Why a sustainable forest policy is so difficult

Establishing a rational forest policy is a difficult task for many countries. One of the reasons for this is that different policy sectors - such as energy policy, foreign trade policy, are closely linked to forest policy and the interests of a multitude of actors need to be accommodated. Moreover, the unregulated exploitation of forests promises large profits. 

Three conditions are indispensable to a sustainable forest policy: straightforward and secure ownership rights, clear rules that everyone accepts and sufficient and qualified staff. In many countries, tax and financial incentives have proved to be an effective instrument in promoting both afforestation and the conservation of natural forest. Certification has resulted in crucial success, too, even though it has not been possible to attain all its desired goals.

Dr Erich Mies
Senior Project Manager
Natural Resources and Biodiversity
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Zschortau, Germany

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