CROUPFOA’s conference in Zagreb addressed forest ownership rights in Europe
The Croatian Union of Private Forest Owner Alliances (CROUPFOA) organised a 10-year anniversary conference on ownership rights in private forests in Zagreb on 4 October. The aim of the conference was to address the challenges forest owners are facing due to legislation and its implementation. The conference brought together participants from different countries and forest owners’ organisations in Europe.

CEPF was well represented in the conference by the CEPF Board Members and the Secretariat. The President of CROUPFOA, Zdenko Bogovic, also a member of the CEPF Board, opened the conference and set the scene with an introduction to the forest ownership rights in Croatia. In Croatia, CROUPFOA represents the interest of more than 500 000 forest owners.  


The CEPF President Hubert de Schorlemer, gave a speech about ownership rights in privately owned forests in the EU and referred to a study on the property rights published in July 2018. The most remarkable finding of the study is the striking differences in the degree of freedom that private forest owners experience in different European countries and regions. “The former socialist countries form a dense group with a high level of limitations of rights while the forest owners from the western and the Nordic countries enjoy usually more freedom regarding the decision making when speaking of operational issues concerning their forests. To possess a forest in Macedonia means something very different than possessing a forest in Germany or the Netherlands”, said Mr Schorlemer.


Furthermore, the existing differences in the forest ownership rights in European countries were showcased by the Secretary of CROUPFOA, Miljenko Županić who draw conclusions based on a CROUPFOA’s questionnaire sent to different national forest owners’ organisations in Europe. The presentation of Mr Županić can be found here.


The International Coordinator of the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners (LRF), Lennart Ackzell, introduced the Swedish view on forest ownership rights. The Central European perspective was given by the Attaché for Agriculture, Forestry and Environment at the Austrian Embassy in Croatia, Christian Brawenz.


Presentations of the day can be found here.


Press release by CROUPFOA can be found here.