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

Open access


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.

BARRAZA, L. - PINEDA, J. (2003): How young people see forests in Mexico: a comparison of two rural communities, Unasylva 213(54): 10-17.

HAJDUCHOVA, I. - SULEK, R. (2011): Forests - key development factor of selected regions in Slovakia. In Resources of the Slovak Republic as a factor of development strategies in European and global space. Bratislava: Ekonóm.

HEINO, J. -KARVONEN, J. (2003): Forests - an integrated part of Finnish life. Unasylva 213(54): 3-9.

HICKS, D. - HOLDEN, C. (1995): Visions of the future: why we need to teach for tomorrow. London, Trentham Books.

IZAKOVICOVA, Z. (2010): Nové netradičné formy environmentálnej výchovy (New Untraditional Forms of Environmental Education). Geographia Cassovienensis 2: 22-26.

KANGAS, A. - LAUKKANEN, S. - KANGAS, J. (2006): Social choice theory and its applications in sustainable forest management-a review. Forest Policy and economics, 9(1): 77-92.

KANGAS, A. - SAARINEN, N. - SAARIKOSKI, H. - LESKINEN, L. A. - HUJALA, T. - TIKKANEN, J. (2010): Stakeholder perspectives about proper participation for Regional Forest Programmes in Finland. Forest Policy and Economics, 12(3): 213-222.

KLEINHÜCKELKOTTEN S. - WIPPERMANN C. (2007): Kommunikation für eine nachhaltige Waldwirtschaft in Deutschland [Communication for a Sustainable Forest Economy in Germany]. In: Berichtsband zum 39. Forstpolitikertreffen, Tschechische Landwirtschaftliche Universität in Prag, Fakultät für Forstwirtschaft und Umwelt, Prag (in German).

KROTT,M. (2005): Forest Policy Analysis. Springer, 323 p.

KUMAR, S. - KANT, S. (2005): Bureaucracy and new management paradigms: modelling foresters' perceptions regarding community-based forest management in India. Forest Policy and Economics 7: 651-669.

LICHÝ, J. (2013): Proposal of model of forest enterprise media communication. Lesnícky časopis - Forestry Journal, 59(4): 276-283, 2013, ref. 30, ISSN 0323 - 1046.

MIZARAITE, D. - MIZARAS, S. (2006): Afforestation of agriculture land as a tool of rural forestry development in Lithuania. In: Wall, S. (ed.). 2006. Small-scale forestry and rural development: the intersection of ecosystems, economics and society. Proceedings of the IUFRO 3.08 conference hosted by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland. Online

RAMETSTEINER, E. - EICHLER, L. - BERG, J. (2009): Shaping forest communication in the European Union: public perceptions of forests and forestry. Final report. Online

SCHMITHUSEN, F. (2007): Multifunctional forestry practices as a land use strategy to meet increasing private and public demands in modern societies. Journal of Forest Science 53 (6): 290-298.

SCHMITHUSEN, F. - SEELAND, K. (2006): European Landscapes and Forest as Representation of Culture. In: Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Forest Management - The Role of Traditional Knowledge. Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, Liaison Unit, Warsaw, 1: 217-224.

SEELAND, K. - KILCHLING, P. - HANSMANN, R. (2007): Urban consumers’ attitudes towards nonwood forest products and services in Switzerland and an assessment of their market potential. Small-scale Forestry (6): 443-452.

SISAK, L. (2006): Importance of non-wood forest product collection and use for inhabitants in the Czech Republic. Journal of Forest Science 52(9): 417-426.

STEAD, J. (2001): Requirements of a forestry education from an ENGO perspective. In Meeting of Iinternational University Forestry Education Leaders. 4 December 2001. Vancouver, BC, Canada. University of British Columbia Faculty of Forestry/FAO.

Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica

The Journal of University of West Hungary

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.136
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.159


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 110 110 13
PDF Downloads 27 27 4