DOI: 10.3390/su16010280 ISSN: 2071-1050

Balancing Forest Regulations and Stakeholder Needs in Latvia: Modeling the Long-Term Impacts of Forest Management Strategies on Standing Volume and Carbon Storage

Daiga Zute, Valters Samariks, Guntars Šņepsts, Jānis Donis, Āris Jansons
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Forest ecosystems are significant carbon pools on a global scale, and also a source of renewable raw materials. Moreover, the European Union (EU) aims to tackle climate change and reach climate neutrality; therefore, forest regulations are designed to promote sustainable forest management practices and ensure the long-term health and productivity of forests. It is important to balance regulatory requirements with the economic, social, and environmental needs of forest stakeholders. This study analyses four theoretical scenarios (business as usual, green deal, intensive forestry, and intensive forestry with afforestation) and prognoses the management impact on standing volume and carbon stock in living trees and harvested wood products (HWPs). Thus, the aim of this study is to evaluate different theoretical forest management scenarios to predict changes in standing volume and carbon stock in living tree biomass and HWPs for the 100 next years. The results suggest that intensive targeted forestry practices may enhance carbon sequestration and were found to be the most suitable strategy for Latvia’s hemiboreal zone, as they balance economic benefits with carbon sequestration and ecosystem services. The obtained results can be valuable for policymakers and forest managers to promote sustainability and balance the diverse needs of society and forest stakeholders.

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