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Forest Ownership project

 

The forest ownership pattern in the UNECE region is highly diversified. In the eastern part of the UNECE region almost the entire forest area is publicly owned. In the center of the UNECE region the share of privately owned forest area slightly exceeds the share of public forests and in the western UNECE region publicly owned forest accounts for almost 70% of the forest area.

However, the ownership pattern is not static. Especially in central and eastern Europe the share of privately owned forest area has increased due to privatization and restitution processes that followed the transformation processes in this region. In addition the restitution processes led to a substantial increase of forest area where the ownership status is unknown or unresolved.

Forest ownership does not merely refer to property rights of land or trees. It also describes certain rights of how to use, control, transfer, or otherwise benefit from forest, on a permanent or temporal basis. While applying their rights forest owners or users might quest different goals. Goals, means and ways of their implementation may highly vary among the type of ownership and characteristics of properties. Forests owned by individual owners would be managed differently than properties owned by state or municipalities. Expectations regarding the owned properties could be different as well. In addition these characteristics may vary within the same form of property within and among countries. 

Information on forest ownership was, to some extent covered by the general international reporting processes (e.g. FAO Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) or the pan-European reporting) or specific reporting processes. However, the knowledge about forest ownership as a whole as well as its impact on forests and their use is far from complete. Thus UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology Action FP1201 on Forest Land Ownership Changes in Europe: Significance for Management and Policy (COST Action FACESMAP) initiated the Forest Ownership Project to seek for information on the impact of forest ownership types on economic, ecologic and social aspects of forests. On the basis of quantitative and qualitative information it will be analyzed how forests under different ownership types differ and how forest management systems are influenced by different types of forest ownership. The obtained results will help to foster implementation of a Sustainable Forest Management in the UNECE region.

For more information on forest ownership in the UNECE region please find relevant information and documentation further below or contact Mr. Sebastian Glasenapp (UNECE/FAO) or Ms. Sonia Quiroga-Gómez (COST Action FACESMAP).

The central element of the Forest Ownership Project is the national reporting carried out according to the Forest Ownership Questionnaire. The Questionnaire was developed jointly by the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section in cooperation with COST Action FACESMAP and reviewed and revised several times by the relevant bodies and stakeholders.

The Questionnaire was disseminated among the UNECE/FAO national correspondents in the beginning of June 2015. UNECE/FAO national correspondents are invited to provide information on the forest ownership situation in their country. During the reporting process the UNECE/FAO correspondents can seek advice and support from COST Action FACESMAP correspondents who represent the 30 countries participating in this research network.

The deadline for reporting is the end of October 2015.

The national reporting will deliver exclusive data for the production of a study on forest ownership in the UNECE region. The gathered data as well as the study will be publicly available.

 

The Joint Questionnaire on Forest Ownership can be downloaded from here.

 

Forest ownership related data from the past international reporting, can be found in:

The work on forest ownership was endorsed as one of the activities of the UNECE/FAO Integrated Programme of Work 2014-2017 at the joint meeting of ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) in Rovaniemi, Finland, 9-13 December 2013 (Metsä2013).

To optimize the use of available resources and to reduce a national reporting burden the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section joined forces in developing the study with the European Cooperation in Science and Technology Action on Forest Land Ownership Changes in Europe: Significance for Management and Policy (COST Action FACESMAP) – please see the scheme. COST Action FACESMAP is a project to be implemented from 2013 to 2016 through the establishment of a voluntary research network, and focuses on forest ownership in Europe. The work programme of the COST Action FACESMAP includes the production of a database and a map of forest ownership in Europe. The established research network of COST Action FACESMAP consists of researchers from 30 European countries who collaborate on related issues such as typologies of forest ownership, ongoing changes in the European forest ownership structure, and their implications for forest management and policy.

The Forest Ownership project of UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and the COST Action FACESMAP is supported by an informal Core Group of partners who provide valuable advice and support. The Core Group consists of members coming from organizations representing forest owners and managers, and/or with expertise in the field of forest ownership, namely the Confederation of European Private Forest Owners (CEPF), the European Forest Institute (EFI), the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), the Federation of European Communal Forest Owners (FECOF), the U.S. Forest Service and the Unión de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa (USSE).

The overall work on forest ownership is supported and guided by the Joint UNECE/FAO Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management, the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Sustainable Forest Management and the COST Action FACESMAP research network.

The main outputs of this joint project are the Forest Ownership Questionnaire which is the main tool for data collection in the reporting process as well as a study on forest ownership in the UNECE region.

 

The Forest Ownership Project is jointly led by:

 

UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section

 

COST Action FACESMAP:


In addition to UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and COST Action FACESMAP the project is supported by members coming from organizations representing forest owners and managers, and/or with expertise in the field of forest ownership. The organizations are organized in an informal Core Group:

 

Confederation of European Private Forest Owners (CEPF)

 

European Forest Institute (EFI)

 

European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR)

 

European Federation of Municipal Forest Owners (FECOF)

U.S. Forest Service

 

Unión de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa (USSE)

 

The Forest Ownership Project is a joint activity by UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and COST Action FACESMAP. Both partners have their own networks of correspondents which are jointly providing information to the forest ownership reporting. For the facilitation of the coordination of the correspondents both organizations assigned one contact point:

 

  • Mr. Sebastian Glasenapp

from UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section: sebastian.glasenapp@unece.org

 

  • Ms. Sonia Quiroga-Gomez

from COST Action FACESMAP: sonia.quiroga@uah.es

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the Forest Ownership Project.