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Bosque (Valdivia)

 ISSN 0717-9200

BOżęTKA, Barbara. The role of land-use visions for protection of forest landscapes: the Białowieża Forest (Poland). Bosque (Valdivia) []. 2012, 33, 3, pp.275-279. ISSN 0717-9200.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-92002012000300008.

The work concentrated on relations between the issues of use and protection that developed in the Polish part of the Białowieża Forest last century, particularly during the post-war decades. Owing to extraordinary natural values, the area deserves very careful protection, however, negative impacts on the landscape have been widely observed. The changes involving perforation and fragmentation of forest cover caused by continuous logging are accompanied by spatial disorder in built areas and their vicinities resulting from tourism development. The aim of the research was to identify the underlying forces of negative tendencies and simultaneously, obstacles to progress in nature conservation of the area. Comparison of views and visions of land-use and management of the Forest showed that great differences in attitudes, applied perspectives and expectations to the Białowieża Forest exist. The study revealed the importance of a socio-cultural dimension for a current stage of landscape evolution. This influence is connected with a steady pressure on wood exploitation and results, at least partially, from a strong position of forest administration in this area and from specific land-use visions emphasizing economic services of the forest. Noteworthy, actions undertaken across the country and numerous efforts to extend protection of the area have not succeeded so far. It is argued that underestimation of natural values expressed by local communities in addition to weaknesses of the state’s environmental law may bring serious hazards to the analysed landscape and affect the whole system of nature conservation in Poland.

: landscape; change; values; Białowieża Forest; Poland.

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