Current issue: 53(4)
The usefulness of forest sector models in forest policy analysis is discussed, mainly based on experiences from Norway. Forest sector modelling is contrasted to two alternative approaches: (i) Intuitive, verbal analysis, and (ii) econometric models. It is concluded that forest sector models, properly developed in contact with the policy makers, should be of considerable value in forest policy analysis.
Land use problems are very often a serious obstacle to forestry development in several countries of both developed and developing world. To overcome these problems an integrated land use policy is needed for designing and implementing innovative programs aimed at the integrated development of forestry with other land uses and the social, cultural, political, ecological and economic environment involved. Policy analysis can assist in the success of such programs by identifying the people’s needs and concerns, by gathering information about land capacity, land tenure and the traditional production systems, by testing alternative polices and by evaluating the programs after their implementation so that the necessary readjustments are made.
This paper considers the problems of world’s forestry and emphasizes the policy nature of the most threatening issues. A policy science approach is needed in order to be able to provide effective tools to solve the problems. Incremental forest policies followed are evaluated to be too tardy to respond to the many forestry issues of today. Managing the global forestry issues presupposes the design of new and more effective and efficient public policy programs. More profound policy analysis is therefore needed to improve the intellectual basis for planning and decision making. The advancement of the research on the effectiveness presupposes further development of the theories of timber supply and forestry investments as well as the improvement of national forestry statistics. The whole forest policy process should be a subject to intensified systematic research.
The need for the planning and analysing of public policy has increased in economic and social policy, along with the expansion of the public sector, i.e. as the number of aims of the policy has increased and the objects of it have become more versatile, the objects of allocation have likewise been multiplied. In addition, the significance of planning a public forest policy has been emphasized by many economic and social changes in forestry and the timber economy.
The purpose of the present paper is to outline a general frame of reference for empirical policy analysis, upon which the effectiveness analysis of forest policy is also based. The approach serves as a methodological frame for the empirical analysis, presented in the following paper of this issue of Silva Fennica, in which econometric methods are applied to the examination of the effect of public forest policy.