Sustainable forest management in Poland – theory and practice
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The conception of sustainable development has been implemented into practice in numerous economic sectors, including forestry. Forest ecosystems are extremely important in the global ecological system, therefore maintenance and appropriate management of forest resources according to sustainable development principles have engaged a great deal of attention. The concept of sustainable forest management (SFM) encompasses three dimensions: ecological, economic and social. A powerful tool to promote SFM are criteria and indicators. The aim of the article was evaluation of SFM in Poland, using one of the methods proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). According to data available, Polish forestry has a number of advantages: Poland has avoided the problem of deforestation, forest area has been permanently increasing, there has been observed improvement of forest health and vitality as well as a significant share of forests has carried out protective functions with no impact on timber production. Poland's model of SFM is an adaptive process of balancing the ever-changing set of economic, environmental and social expectations. Such a complicated undertaking requires constant assessing and adjusting forest practices, in response to new circumstances, scientific advances and societal input.
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