2. Example of the Czech Republic

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Forests cover 34 % of the land area of the Czech Republic and the forestry sector makes up 0.7% of the total GDP (1999). In rural areas forestry plays an important economic role (the processing of forest products, mainly in small mills, contributes to employment). Forestry is also an essential part of rural development and forests are major elements in the landscape and environment (there are many national parks and protected landscape areas) (Sisak and Pulkrab 2002).

An extensive set of policy instruments is applied to the goals of the sustainable management of forest resources, rural development and environmental policies. Also, agricultural policies are advancing afforestation of marginal agricultural lands.

Ethical, normative, economic and institutional tools are used for forest resource management (Sisak and Pulkrab 2002). The ethical tools are related to raising awareness and responsibilities among forestry actors, and belong to informational instruments. Normative tools are the legislative norms of Forest, Nature Conservation and Waters Act. The institutional tools refer to organisations and institutes implementing different functions in forestry (including administration and research and educational institutes).

Economic tools include charges for the withdrawal of forest land (deforestation), sanction payments (penalties) when forest management practices are against law, tax allowances (land, income and road taxes), and subsidies (appropriation of gifts, soft loans and guarantees). The last group comprises the core of the financial means available to different groups of forest owners (private, communal and state) (Sisak and Pulkrab 2002).

Financial instruments for forest management and protection in the Czech Republic (Sisak and Pulkrab 2002)

1. State financial obligations subject to the Forest Act

2. Service provided by the state for forest protection

3. Non-obligatory state subsidies to forest owners (state, communal, private)

Reforestation by soil improving and stabilizing tree species

Forest management plans for small scale forest owners

Soil reclamation and torrent control

Licensed forest professionals

Airborne fire control service

Large-scale measures for forest protection

Consultancy and other services

Regeneration of forests damaged by air pollution

Reforestation, establishments of stands and tending in protective and special forests and on poor sites

Grouping of forest owners

Environment and nature friendly technologies

Non-market forest services including forest roads

Torrent control

Support of endangered species of wild animals

Elaboration of forest management plans

It is worth noticing, that these financial means come to forestry from five ministries and two programs from the European Union. It also reflects the multitude of roles for forests and forestry.

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