Our case studies from Eastern Europe focus on Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Russia.
All case studies are in PDF format and requre the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

• Gérard Buttoud Commentary
• Vilis Brukas Commentary

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Dr. 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 planning.

Hando 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.

Peep 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.

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Ansis 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.

Mara 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, Rhode Island.

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Piotr Paschalis-Jakubowicz, Ph.D.
Faculty of Forestry
Warsaw Agricultural University.

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Dr. 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.

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