Financing continuous cover forestry: case studies from Finland, France, Ireland and Latvia

11 April 2024

Financing continuous cover forestry: case studies from Finland, France, Ireland and Latvia

Over the last few years, Fern has devoted itself to listening to foresters across Europe, with the aim of learning from their on the ground experience and ensuring EU decision-makers hear their voices. Throughout this time, several messages have been regularly repeated.

For example, although there are Member State and EU funds to support European forest management, little of it ends up skilling-up foresters to understand the effects of and solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises, and to manage their forests with an eye to future financial and environmental profitability. 


“There is five to ten times more aid for intensive than for ecological forestry in France.”
- Vincent Magnet, forester working on alternative forestry in France

This report looks at four case studies from Finland, France, Ireland and Latvia. In each of them, foresters outline the financial obstacles and bottlenecks in switching to forest restoration and continuous cover forestry.  

They reveal the strong economic case for managing forests better and outline how the EU can remove the hurdles that stop foresters from going beyond business-as-usual. 

While national circumstances differ, all of the case studies point to the need to get rid of existing harmful subsidies and to ensure that foresters have a wide range of skills to understand how best to ensure their forests are financially sustainable while benefitting wildlife, communities and the climate for decades to come.  


“Our goal is to ensure a constant financial flow, while conserving the diversity of nature and leaving the surrounding landscape relatively unchanged.”
- Latvian forest owner Ziedonis Vilciņš on why he avoids clearcutting

Categories: Reports, Close-to-nature forestry

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