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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

The Polish Promotional Forest Complexes: objectives, implementation and outcomes towards sustainable forest management?

Blicharska, Malgorzata; Angelstam, Per; Elbakidze, Marine; Axelsson, Robert; Skorupski, Maciej; Węgiel, Andrzej


To implement policies about sustainable forest management (SFM), different international and national concepts have appeared. The Polish Promotional Forest Complex (PFC) concept was introduced in the 1990s. We analysed the emergence of this concept, its objectives and establishment, and its perceived outcomes on the ground. We conducted a literature review and sent out a questionnaire to all forest management units involved with the established 19 PFCs in Poland. The results indicate that the management in PFCs largely satisfied its objectives. However, in the context of SFM, this management was unbalanced to the advantage of the ecological dimension while paying little attention to either social or economic sustainability. This finding correlated with the SFM principle not being clearly defined in the policies for the PFC concept. Our results thus indicate that PFCs became neither pioneers in implementing pro-ecological forestry nor exemplary models for other Polish forests. We conclude that sustainable development as a process towards the goal of sustainability in countries in transition requires time and a change in attitudes among stakeholders that reflect both SFM policy and the transition from government to governance. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Poland; Promotional Forest Complex; Sustainable forest management; Policy implementation; Forest policy; Forest governance

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2012, Volume: 23, pages: 28-39