To sustainability in forestry: the Ukraine's case

M. Nijnik

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU



Keywords: forestry; sustainable development; economy-in-transition; the Ukraine; institutions; multi-functional forest use; timber rotation; afforestation programme; soil erosion; climate change; carbon sequestration; cost-benefit analysis; forest policy measures and instruments.


The general idea of the study is to address the current process of establishing new economic relations in forestry-in-transition and assess opportunities for its sustainable development. The scientific value of the thesis derives from the elaboration of multidisciplinary knowledge and the enhancement of practical applicability in a transitional economy of the concept of sustainable forestry development. Taking as an example the forest sector of the Ukraine, the study draws on the state of affairs in forestry that is developing under changing economic conditions, examining failures and new incentives in economic and institutional reforms. The central objective of the study is to determine the appropriate forest policies and economic incentives to improve future output from Ukrainian forestry, while making the sector economically efficient, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly.

The way of the forest sector towards sustainable development is explored by analysing the following sustainability criteria: economics of forest use; forests' contribution to soil protection and carbon sequestration; the institutional framework in forestry and the necessity of its transformation in line with the requirements of the transition economy. The major research questions are: how does the transition to a market economy affect the Ukraine's forestry and what are the opportunities for its sustainable development?

The study provides insights into sustainable forestry development at national and regional levels. Given that the Ukraine is a sparsely wooded country and considering the economic, social and environmental role of forests, the programme of afforestation as a long-term strategy for sustainability is elaborated. The implementation of the programme could enhance economic and soil protective forest functions. The study also reveals how the expansion of forest cover in the Ukraine enables to moderate carbon emissions and what forests' contribution to climate change mitigation could be. Afforestation is seen as a key sustainable forest policy measure if the country receives credits when trees are planted for carbon sequestration, since the currency obtained from such a trade can be used for developing the forest sector, taking into account all other criteria of sustainability.

The research incorporates knowledge from social sciences, forestry and environmental sciences. It follows the semi-qualitative route and applies quantitative models where they are available and relevant. The study employs regression analysis; cluster and factor analysis; simulation and optimisation modelling; and cost-benefit analysis. Special attention in the study is being given to the implementation mechanism and to managerial aspects of the Ukrainian forestry's development towards sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Oskam, A.J., Promotor, External person
  • van Kooten, G.C., Promotor, External person
Award date9 Sept 2002
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789058086860
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2002


  • forestry development
  • forest policy
  • sustainability
  • afforestation
  • structural change
  • forest management
  • ukraine
  • economic change


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