of Localities Severely Affected by Anthropogenic Activities on the Example of Doly Bílina

The paper focuses on the area of Doly Bílina in the Most district, on the landscape that has been severely affected by extraction of mineral resources for a long time and represents in terms of natural conditions one of the most damaged regions where no possibility of a return to original condition comes into consideration. By using appropriate remedial and recultivation measures, however, we can create a sort of "alternative" natural environment, which should be able to fulfil a greater part of all wood-producing and beneficial forest functions after a certain time, as did the original landscape system.

Open access