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The (new) role of public forest administration in Western Balkans: examples from Serbia, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, and Republika Srpska

Stevanov, Mirjana, Krott, Max, Curman, Marta, Krajter Ostoić, Silvija, Stojanovski, Vladimir
Canadian journal of forest research 2018 v.48 no.8 pp. 898-912
forest industries, forest management, forest policy, forest stands, models, politics, private forestry, profits and margins, state forests, surveys, Balkans, Croatia, Serbia, Yugoslavia
Public forest administrations in the Western Balkans were challenged when facing novel forest policies following the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. To answer (i) what (formal) goals lead public forest administrations nowadays and (ii) how do public forest administrations fulfil these goals, we evaluated the implementation of forest policy goals in Serbia, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, and Republika Srpska by using existing criteria and indicators and the 3L model as a theoretical basis. Survey and document analyses focused on the effects observable in state and private forests. In state forests, all public or state forest enterprises were able to reach goals of multifunctionality and profitablity by prioritizing marketable goods. Sustaining forest stands is important, but it is met differently in practice. Performance in private forests is much weaker and the influence of ministry departments or sectors is weak. In conclusion, the potential for a new, stronger role of public forest administration exists: (i) the supply of marketable and nonmarketable goods could be increased, whereas securing sustained forest stands remains a permanent challenge; (ii) efficiency and profits could be improved if internal and external pressures grow; and (iii) joining forces of forestry actors could strengthen the currently weak political role and enable a strong forestry representative to emerge in the future.