Current issue: 56(2)
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.
This paper designs an Economy-Welfare-Environment Adjustment System model (EWEAS model or EWE model in short) which consists of the circular flow of the economic, the welfare, and the environment system of forestry. That is, this model builds the relationship between the systems for material wealth and that for mental wealth.
The EWE model is designed as a complete open system model which describes the economy-welfare-environment circular system in forestry by linking up the internal system of forestry with the surrounding external systems. The EWE model can be manipulated as a policy formation or a policy decision model, and it is available for policy evaluation in the economic, the welfare and the environmental phase of forestry. The model is a basic simulation system model which is reliable in its reproductive fitness, stability and universality. Thus, this model ought to be useful in any country in the world as well as in Japan.
In this paper, the author explains the characteristics of the Japanese forestry planning system and points out some of the problems found therein from the viewpoint of the management of privately-owned forests relating to the economic background and governmental policy.
The forestry planning system is a centralizes type of planning, the planning begins at the top and flows downward and outward the periphery. In order to make this planning system an effective instrument, the district forestry planning founded under the system must approach the problem of how to combine the resources of the forest with the district’s inhabitants and the forest owners; and further, the extent of the effective union of the district and the local timber manufacturing must be examined.
Non-industrial private landowners hold about two-thirds of the forest land in the southern United States. The types of public (state) and private (consulting and industrial) assistance offered to these owners is reviewed. In total, about 1,600 foresters in the South provide management assistance to non-industrial private forest owners. They assist at least 72,000 owners annually, including provision of management plans for about 10 million acres and supervision of over 4 million acres of leased lands.
A brief overview of forestry in European Community (EC) of the 9 is presented. Forestry incentives seem necessary for increasing timber production on private ownership in order to avoid possible price inflation.
In the economic analysis of the program evaluation method proposed here to assess the efficiency of such incentives, a broad EC perspective is recommended to avoid erroneous conclusion. The evaluation made from the prospect of a member country only is artificial and is influenced by EC policies anyway. The evaluation changes depending on whether these EC policies are considered given and immutable or not.
Comprehensive state laws regulating the practice of forest management on private lands are in effect in seven of the United States. Established to protect a wide range of non-timber forest resources and to ensure reforestation after harvest, these laws may impose significant administrative costs on states and significant compliance costs on landowners and timber operators. Total state administration costs for 1984 are estimated at $10.1 and total private sector compliance costs are estimated at $120.5 million, for a total regulation cost of $130.6 million.
The resource protection effectiveness of state forest practice regulation is difficult to quantify. However, agreement is strong that regulation has led to significant improvements in forest resource conditions and has helped to increase reforestation.
In 1979, the Federal Research in the United States instituted a so-called ”tight money” policy which led to a decrease in the demand for stumpage. The decrease in demand brought about lower stumpage prices and, consequently, a waning interest in policies to stimulate NIPF production. The authors report on five recent studies on NIPF behaviour and raise concerns that increases in demand for housing may bring new pressure upon NIPF as a source of wood.
A nation that wishes to enhance its social and economic well-being through more intensive utilization of its forest resources must develop a rather comprehensive policy statement to ensure that the expanded exploitation does not lead to the destruction of these resources. The policy must specify the goals to be achieved, provide general direction on how these goals can be achieved, and develop a system of checks-and-balances to ensure achievement of the long-term objectives. The policy must consider resource protection, the economic needs at the various levels of government, the social impacts of utilization on ways of life in all areas of the nation, and the infrastructure needed in the short and long terms.
In order to understand the present forest policies for the small woodlot of Quebec, it is essential to understand the history of settlement of Quebec. Following this brief description, the author introduces the various forest policies (programs) which have been initiated in Quebec by various levels of governments in order to deal with the management of these lands.
In Japan many governmental projects have been promoted during 35 years since 1950, which were most active in the history of our forestry and wood industry. They were pushed forward for and by high economic growth. This article refers to the development of our forest policy and projects in those days. But as for the future of the forest economics, it is an urgent question to develop the comparative study between every nation’s experience. In order to contribute to this problem, the forest policy is divided into three fields and experiences are discussed.
Standard methods of welfare economics are used in a market simulating framework to evaluate policy measures designed to increase future timber supplies. Forest management cost-share programs are examined using this methodology. The differential regional impact of cost-share payments is considered, as is the distribution of these benefits between stumpage producers (owners of forest land) and stumpage consumers (producers of forest products). Previous estimates of the welfare gains that would result from a higher level of forest management cost-share payments in the southern United States are revised to account for the loss of public revenue resulting from lower future prices. A methodology for comparing alternative policy instruments is discussed, and a preliminary, qualitative comparison is made between the use of cost-share payments and alternative policy measures.
An empirical analysis of the Finnish non-industrial private forest owners indicates that forestry extension has an effect on the supply of timber and the use of cutting potentials. This effect appears to be indirect rather than direct. The use of extension services is likely to increase the frequency of timber sales, which in turn, increases the use of the allowable cut via increased volume of actual cuttings. Forestry extension can also be considered as an intermediate variable through which certain background conditions and owner characteristics affect the use of cutting potential.
