The paper 'Sweden and the United States Forestry Policies' is a wonderful example of a Macro and Microeconomics Case Study. In many nations, the governments through parliamentary or other statutory body enact a number of policies that are aimed at improving the economic, social, cultural, and political structures within it. One of these policies is the forestry policy, which its main aim is to conserve and sustain the forest as a source of shelter and livelihood to both human beings and animals. This paper will seek to address Sweden and the United States Forestry policies and make a comparison between the two.
The two forestry policies are prepared with a focus on the utilization of the forest in the present and conserve it for the future. 2.0 United States Forestry Policy The United States Forestry Policy is continuously evolving to reflect not only the changing conditions in the forests and their ecological environment but also the changing values and perceptions in the social and economic environment. The forest policies in the United States first arrived in Northern America just before the arrival of the first Europeans.
(Alaric and Cheng, 2004). Therefore, the major contributing factors in seeking to address the Forestry policy are the social and economic changes been experienced in American society. The majority of benefits for private and public use such as commodities, clean water, wildlife habitat, and recreational provisions are acquired from the private forests. About 42% of the total U. S forestland is owned by individuals. However, according to Best and Wayburn (2001) these private forests are faced with certain obstacles: degradation, fragmentation, and conservation. These obstacles are stumbling blocks to the sustainability of the United States forestland.
The forest policies of the United States emphasize the need of the forest owners, stakeholders and the general public to fully understand how these policies affect them when implemented. In the United States, policy tools for private forests differ from the policy tools of public forests. This is because most public forest policies are regulatory in nature, whereas most private forest policies focus more on incentive, education, and informing the interests group about the forestry regulations. In regard to this, incentives as a forestry policy tool apply sharing costs related to forestry and tax abatement.
Information and education are attained through workshops and publications available to forest owners. The forestry policies are also enacted through the use of statutory and authority bodies. Schneider and Ingram (1990) state that proper and adequate information and education related to policies is the most effective way of ensuring that the objective of the policy is achieved. The United States Forestry policies are utilized with reference to the public members. This is because public awareness may lead to more successful forest conservation strategies and policies as the public becomes more concerned about private forest issues and become more willing to invest in private forests.
The United States Forestry policy is more concerned about the private forests and insists on considering the values and attitudes of both policymakers and decision-makers in establishing a policy. The forestry policy considers empowering the public and providing incentives for conservation and preservation of the forest (Schaaf and Shorna, 2005). The Swedish Forestry Policy According to Karin et al (2010), there has been a long period of the tradition of regulating the use of forest-related resources such as timber, grazing, mining, or energy.
Major reforms on the Sweden Forestry Policy occurred in the 1970s. These changes were enacted to review the Sweden Forest Act of 1948. Consequently, there are other major changes that have occurred in the Sweden Forest Act due to the dramatic environmental changes occurring in the world related to climatic conditions, mostly evidenced in 1993. What has been considered as the most important issue in the Forestry Policy by the Sweden government is to make production and environmental goals unchangeable. The Swedish Forest Agency is the national authority responsible for forestry and environmental-related matters.
Its main objective is having a resourceful forest, preservation of the forest, and increase awareness about the importance of forestry to the citizens of Sweden. The Swedish Forest Policy is based on cooperation between the government and forest owners in achieving sustainable forestry in the long term. The Swedish Forest Agency addresses issue pertaining to forestry such as, offer forestry advice, supervise compliance to forestry regulations and provide forestry services, for example, forest conservation.
Forests operations are as well audited to check on compliance (McDermott, Cashore, and Kanowski, 2009). In May 2004, the Swedish Forest Agency (SFA) published the Forest-sector Objectives (SFA 2004) which states that ‘ the Swedish parliament and the Swedish government had formulated two general objectives for the forest sector: that forests should be utilized efficiently, with the aim of achieving sustainable value and at the same time preserve and secure the biological diversity and genetic variation of the forest for the future’ p79. (Goran, 2010). On the other hand, the Swedish Forest Policy is highly decentralized since it is implemented through management by objectives.
The major object of the policy is the equal value on wood production and environmental value protection. The Swedish Forestry Policy has also made consideration of the ongoing climate change debate specifically after the Kyoto Protocol. The ongoing climate change means that there is an opportunity to produce more biogas in the forests as well as reduce dependency on fossil fuel. The government considers increasing the forestry biomass which will lead to greater absorption of carbon dioxide gas.
