Terms used in official statistics

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Protective forests


Wood lands which are protected because of their function.

The forests subject to special protection, may be recognized as such, where:

a) they protect soil from washing away or leaching, or prevent landslides, rockfalls or avalanches;

b) they protect resources of surface or ground water and/or regulate hydrological relations in a drainage basin or on a divide;

c) they limit the emergence or spread of mobile sands;

d) they exist in areas sustaining permanent damage as a result of industrial activity;

e) stands serve as seed stands, refuges for animals or sites for plants subject to legal protection;

f) they are of particular natural or scientific significance, or else importance from the point of view of the defence and security of the Polish State; g) they are located:

- within the administrative limits of towns and cities or within 10 km of the limits of cities of more than 50.000 inhabitants,

- in the protective zones of health resorts and health-resort protection areas,

- within the treeline zone.

By virtue of a Decision, the Minister relevant in matters of the environment shall recognise a forest as protective, or deprive a forest of that status, at the behest of the Director-General and following receipt of an opinion from the Council in the given gmina – in respect of forests constituting Treasury property. In respect of other forests - by virtue of a Decision, the Starosta heading a given powiat shall, having reached an agreement with a forest owner and having sought and received the opinion of the relevant Gmina Council, recognise a forest as protective, or deprive a forest of that status.

  • Act of 28 September 1991 on Forests
    Place of publication: (Dz. U. z 2020 r. poz. 1463, z późn. zm.)

Contact person on methodology:
Tomasz Pac