Lazdinis, M., Carver, A., Schmith├╝sen, F. and Vilkriste, L. 2005. Elite Concerns in Forest Sectors of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Baltic Forestry, 11 (1): 97-104

To understand the forest policy and decision making processes and enable successful implementation of development and environmental conservation objectives, it is necessary to learn about the current issues and problems in the forest sector. This study focuses on forest sectors of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (the Baltic States). Using the in-depth interview technique, the study learns about the opinions of leading individuals (elite) in the forest sectors of the Baltic States regarding the issues of concern in the forest management of their respective countries. This study finds that the largest concentration of issues of concern in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is in an area of institutional failures. Therefore, in facilitating forest development of these countries attention should be focused on the interface between policy failures and actual resource problems. The perceptions on issues of concern were found to differ between the stakeholders in general and the elite representatives.

Key words: forestry, forest policy, Baltic States, elite, experts.