It is a fact that today, forestry also means sustainable development and environmental protection. How to reconcile the industry and the safeguarding of the environment? This is what we will try to determine by taking the example of Hungary.
To harvest or save, that is the question
Hungary is a country with a population of about 10 million people and best known for its vast plains stretching to the horizon. However, if people know Hungary for its wild nature, logging and woodworking remain important sectors of the economy employing 100,000 persons throughout the country. However, Hungary harvests only 21% of its woodlands, although forestry is the second sector involved in land use after agriculture. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that Hungary was involved in the forests safeguard from a very early stage as the oldest law was enacted in 1879. This law, as well as his last act adopted in 1996, requires owners to protect their forests and for producers to provide a specific certificate stating the origin of extracted and processed wood. These measures had a significant impact on the timber industry: they involve coordination and joint work of scientists, producers and owners, which is quite complicated to set up. Therefore, the objectives in terms of production are difficult to define because they are inconsistent with the backup policy conducted by the Hungarian government.
Market status and international issues
In this context, a reforestation program was launched 25 years ago to create 750,000 new hectares of forest. Therefore, the country is now reaping 7,000,000 m3 of wood per year,. However, the need for flexible wood, pulp and paper requires Hungary to import more than expected but the balance is maintained since the export of lumber and panels compensates. nterest in forestry is, because of the influence of Europe, increasingly felt by the Hungarian producers who see in the sawmills great potential, since countries such as Austria, Italy and the Scandinavian countries are substantial buyers. Therefore, the establishment of an international certificate of quality and origin in accordance with international regulations for sustainable development for exported timber remains a subject being debated in Hungary. Indeed, the consequences would be numerous: substantial effects on producers and markets plus a loss of supremacy of producers and national owners may involve unexpected changes in the timber industry.
The environmental theme remains the heart of the debate, whether in Sweden, Hungary and elsewhere, since it combines easily with a liberal captalist economy where competitiveness and productivity are the main objectives of the industry.