Four-year study on forest ownership changes in Europe
The European COST Action FACESMAP on “Forest Land Ownership Changes in Europe: Significance for Management and Policy” has ended after four years of work between researchers and experts from 30 European countries.

The project has documented the state of knowledge on forest ownership changes in Europe and has assessed their implications for forest management and policy. Most of the scientific results are now in the publication process and a policy paper has been finalized.

The policy paper concentrates on the implications of changing forest land ownership on European policies. Results showed that the diversity of forest owners is much greater than commonly assumed in policy, practice and research. New owner types are emerging with sometimes new management goals, attitudes, and skills and capacities. The main observed forest ownership change patterns were privatization and restitution; buying forest land on market; afforestation; and changing lifestyles of land owners. As owners are diverse, the study finds it advisable to develop a range of policy tools and instruments for owners to choose from. The policy paper also gives recommendations for forest related policies, forest management practices, training and education and future research.

CEPF welcomes the COST Action FACESMAP as it helps to gain a better understanding of the highly diverse and complex European forest ownership structures. Furthermore, it explores new innovative approaches and actions for future forest management and emphasizes the need to further strengthen private forest owners’ structures and representation in many countries.

More information about the COST Action 1201 FACESMAP can be found here.