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Implementing sustainable forest management in Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains: The role of traditional village systems

Elbakidze, Marine; Angelstam, Per


Maintenance of socio-cultural values and biodiversity at local and regional levels are new important additional criteria for the implementation of sustainable forest management. Ukraine's forest sector is in transition from planned socialist to market economy. We evaluated the role of the traditional village system, which was successful for centuries for achieving both common economic as well as these new dimensions of sustainable forest management in Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains. We used the Skole district as a case study that represents one of the most forested areas in Ukraine, and an integral part of Boiko people's ethnographic area. The village is a traditional social-ecological system defined by the traditional land use of pre-industrial cultural landscapes, and a spatial structure with land use zones satisfying different needs. Using documents on regional environmental history, analysis of socio-economic statistics, and interviews with local land users, we evaluated the extent to which the traditional village system supports socio-cultural dimensions of sustainable forest management. Our review of environmental history indicates that after different phases of cultural landscape development during several 100 years, the traditional village system is still a basic unit of the Skole district's forest landscapes. However, data and interviews show that the traditional village system is endangered. Making use of the total economic value of forest landscape resources, including wood and non-wood products and services based on cultural values and biodiversity, is an urgent task. Support of traditional village socio-cultural functions and land use systems including fields, wooded grasslands and forests should be milestones in a regional program of sustainable forest management. Traditional village system zoning and land use systems would be good indicators of sustainable forest landscapes. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


forest and woodland landscape; social and cultural sustainability; rural development; traditional land use; cultural landscape; forest policy

Publicerad i

Forest Ecology and Management
2007, Volym: 249, nummer: 1-2, sidor: 28-38

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    • UKÄ forskningsämne

      Miljö- och naturvårdsvetenskap

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