In addition, to attain full participation from corporate, the Swedish Forestry Agency seeks to complement those who adhere to the Forestry Policy, through tax compensation. Kristinna and Mats (2006) notes that the current forest management principle in Sweden has been called the ‘ Swedish model’ originating from the Swedish Forestry Act from 1993 which considers two equal goals for forestry: production goal and environmental goal. 4.0 Comparison The Swedish and the United States Forestry Policies can be compared in relation to their contents, formulation, and implementation. The two forestry policies are enacted by the parliamentary or the statutory body appointed by the respective government.
They both have one common objective: to utilize the forest resources fully but dutifully so as to achieve sustainability and preservation of the same for the future. In both cases, the governments are very supportive of the forestry policies by requiring that the general public is educated, informed, and made aware of the requirements and the importance of the forestry policy. Requirements for changes in the forestry policy are influenced by social, economic, and climatic factors. As a major difference, the United States Forestry Policy addressed issues pertaining to private and public forests, while the Swedish Forestry Policy addresses public forests without making a distinction in its forestry.
The United States Forestry policy does not depict a balance between any of the associated forestry factors, such as achieving a balance in wood production and environmental value associated with the Swedish Forestry Policy. The Swedish Forestry Policy considers education and information as major sensitization tools, while the United States Forestry Policy incentives are the most resourceful tools for compliance (Howlett, 2001).
Accordingly, the Swedish Forestry Policy is the best because it is not biased, unlike the United States Forestry Policy that emphasizes more on the private forestry policy. The Swedish Forestry policy is applicable for any type of forest since it does not draw any distinction. The United States Forestry Policy depicts to regard one type of forest as more important than the other, and of which any forest, be it private or public is equally important for the survival of both human beings and animals. Furthermore, the Swedish Forestry Policy is quite decentralized since it is conducted through management by objectives by the Swedish Forestry Agency an independent body. 5.0 Conclusion The forestry policies are enacted in may countries to guide the public and other interest groups on how to utilize and still sustain and preserve the resources for the future.
Policies are established by the policymakers with reference to the requirement of the decision-makers. The two forestry policies that have been addressed in this paper have shown the importance of making everyone aware of the need for the forest. They have shown this by requiring that the members of the public be educated and informed about their roles and required participants to enhance the conservation of the environment.
The governments and authorized bodies require individual and corporate involvement. Corporate involvement and participation are attained by providing incentives through tax abatement and assistance to those organizations that follow and comply with forestry policy regulations. On this, the government supports those organizations that take upon themselves the weight of participating in the forestry act. Individual participation can be encouraged through educating and informing individuals about the forestry policy either as part of the curriculum program, at a social gathering, or in organized workshops and seminars.
It is important to note the two policies have provided the interest groups with the importance of forest and environment conservation and preservation for the future (Koontz, 2001).
Alaric, S., & Cheng, A.S. (2004) Forest conservation policy: A reference handbook. ABC-CLIO.
Best, C., & Wayburn, L.A. (2001). America’s Private Forests: Status and Stewardship.
Island Press, Washington, DC.
Goran, S. (2010). Organizing democracy: The construction of agency in practice,
Edward Elgar Publishing.
Howlett, M. (2001). Canadian Forest Policy: Adapting to change, University of Toronto Press.
Karin, B., Khan, J., Annica, K., & Eva, L. (2010). Environmental politics and deliberative
Democracy: Examining the promise of new modes of governance,
Edward Elgar Publishing.
Koontz, T.M. (2002). Federalism in the forest: National versus state natural resource policy,
Georgetown University Press.
Kristinna, B. & Mats, N. (2006). Sustainable forestry in southern Sweden: the SUFOR research
McDermott, C., Cashore, B.W., & Kanowski, P. (2009). Global Environmental forest policies:
An international comparison, Earthscan.
Schaaf, K.A. & Shorna, R.B. (2005). Forest policy and Economics: A Companion journal to
Forest ecology and management, Vol 9, Issue 4, pp316-334.
Schneider, A., & Ingram, H. (1990). Behavioral assumptions of policy tools.
Journal of Politics, Vol 52, pp510– 529.