Reforestation obligations, public access and use of non-wood forest products
- Last update: 29 September 2016
- File size: 82.37 KB
- Author: Josephine Bauer, Mathleena Kniivilä, Volker Sasse and Franz Schmithüsen
This paper summarizes the main findings of a study undertaken for the UNECE/FAO Timber Branch and as Geneva Forest Discussion Paper Nr. 37.
Forest laws of 23 European countries have been examined in order to analyse the approach towards three basic legal issues, which are of relevance in the relationship between society and forestry: (1) reforestation obligations after final cutting or loss offorest cover due to fire and natural calamities, (2) public access to forests and (3) public use of non-wood forest products (NWFP). National forest legislation includes regulations for obligatory reforestation thus confirming the importance of maintaining a continuous forest cover. Public access to forests is allowed in most of the analysed countries; however, forest owners may have specific rights to limit such access. Limitations exist mainly because of nature protection (e.g. rare biotopes) or because of property rights of the forest owners. In most of the examined countries the public has usage rights to collect certain non-wood forest products in defined quantities. On the whole the findings of the study show a common concern of the reviewed countries in regulating the three issues in their national forest law. However, there are differences with regard to the extent of regulation which reflect sub-regional variations in demand and resource potentials as well as historical developments and national traditions. Altogether the findings provide a useful input to the dialogue about forestry policies in Europe and the contribution of forest land use to overall sustainable development.