Research trends: Forest ownership in multiple perspectives

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

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


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
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


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


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