Current issue: 54(5)
Under compilation: 55(1)
This is a discussion paper on certain trends in forestry, and society as a whole which may constitute a major challenge for forest policy analysis in the future. Developed and developing countries are treated separately. In developed countries, one of the problems requiring policy analysis is the rising opportunity cost of forestry and the consequent weakening interest in commercial forestry among nonindustrial private forest owners. In developing countries, the most acute problem is the depletion of forests. While looking at the relative merits of the remedial means actually applied or suggested, major guidelines are needed for a proper balance between commercial timber production and forestry for rural development. Evaluation of past forestry projects is also desirable.
Use of tropical forest resources is analysed as part of the world forest resources and global development of forest industry. Finland’s role in the international division of labour of forest industry is investigated. Factors of competitiveness are analysed in order to differentiate specific adjustment constraints in Finland due to competition from developing countries.
It is concluded that in the long run there are two major factors which are restricting the growth of Finnish forest industry. First, tightened resources constraints, and second, competitive shifts in external markets due to new sources of production. Finland has already reached its wood-producing limits of sustained yield. Technological advances in the use of short-fibre raw materials for pulp and paper making, as well as in making programmes for establishing fast-growing plantations, have facilitated the utilization of tropical forest areas. In the short term, however, the competitive threat from LDC wood-processing industry is primarily directed to home markets rather than to exports.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The area of world forests is gradually declining because of various human activities, such as shifting cultivation, uncontrolled logging and industrial pollution. Continuation of the trends would have detrimental ecological, economic and social effects on global scale. The diversity of the problem is wide. The situation in the tropical developing countries differs from that in the industrialized world. With the present rates of population growth and unchanged forest policies, the fuelwood shortage in developing countries is rapidly aggravating. The need for more agricultural land tends to prejudice conscious efforts to increase wood production.
The industrialized countries are experiencing problems in introducing forest policy means to maintain sufficient timber supply. Rapidly increasing pollution problem cause a serious hazard to the existence of the whole forest ecosystem. Forestry has primarily been a national issue of relatively low priority in political decision-making, which has resulted in insufficient action to remedy the situation at national and international level.
The renewability of forest resources represents a strategic asset, the importance of which is bound to increase in the long-run potential for badly needed economic and social change in the world’s poor rural areas will be lost.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
The article is a description of the 8th World Forestry Congress held in October 1978. It gives background information for the papers published in the Silva Fennica issue 13, which includes the Finnish papers sent in the congress from Finland. The paper underlines forest and socio-economic problems of the developing countries, especially in the tropics.
The PDF includes a summary in English.