Forest Ownership in Europe Meeting

The Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) brought together 100 European scientists for a meeting organised within the framework of a COST Action (FACESMAPpromoted by the European Union. The aim of the meeting was to create a research community to analyse attitudes and constraints in the existing types of forest ownership and the current changes in Europe. Participants also explored the needs and innovative management systems for emerging ownerships and related effective policy tools.

CTFC Cost Oct 2013_AssuPlanas_250.jpg : 82.865234375KbSide events included a knowledge exchange activity with key social actors from regional forest ownership (both public and private) and visits to forest properties in the region.

It is clear that the great social, cultural and regional diversity in Europe determines the framework for forest ownership in each country. Some issues are common to most countries, such as property fragmentation or the importance of linking people and land in those countries where inheritance is the main path to becoming a forest owner. The main differences come from the existing types of forest owners: in some countries private or public ownership is predominant (e.g. Catalonia and Greece, respectively). Some Eastern European countries have undergone a land devolution process over the last 20 years (e.g. Hungary), leading to a new generation of low-skilled forest owners while in Western Europe, generational changes have led to “absent” forest owners as well as the issue of unskilled urban owners. In addition, the debate has raised direct questions about owners’ needs and constraints, for example, the different needs and attitudes of forest owners living in the city in comparison with those in rural areas, or if there really is a new kind of forest owner without links to either land or agriculture.

The meeting resulted in many new opportunities for future collaborations.

More information

Photo: Assu Planas

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