Prospects for agricultural lands afforestation in Polanduntil 2020

The aim of the paper is to present the potential for afforestation of agricultural lands under the ‘National Programme for Expanding of Forest Cover’ (KPZL) in Poland until 2020. The analysis is based on the ongoing social and economic changes in rural areas in the past decade as well as factors limiting implementation of the Programme. The data used have been derived from annual reports of the Agricultural Property Agency (ANR), the Central Statistical Office and also other official documents and legal acts related to the issue. Assuming that the area of agricultural lands transferred by the ANR to the State Forests Holding – an institution responsible for implementing the KPZL on state-owned lands – remains approximately 350 ha per year, the overall extent of afforestation on state-owned lands will not exceed 4,500–4,600 ha until 2020. In case of private lands, a further decline in annual afforestation area will be observed. The lack of a stable financing system is a major reason for the decrease in the area of agricultural lands transferred for afforestation. The projections show that the average annual afforestation area on private lands will not exceed 2,500 ha until 2020. Altogether, it can be expected that during the period 2015–2020, approximately 20,000 ha of agricultural lands will be afforested. The study shows that the current rate of afforestation is insufficient for reaching the target defined in the KPZL (afforestation of 680,000 ha of lands during the period 2001–2020). Low supply of private lands for afforestation and insufficient financial support for farmers are the most important factors limiting the implementation of the KPZL. The situation could be improved by free transfer of public lands for afforestation from the ANR to the State Forests Holding and by implementing financial instruments for afforestation of private lands from the Forest Fund resources.
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