Today’s complex institutional settings in forest management in European countries are legacies of the past. Many of the post-socialist countries, such as Romania, set their forest policy on stringent legal frameworks, including the consideration of normative qualitative analysis of forest ecosystem services (FES) and mandatory forest management plans. On the other hand, most of the western European countries have tended to deregulate since the mid 80s. They now rely more on voluntary and market-based policy instruments in the evaluation and marketing of forest ecosystem services.
There are very few empirical analyses on the effect of the interactions between different levels of governance management requirements. Nichiforel et al., in their paper, provide an empirical analysis of FES integration in three policy instruments: local forest management plans, the European Union Natura 2000 network and the Forest Stewardship Council certification standard. All three have a direct impact on Romanian FES.
Public pressure challenging the current forest management practices is increasing, and so is the EU citizens’ awareness about the benefits of forests: climate regulation, biodiversity reservoir, timber and other raw materials, water supply, soil protection and much more. That said, Nichiforel et al. highlight the need for forest management plans to adapt to a changing scenario with a higher awareness on ecosystem services and a deeper integration between legally regulated and voluntary approaches to forest management.
A complete description of Nichiforel et al. study and main results can be found in their paper.
Liviu Nichiforel, Gabriel Duduman, Ramona Elena Scriban, Bogdan Popa, Ionut Barnoaiea, Marian Drăgoi. Forest ecosystem services in Romania: Orchestrating regulatory and voluntary planning documents.Ecosystem Services, 2021, vol. 49, 101276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2021.101276.