Research trends: Forest ownership in multiple perspectives

Gerhard Weiss (Corresponding Author), Anna Lawrence, Gun Lidestav, Diana Feliciano, Hujala Teppo, Sarvašová Zuzana, Dobšinská Zuzana, Živojinović Ivana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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Research on forest ownership has received growing attention in recent years, particularly in relation to the effects of restitution processes in former socialist countries, emerging new forest owner types, trends towards fragmentation of ownership structures, and questions related to the steady supply of forest industries with raw materials. Literature reviews indicate that despite the profound impact of different ownership categories on the actual forest management and fulfilment of policy goals, the aspect of ownership is rarely included in research on forest management or forest policy. Future research should first develop a more differentiated picture of legal forest ownership categories and owner types, going beyond a simple dichotomy of public and private ownership forms, and beyond simplified typologies such as non-traditional, urban or absentee forest owners. Second, it should tackle the question how the form of ownership relates to forest management and the provision of goods and services, and the extent to which new management approaches are needed for different owner types. Thirdly, it should ask about effective support structures for forest owners such as advisory services and other policy instruments, including how policy goals could be best achieved in consideration of different ownership forms and how different owner types could be best supported in their needs. In addition to broaden the empirical knowledge base across countries and development trends over time, we state a need for stronger theoretical foundations of and innovative conceptual approaches for forest ownership research that proactively grasp future anticipations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Early online date18 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

The work on this article was supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) in the framework of the COST Action FP1201 - Forest Land Ownership Changes in Europe: Significance for Management and Policy (FACESMAP). In addition, the authors want to acknowledge all participants of the COST Action for their contributions throughout the Action as well as the very valuable peer reviewer comments.


  • Forest ownership forms
  • Typologies
  • Forest management
  • Forest policy
  • Research needs
  • Europe


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