Recent and prospective forest sector developments in Central Europe
Since economic transition began in many Central East European Countries (CEECs) nine to ten years ago, a number of significant features of development have emerged in relation to changes within CEEC forest sectors. These include changes in ownership of both the forest resource and the forest industry, in forest policy and legislation, and in the production, consumption, trade and marketing of forest products. The objective of this thesis is to analyse recent and prospective forest sector developments in Central Europe, and to consider the implications of these developments on the economy, society, and environment of three Central European study countries (Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary), and on Central and Eastern Europe as a whole. Policy analysis is carried out through a review of forest sector policies and way in which these policies developed during the second half of the twentieth century. Based on the content of new Forest Acts, a description of current policy and an analysis of the implications of new policies is undertaken. Institutional analysis evaluate the extent to which the state has retreated from its original roles and the private sector has emerged to take on an increased role within the sector. Product market analysis is undertaken through the construction of a forest sector scenario model which projects future levels of production, consumption, import and export of seven forest products, at 5-year intervals, to the year 2050. Projections are made under three scenarios, based on differing rates of future economic growth. In the three study countries, the forest sector has adapted rapidly to the market economy system. New forest policies have been quickly developed and implemented to address the different circumstances in which the sector is in. A well managed forest resource supplies quality raw timber to a modernised and growing processing sector, which in turn is producing an increasingly wide range of timber products to growing domestic and international markets.