Who owns European Forests?

The Seminar on the Forest Ownership in the UNECE Region: trends – opportunities – challenges

14 December 2018, European Forestry House, Rue du Luxembourg 66, Brussels

While forest ownership may appear to be a relatively straightforward concept, it is quite complex, entailing different rights, responsibilities, organizational procedures and understandings that vary considerably depending on country and context. These differences, in turn, profoundly affect the way forests are managed and thereby the benefits that can be derived from them.


To understand how ownership is changing and the implications for management and policy, UNECE and FAO, in cooperation with the COST Action FACESMAP as well as EUSTAFOR and FECOF, developed a study “State of Forest Ownership in the UNECE Region”, based in large part on a survey of national data and expert opinions.


At the event, authors of the study will present analyses on forests, forest policies and forest management under different ownership. The presentation of the main results of the study, including the launch of the thematic inter-active database, will set the scene for discussions on the status, trends, opportunities and challenges, with the representatives of European Institutions, representatives of forest owner organizations and the Brussels-based stakeholders.

A networking lunch will follow the discussions.

Please RSVP to office@eustafor.eu (due to limited space, we will use the first come, first served basis)

New App for measuring the height of a tree available from January

Sveaskog, the biggest Swedish SFMO, has developed an App for determining the height of a tree, with an accuracy of approximately  2% and direct uploaded to a cloud.

It works by simply marking with the smartphone’s camera the base of the tree and the top of it.  The App, which is called Arboreal Height, will be launched as of January 2019 on the Apple Store.


COP-24 in Katowice to set an Implementation Agenda for the Paris Agreement

December 3 marks the start of  the most important global forum on climate policy, COP-24 of UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland. The 14th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will be held simultaneously (CMP 14).

COP-24 will involve approximately 30,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries, including heads of government and ministers responsible for environment and climate.

The main aim of the summit is to reach an international agreement on setting up an action plan to implement the Paris Agreement of 2015.

During the summit each country should present its own plans on reaching the climate change mitigation targets in the coming years.

There will be special thematic days dedicated to different subjects at the summit, including Electromobility Day (4 December) and Forest Day (7 December).

The Forest Declaration elaborated by the Polish Presidency of COP-24 will be presented and proposed for adoption by countries on 12 December.

EUSTAFOR and a number of Brussels-based forest stakeholders published a joint statement that explains how forests and the forest sector can play an active role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The document published ahead of COP24 is available under this link.

On 7 December a Forest Day has been planned, the main focus of which will be given to the methods of assessing carbon flux in forests as well as the role of harvested wood products. These topics align perfectly with those of Polish State Forests (Lasy Państwowe). The forest cover in Poland has continuously been increasing over last decades to almost 30% of the country’s area. More than 500.000 ha of new forests were planted between 1995 and 2014. Each year the Polish State Forests plant about 500 million trees (1000 trees per minute on average).

Worth noticing is that the ability of forests to absorb CO2 can actually be increased by planting appropriate tree species, which can help to combat climate change. During COP24 the “Forest Carbon Farms Project” will be presented with an aim to explain how to reach a balance between emissions and removals using the natural process of absorbing CO2 by soil and forests as well as by applying innovative solutions in forest management.

State Forests also actively participate in the government program “Clean Air”, which includes various measures to rationalize energy consumption of buildings and increase the share of energy coming from renewable sources.

Elaborated based on materials received from Polish State Forests.

Forest Day of COP-24 on YouTube

Northern Ireland Forest Service (DAERA) welcomes European state forestry organisations

State Forestry leaders from across Europe recently had the opportunity to share experiences about European forestry and view forests in the Glens of Antrim during a three day visit to Northern Ireland (NI), hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). The visit was held back-to-back with the strategic discussions on the new EUSTAFOR strategy for the coming years.

Staff from DAERA’s Forest Service recently hosted a three day visit to NI by a group of forestry leaders from across Europe. A range of issues were discussed with The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), which included the development of sustainable forests, plant health and showcasing the excellent facilities available for tourists and local communities within our forests. The visit culminated with a tour of the scenic Antrim Coast and Glens. Pictured at the Glenariff Forest Park Waterfall are (from left to right): Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director EUSTAFOR, Brussels, John Joe O’Boyle, DAERA Chief Executive Forest Service, Dr. Sara Lucia, Maltoni, Head of Integrated Forest Management, Sardinia, Italy, Brian Murphy, Chief Executive, Balcas Timber and Ciprian Pahontu, National Forest Administration-Romsilva, Romania. Photo DAERA Press Office.

During a tour of forests in the scenic Antrim coast and Glens, staff within DAERA’s Forest Service discussed a range of issues with The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), which included the development of sustainable forests, plant health and showcasing the excellent facilities available for tourists and local communities within our forests.

Chief Executive of Forest Service, John Joe O’Boyle, said: “EUSTAFOR members were able to view the outworking of our practices and strategies during a visit to Glenariff Forest in the scenic Glens of Antrim Coast.

“Our forests help deliver a wide range of benefits to local communities such as positive health and wellbeing and economic activity supported by tourism and timber production. It is important that we continue to share professional experience about sustainable forest management and woodland expansion with forestry colleagues across Europe.”

Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director of EUSTAFOR, said: “EUSTAFOR is very grateful to the Forest Service of Northern Ireland for inviting the strategic seminar on the future objectives of our associations to Belfast. This meeting is a significant contribution to further enhancing the co-operation among the European State Forests Management Organisations in advocating the multiple roles and benefits of sustainably managed state forests to the broad society. The results will be presented to the General Assembly in March 2019.

“We are happy that this milestone was achieved in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the presentations of practical forest management aspects during the field session at Causeway Coast and Glens made state forests managers from all over Europe familiar with specific features of Northern Ireland’s forestry and its benefits for the local people”.

Notes to editors:

  1. The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) represents state forest companies, enterprises and agencies that have sustainable forest management and sustainable wood production as major objectives. The Association currently has 34 members in 23 European countries. NI Forest Service is an Associate member.
  2. Picture attached (caption embedded).
  3. Follow DAERA on www.twitter.com/daera_ni and www.facebook.com/www.facebook.com/daerani.gov.uk
  4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk   Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.