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The oldest scientific journal of forestry
    Zasady gospodarki leśnej w kontekście troski o dobro wspólne i zdrowie publiczne w Polsce
    Principles of forest management in the context of concern for the common welfare and public health in Poland

    Abstract: This study analyses the interdisciplinary issue of the objective of legal provisions regarding the four principles of forest management listed in the Act on Forests and their significance for the common welfare and public health in Poland. The common welfare consists of the general determinants necessary for the integral development of people and society, and these determinants include public health, which consists of organised activity focused on the health of the entire society. The scope of the study included selected aspects of the statutory principles of forest management in the Republic of Poland, which constitute one of the legal mechanisms for forest protection. The research examined legal acts and available literature. In the adopted study hypothesis, it was recognised that the principles of forest management applicable in the Republic of Poland in the intention of the legislator are to primarily serve the common welfare and public health, which does not exclude the existence of parallel goals. The principles of forest management consistently introduce the priority of nature conservation over other economic and social functions of forest areas. These principles aim not only to preserve existing forests, but also to increase their area or productivity. This is due to the recognition of forests as an irreplaceable and nonalternative social good, which determines the development of the state and society, introduces balance and self−regulation in the natural environment, and provides income from wood and other forest resources. The existence of healthy forests contributes to the improvement of society’s general health condition on many levels, including thanks to the improvement of air quality, the recreational values of forests, and the availability of forest flora and fauna. Thus, the obligations of forest owners arising from the statutory principles of forest management serve to achieve various social benefits, which constitute the common welfare, in particular, care for public health.

    Key words: legal values, environment protection, benefits from forests, social development

    Sylwan 162 (8):658-663, 2018. DOI:
    Available online: 2018-08-21
    Open Access (CC-BY)