Early industrial development and resulting wood shortages in Central Europe led to the introduction of conservation principles in forestry at the beginning of the 18th century, although early societies were also careful in exploiting forests. Large differences exist in the degree of forestation of individual Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. Forests cover over 30 percent of the land in the Russian Federation, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, Georgia and White Russia. CEE countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary can be considered part of the Western tradition, having “only” been tied to the Soviet system for several decades. The governments of Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria generally fail to encourage or practice sustainable forestry techniques. Developments in CEE countries, with the exception of Russia, are similar to earlier developments in Western and northern European countries, in terms of changes in forested areas and forest conditions and management criteria.