QUESTIONS ARISING FROM THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SCENARIOS
The secretariat drafted “policy issues”, which are meant to stimulate the discussion at the EFSOS meeting in Geneva in May 2002, and prepare the way for future dialogue on the conclusions and recommendations to be drawn from the policy study’s analysis. They apply to the 8 scenarios expected to have a significant impact on the European forest sector (numbering corresponds to the study report).
3.1 Strengthening policies to develop market framework in countries with economies in transition (CITs) Policy issues which might arise are: (for CITs) how to ensure development of viable and competitive domestic industries? (for CITs) how to ensure that wood and forest products find a proper role in rapidly developing markets and are not replaced by less sustainable materials? (for CITs) how to promote SFM at national and sub national level, through modified policies and institutions, capacity building etc. (for importing countries) how to ensure fair access for exports from countries in transition, under the pressure of domestic producers who feel threatened?
2.2 Intensified innovations and changes in competitiveness of wood products Policy issues which might arise are: In a field where significant investment is necessary to develop new products or processes, and where profitability of some sectors is not very high, how is the innovation to be financed? Should governments encourage collective financing of innovation by small enterprises, or directly support some of the investment, in the interest of encouraging the economic sustainability of the sector as a whole? How to achieve/maintain a “level playing field” between wood products and other raw materials? How to stimulate and promote the sound use of wood (without distorting competition between materials?
4.2 Changes in agricultural rural and regional development policies Policy issues which might arise are: What policy measures to use to avoid the market distortion and excessive expenditure which have characterised agricultural policies in many countries? How to avoid excessive distortion of world markets in forest products and contravening the rules of the international trade regime? What new institutions would be needed to administer and run policy measures which are considerably more intensive and thus need closer monitoring, than those currently in force for forest policy?
4.1 Incentives for social/environmental benefits for forestry and wood products use Policy issues which might arise are: How to ensure that the right “mix” of services would be provided, without reverting to excessively authoritarian control measures? Should the economic incentives be supplied from central budgets, or from users, by some indirect mechanism? How to reassure international markets that the economic incentives to provide various nonmarketed services are not in fact concealed subsidies? 2.1 Impact of globalisation on the competitiveness of the European forest and forest industry sector Policy issues which might arise are: How to preserve the economic sustainability of forest management in those areas which do not have a clear competitive niche on the international markets? As the large enterprises will develop their economies of scale and new products mostly on the basis of pulpwood, chiefly from plantations or at least intensively managed forests, what markets will there be for logs and in general the products of less intensively managed, more close to nature forests? How to maintain the negotiating power of small and public forest owners when they deal with enterprises with global reach, and many alternative sources of supply?
1.1 More emphasis on nature conservation and promotion of biological diversity of forest ecosystems Policy issues which might arise are: How to reconcile the needs of the different stakeholders, including for example recreationists and hunters, with the increased emphasis on conservation? How to protect the economic and property rights of forest owners and of industries dependent on the wood supplied at present from the forests which would in the future be devoted to increased protection? How to manage and finance a significantly greater area of protected forest than at present?
4.3 Social and demographic developments Policy issues which might arise are: How to attract and maintain a well qualified and productive labour force in circumstances of a declining, ageing rural population? Might the consumption patterns of an ageing population differ markedly from those in the past, weakening the predictive power of the econometric analysis?
5.1 Promotion of renewable energy sources Policy issues which might arise are: How to set up the appropriate commercial circuits for the likely huge increase in wood energy markets? How to reconcile intensive wood energy production with other values of the forest, notably biodiversity? How to ensure that the wood supply of more traditional industries is not jeopardised by the rapidly developing new markets (without endangering the potential of the new market)?