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Promoting and driving responsible forest management in Lithuania (2008 - 2013) More »
Project manager: Danas Augutis (

Forest is one of the major natural resources in Lithuania. Forests cover about 2 million ha or about 33% of the country’s territory. Since 1990, after regaining independence, forest ownership and use has gone through dramatic changes in Lithuania. The restitution of land to former owners was started, but has not been completed over 17 years. Forest land restitution has been slow as well. State forests reserved for restitution and privatization comprised about 16% of forests in the beginning of 2007. Private forests made up 35%. They belonged to more than 200 000 forest owners and this number is increasing every year. Private forest will encompass about 50% of the forests in Lithuania at the end of forest restitution and privatization.

Majority of private forest holdings are very small in Lithuania with the average of 4,6 ha (data of 2007). Despite of very fragmented forest ownership the timber supply from private forests has been increasing over the last 10 years. Currently private forests deliver more than 40% of round wood to the market annually. The share of timber production coming from small private owned forest holdings will continue to increase with increasing area of private forests.

Majority of forest owners lack even basic knowledge and capacity to develop and practice responsible long-term forest management. There is a big need for practical demonstration and training about various aspects of responsible forest management for private small-scale forest management. Very good results in this field were achieved in Latvia through the development of a network of demonstration forests. Demonstration forests are private forest holdings with facilities to demonstrate and communicate different aspects of responsible forest management including forest certification. The concept is based on practical experience of implementing responsible forest management.

Two demonstration forests on private forest land have been developed in Lithuania during the second phase of the WWF/IKEA Co-operation on Forest Projects. They are now used for demonstration and communication activities. There is however a clear need to follow up and continue activities in order to get better impact and dissemination of responsible forestry methods, to motivate owners to continue their activities and develop further educational infrastructure.



1. To promote the uptake of responsible forest management practises amongst private forest owners.
2. To ensure maintenance, development and use of the demonstration forests for the demonstration of responsible small scale forest management in Lithuania.
3. To ensure dissemination of forest management experiences gained in the demonstration forests.
4. To support promotion of FSC certification among companies of the timber sector.


This project is a part of the WWF and IKEA co-operation on Forest Projects.