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Engaging owners of small private forests in active management (ENGAGING)

International project

STATUS: Ongoing
Project start: 01. Apr 2018.
Project end: 31. Oct 2019.


In Europe the forest area of owners of small forests is underutilized. The consequences are (i) a shortage of resource for the bio-economy, (ii) uncertainty with respect to delivery of ecosystem services, and (iii) inconsistent monitoring and assessment of forest health.

As a consequence of structural change, societies develop towards urbanization and the area of unmanaged or insufficiently managed forests is increasing. From a forestry viewpoint the trend is problematic and many regional and national stakeholder groups are taking efforts to engage the owners of small forests in active management, assuming that forest management is the trigger for the provision of the aforementioned functions (i) to (iii). The obstacles are well known: managing small forests yields insignificant income, non-expert forest owners have unclear expectations on forest management and lack of knowledge on the required techniques.

The efforts of engaging owners of small forests are nationally and internationally only partially coordinated and only partially successful. Our intention is to identify the more and the less successful attempts, analyze the reasons for success or failure, and derive recommendations for regionally relevant campaigns for the engagement of small scale forest owners in forest management.



  • Austrian Forest Research Center - coordinator (BFW)
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Science (BOKU)
  • Croatian Forest Research Institute
  • University of Life Science Prague (CULS)
  • Pellervo Economic Research (PTT)
  • National Forest Centre (NFC)
  • Forest Sciences and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC)
  • National research institute agriculture, forestry and the environment (IRSTEA)
  • National Centre for Private Ownership (CNFP)
  • Swiss Federal Office for the Environment
  • Swedish Forestry Agency - Skogsstyrelsen
  • National Forest Centre, Slovakia
  • University of Sopron
  • University of Aberdeen
  • Pellervo Economic Research PTT
  • Chair of Forest and Environmental Policies TUM School of Management, Technical University of Munich
  • Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL)
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich)
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