Our case studies from Eastern Europe focus on Estonia,
Latvia, Poland, and Russia.
All case studies are in PDF format and requre the Adobe
• Vilis Brukas
Rein Ahas is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Geography,
University of Tartu, Estonia. He has coordinated several forestry
projects and is a board member of the Estonian Green Movement-Friends
of the Earth. He has worked with the FSC and its Estonian initiative
since 1996. He speaks Estonian, Finnish, English, and Russian, and
because of his profession, has experience with both Eastern and
Western nature and culture. Dr. Ahas’ main scientific interests
include: impact of climate change, natural resource use policy,
sustainable forestry and environmental planning. The topic of his
PhD work (completed in 1999) investigated how climate change impacts
on the phenology of trees. In 2001, he was a Visiting Scholar at
Oxford University and a Fulbright Scholar at University of Wisconsin,
Milwaukee. He has published 20 scientific works in the abovementioned
fields of interests. Dr. Ahas currently lectures and supervises
students in phenology, environmental management, and environmental
Hain has a Bachelors of Science degree in Landscape Ecology
and Environmental Protection and is presently a master’s student
at the Institute of Geography, University of Tartu, Estonia. His
professional experience includes managing several forestry-related
projects in Estonian’s largest ENGO, Estonian Green Movement
- Friends of the Earth. He has several years of experience with
certification-related work and the Forestry Stewardship Council,
both as an NGO consultant as well as a certifier. Mr. Hain is currently
working as forest management and chain-of-custody auditor; he has
certification experience as an auditor in all Baltic countries.
Hain’s scientific interests include sustainable forest management,
illegal forestry, forest certification, and environmental management
systems. Mr. Hain speaks Estonian, English and some Russian.
Mardiste is Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Green
Movement-FoE, one of the strongest environmental NGOs of Estonia.
Being active in the NGO sector since 1991, he has worked on a range
of issues, including European environmental policy, greening of
international financial institutions, and assessing the impacts
of the EU enlargement. He is a well-known lobbyist both in Estonian
and in EU institutions. He is currently also running a PhD course
at the University of Tartu on environmental policy. Mardiste’s
key academic interest is the assessment of environmental impacts
of complex national development plans and strategies.
Actins received his Bachelor’s degree in forestry
from the Latvia University of Agriculture, Forest Faculty, concentrating
on Forest management certification in Latvian state forests. He
also earned a Master’s degree from the same university. From
2001-2002 he served as a FSC Forest Management group certification
manager deputy in Forest 2000 Ltd. Since 2002 Mr. Actins has worked
in a state stock company, Latvijas valsts mezi (Latvia state forests),
as a reforestation and certification coordinator. In 2003 he passed
the examination and assessment for ISO 9000:2000 Series Auditor/Lead
Auditor. His hobbies include orienteering and traveling.
Schwartz first traveled to Latvia in 1985, the country
from which her mother had emigrated in 1944, and since then has
returned as often as possible. She became involved with sustainable
development issues, including forestry, while working for WWF Latvia
in 1998-1999. She then returned to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies
at the University of Michigan, in the dual degree program at the
School of Natural Resources & Environment, and the Russian &
East European Studies department. Her most recent work in Latvia
has been research for her Master’s thesis on private forest
owners and land restitution in Latvia’s largest National Park.
Currently she is teaching environmental science at Southwestern
Michigan College and experiencing life as a private forest owner.
Ms. Schwartz earned B.A. in Biology from Brown University, Providence,
Faculty of Forestry
Warsaw Agricultural University.
Maria Tysiachniouk holds a Master of Science in Environmental
Studies from Bard College, NY, a PhD in Biology from the Russian
Academy of Sciences and a Certificate in Nonprofit Studies from
Johns Hopkins University. She has taught at Herzen Pedagogical University
in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg State University, Johns Hopkins
University, Dickinson College, PA, Ramapo College of New Jersey,
Towson University, and short courses at several universities in
Europe. Dr. Tysiachniouk has written more than eighty publications
on topics related to the third sector and has had fieldwork experience
in Kamchatka and the Far East. She is currently chairing the Environmental
Sociology group at the Center for Independent Social Research, St.
Petersburg, Russia and doing intense field research on global forest
governance as well as investigating the role of non-profit organizations
in social transformation. Dr. Tysiachniouk studied the role of transboundary
environmental organizations in promoting forest certification in
Russia, Brazil and China. She recently published a book, "Ecological
Modernization of Forest Sector in Russia and the United States",
in which certification is a key component.