Special Issue: Forest Policy and Economics

Forest ownership is changing across the world. In Europe, particularly notable changes include a move towards increasing numbers of ‘absentee’ forest owners in some regions and moves towards ‘community-based’ forest management and smallholder forestry in other areas. Both as a result of these ownership changes, and because of the increasing complexity of forest management objectives (timber production, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and provision of other ecosystem services), the practices of forest management are also changing. The interactions between ownership type, actual or appropriate forest management approaches, and policy, are of fundamental importance in understanding and shaping forestry, but represent an often neglected research area.

This Special Issue builds, among others, on work from 30 European countries, coordinated through the European COST Action FP1201 FOREST LAND OWNERSHIP CHANGES IN EUROPE: SIGNIFICANCE FOR MANAGEMENT AND POLICY (FACESMAP), 2012-2016. Drawing on literature analyses, an evidence review across the 30 participating countries, a survey in the whole ECE region, and a series of stakeholder workshops, the papers describe the manifold dimensions of changing ownership, both in their local contexts and spatially across Europe; and provides an analysis of the relationships between such ownership changes, forest management approaches, and effectiveness of policy support. Additional papers have been invited through the FACESMAP researchers’ network as well as through the open conference on “Forest ownership changes in Europe: trends, issues and needs for action”, 7-8 September, 2016, in Vienna.

All papers published in this special issue you can find here.