To conduct an efficient forest policy, both a normative and a positive theory are necessary. In addition, however, the explicit intertemporal considerations in natural resource economics demand that it is made crystal clear which means are permanent and which are non-permanent. The permanent case is far from easy to solve.
That the theoretical problems have practical relevance is shown by Swedish experience. A practical course of action is to weight possible positive effects from a permanent subsidy against possible deleterious outcomes. It is also desirable to avoid jerkiness in forest policy, which is likely to create uncertainty about the permanence of permanent means.
Law may sometimes be more efficient in creating ”credibility” than economic incentives. Regeneration has been mandatory in Sweden since 1903, and nobody refrains from cutting because he believes that regeneration duty will be abolished in some near future.
Development of timber sale accounting system for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service ordered by the U.S. Congress, has entailed numerous evaluations and research projects. Critics of the current process claims administrative costs are not recovered by the prices paid for Federal timber. However, management of multiple resources for multiple uses makes traditional accounting difficult; i.e., keeping track of cash flows. A further complication involves allocating costs to the various resources (joint cost allocation), for which no nonarbitrary method currently exists. A concurrent issue involves the building of roads for timber harvest into areas released from wilderness consideration. Environmentalists see the road building program of the Federal land management agencies as an additional reason Federal management costs are not recovered from timber-generated revenues. The heart of the issue is which lands are economically suited for timber management, and what nonmarket benefits and costs accrue from the timber management.
The purpose of this paper is to present an approach to evaluate the profitableness of a forest policy program and to discover from among the feasible programs the one that best complies with the desired performance of the economy. At first the procedures of forest policy-making in a country like Finland is considered. After that a method to evaluate forest policy programs is derived.
Some of the quantification problems which face the designer of a forest policy program are discussed. Experiences drawn from the preparation of the Forest 2000 program in Finland are used as examples. Both the defining of goals and the choice of means are surveyed and their interconnection in the planning process emphasized.
The importance of forestry and forest industries to the Finnish economy led, at a very early stage, to a close cooperation between the interest organizations concerned and the government which founded the economic advisory council. The development of the social system in Finland since the 50’s can be described with the help of the neocorporatist theory. This can also apply in part to the forest and forest industry policy. According to Olson’s group theory the representation of interests of the forest owners as a free association was forced to use various incitements to win new members or to maintain old ones. This led to tension with the forest industry which had developed its own activities to approach forest owners. Following the economic crisis, the wish was expressed for an official forestry policy programme. In response to indirect requests to the state, a project committee was formed by the economic advisory council in order to work towards a long-term plan to solve the problems and to carry out the objectives of the forestry and the forest industries. In formulating phase of the policy, the marked neocorporatist consensus between the associations and the state became evident. Certain controversial questions were, however, postponed and thereby remained unresolved. The interest organization of forest owners held an important position throughout all the phases of program design up to their realization.
Comparative analysis could offer a number of advantages in the science of forest policy. Comparisons make use of the compiled material from different countries, point to new origins and solutions of issues of forestry and allow to question the common presuppositions in the national forest policy in a critical way.
The basic requirement of fruitful comparative research is a common scientific framework. In the light of empirical-analytical theory it is more promising to compare only one factor across regions than the whole system. The forest administration could be such a suitable object of comparison in particular because it is to be found all over the world, and it has a formal and partly public organization with a number of similarities. The product of forest administration is policy. The significance of the bureaucratic behaviour in agenda setting, policy formulation, legitimating, and implementation with regard to an issue of forest policy is to be analysed.
The two significant fields of analysis, namely forest administrations and the issues of forest policy characterize the strategies of research. By making use of a collection of papers dealing with forest bureaucracy we can select countries for comparison according to the following criteria: socioeconomic context, space and time. The next step is to analyse comparatively the behaviour of the forest bureaucracy in treating a special forest issue. The explanations can be tested empirically in different countries. Perhaps the dying of the forest could be a suitable issue as an object of comparative analysis which again could enlarge our knowledge about the forest administration as a political factor.
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.
Forest legislation is one of the important institutional elements for the development and expansion of the forest sector. It provides the structural framework within which national forest policies are set and in turn reflects or should reflect their objectives and priorities. It is also an indispensable instrument for the implementation of those policies.
Forest laws in the sector specific sense have been modified and developed considerably during the last decades. They tend to incorporate more and more provisions on environmental protection and natural resources management and become de facto part of such legislation. Forest legislation as a whole can today only be interpreted meaningfully if it is considered within the framework of an expanding legal system for environmental conservation and social development.
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.
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.
The issue of Silva Fennica comprises 22 papers on forest policy and program analysis, and evaluation presented at the XVIII IUFRO World Congress in 1986 arranged in Ljubljana. The papers discuss the future and role of policy and program analysis, the effectiveness of policy programs on timber supply and private forestry investments as well as the application of forest sector models to policy analysis.
The PDF includes the preface and list of authors in English and an abstract in Finnish.