Forest Land Ownership Changes in Europe: Policy and practice Issues
Side event at the European Forest Week in Rovaniemi, Finland (METSÄ2013), 11/12/2013
How would you characterize trends of changing forest ownership? Who are the new forest owners?
The main trend that was indicated in the workshop was that forest owners increasingly do not manage their forests for income any more. Increasingly they see their forests as a hobby, keep them only as a capital, and have no knowledge about or no time for forest management.
It was also said that tradition is important and forest owners still feel a relation and commitment to their forests but that does not necessarily imply that they have an interest in managing them in the traditional foresters sense and for wood production. The growing age of forest owners was also mentioned: both traditional and new forest owners are often over 50 when they get (most often inherit, more rarley buy) a forest. It was also mentioned the different trends in Western and Eastern European countries (restitution in Eastern Europe).
Other aspects of changing forest ownership were only mentioned by few people, including forest investment funds as new owners, trends to more intensive forest management that may threaten biodiversity, and more sustainability-oriented owners.
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