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Znanstveno-stručno i staleško glasilo
Hrvatskoga šumarskoga društva
Journal of Forestry Society of Croatia
      Prvi puta izašao 1877. godine i neprekidno izlazi do današnjeg dana
   ISSN No.: 0373-1332              UDC 630*
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Branimir Prpić
Changing trends of life are forcing us to increasingly view forestry, and indirectly timber processing, from the aspectof economics. The Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, which has been entrusted with the task, has accomplished the jobwith utmost professionalism and meticulousness.
The role of forestry is twofold: on the one hand forests must be preserved in their proper condition so that they couldprovide beneficial functions in the biosphere, and on the other, they must fulfill human demand for timber, the noblestof the raw materials that exist in the living nature.
For over 160 years, the forestry profession has strived, with ups and downs, to retain this sensitive balance throughits NGO, Croatian Forestry Association. We like to believe that we have successfully accomplished this mission for gene­rations to come. Today, Croatia has over 90 % of natural forests that fulfill both roles mentioned above, which diffe­rentiates us from the majority of European countries. The Croatian Forestry Association has participated in the debateon the restructuring organized by the Faculty of Economics, and has also held a separate discussion at their ManagingBoard. At the former gathering, which was attended by representatives of the Croatian forestry practice and science,some basic postulates were enhanced as the key elements of the future structure of the profession.
The greatest gift of Croatian forestry to the world – sustainable management – should be further improved and deve­loped. According to the conclusions of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Conference, sustainable development should be tran­sposed to all fields of life. This refers particularly to sustainable conservation of all non-timber functions that are rapi­dly becoming our greatest wealth. We should continue to pay non-timber forest function fees for the purpose of resto­ring our continental and Mediterranean forests damaged by anthropogenic impacts.
We should continue with the maintenance of forest infrastructure – forest roads, forest keepers’ cabins, hunting lod­ges, trade union resorts and others. Working conditions in forestry are extremely hard, so shelters, resting places andother amenities must be provided for forestry workers. Great quantities of ecologically suitable building material areideal for meeting these requirements.
The choice of forestry cadres should be left to the forestry profession itself. Political decisions in this field can befatal, since these decisions are largely influenced by interests and profits of other professions (e.g. the Danube – Savacanal and other operations that alter water conditions at the detriment of forests, permanent cultures in theMediterranean, etc.). Experienced and reputed cadres should be promoted to the top of the profession (Ministry,Direction), while younger professionals should prove themselves in forest administrations and offices. Although we haveresisted decentralization of the forestry organization for almost 20 years, it is a sine qua non for progress.
Forestry should be within the Ministry together with forest protection and state administration for water manage­ment. The minister should definitely be a forestry professional, while national parks and nature parks that feature forestsas the basic phenomena should be managed by the company “Hrvatske Šume” Ltd, whose professionals have proventime and again that they know how to conserve nature. In addition, this would save considerable means for the State.

Professor Emeritus Branimir Prpić, Ph.D.
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