Estonia

National committee:
Ms. Monica Lublo, Ministry of Agriculture
Mr. Jaanus Aun, Estonian Private Forest Union
Ms. Eve Rebane, Ministry of Environment

Activities

1. Need assessment for private forestry in Estonia

The Government of Estonia has already signed several international treaties that impose a wide range of obligations regarding biodiversity enhancement. Estonia has thus seriously committed itself concerning the protection of biodiversity.

At the same time, biodiversity protection involves the direct management of private property. While fulfilling international obligations, the government must also take the interests of private forest owners into consideration. The need thus existed to analyse which governmental measures could be applied to ensure that international treaties were respected, but were also in line with the needs and expectations of private forest owners. The Estonian Private Forest Centre (EPFC) has carried out this analysis.

Major conclusions

  1. The impact of the constraints concerning biodiversity protection on the management of private forests needs to be explained more clearly and thoroughly to private forest owners.
  2. Appropriate compensation mechanisms must be elaborated and enforced in order to protect biodiversity more efficiently. The EPFC analysis confirmed that currently applied compensation measures (mainly substitution of land in protected areas) are not ensuring satisfactory maintenance of biodiversity values in private forest holdings.
  3. Private institutions (forest owners¿ organizations) have to be more actively involved in implementing the environmental policy of the government, for example, by, attributing certain state responsibilities to the forest owners¿ organizations. A genuinely innovative step would be to have forest owners¿ organizations, rather than state environmental services, handle forest-use notifications.

Reccomendations

The study also examined existing legislation and proposed the following measures:
  1. Care must be taken to avoid contradictions between the Forest Act and legal acts stipulating the protection system for the protected areas in future legislative drafting of these acts.
  2. The current system of protection of key habitats in private forests (the system of voluntary nature protection) should not be replaced by the mandatory protection regime.
  3. The mechanism of compensating for economic losses incurred by forest owners regarding restrictions imposed on them must be reviewed. The current system is not always applicable.

In conclusion, it may be said that by improving outreach to private forest owners, enhancing the role of their organizations and allowing most equitable compensation mechanisms are all measures that would inevitably contribute to the enhancement of biodiversity in Estonian private forests.

2. Plann of activities 2004-2005

Objective: Increasing Knowledge and Skills of Forest Management Stakeholders

Country: Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland

Who: FOA with support of IUCN-CE

What:

    Setting up sub-regional cooperation platform to facilitate exchange of information and experience with regard to capacity building and empowering forest owners

When

2004-2005

Objective: Building Synergy among Stakeholders

Country: Estonia

Who: Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Private Forest Owners Union, Private Forest Centre, Estonian Forest Industries Association and Other Stakeholders

What:

    Elaboration of Estonian private forestry's development plan

When

2004- 2005

Objective: Improving the image of private forestry

Country: Estonia

Who: Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Private Forest Owners Union, Private Forest Centre, Estonian Forest Industries Association and Other Stakeholders

What:

Campaign to promote (private) forestry. (The events of the forestry week in 2005 will be arranged).

When

2005

Objective: Enabling the Institutional Framework to meet the needs of Forest Owners

Country: Estonia

Who: Ministry of Environment in cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture, Estonian Private Forest Owners Union, Private Forest Centre

What:

    Development of regional supports scheme for private forestry

When

2005

Objective: Increasing knowledge and skills of forest management stakeholders

Country: Estonia

Who: Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Private Forest Owners Union, Private Forest Centre

What:

    To increase awareness on possibilities to support sustainable forest management - a plenty of courses/information days will be arranged for forest owners during 2005

When

2005

Objective: Raising awareness by accessing and sharing information

Country: Estonia

Who: Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Private Forest Owners Union, Private Forest Centre, Estonian Forest Industries Association and Other Stakeholders

What:

    Television broadcastings "School for Forest Owners"

When

2004-2006

Objective: Increasing knowledge and skills of forest management stakeholders

Country: Estonia

Who: Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Private Forest Owners Union, Private Forest Centre

What:

    Train the Trainers (training of the leaders of Forest Owner's Regional Associations and specialists of County Environmental Departments (under Ministry of the Environment)

When

2004-2005

last updated:  Tuesday, October 26, 2004