Forests in public ownership – a European perspective

European ForestsWith interest high in public vs private ownership of forests, how does England’s proportion of forests in public ownership compare with other countries?

According to the PEFC, of the 3.9 billion hectares of forests in the world, 86% are publicly owned.  In Europe, including Russia, 90% of forests are publicly owned.  In Western Europe the country with the highest proportion of publicly owned forest is Greece at 77%.

An Enquiry on Private Forest Ownership in Europe was conducted in 2006/07 by UNECE/FAO, together with the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) and the Confederation of Private Forest Owners (CEPF).  The data for this work was collected, mostly in 2005, from 23 countries in Europe.  On average, across 23 countries in Europe, 50.1% of forests were in public ownership compared to 49.6% in private ownership.   Other than in Bulgaria, France and Finland, timber utilisation rates were higher in public forests.

England, in comparision to the rest of Europe, has a very low amount of publicly owned forests at only 18%.

Gabriel Hemery

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5 thoughts on “Forests in public ownership – a European perspective

  1. All interesting. It adds to the picture being built up of forestry management. It would be interesting to know/compare the efficiency and investment and returns of the 2 sectors, and any analysis of biodiversity in both although the latter (biodiversity) presumably could be very difficult to get data on.

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