Support for low value forest stands replacement incentivise private forest owners for more active forest management and improve biomass production.
Efficient and sustainable production of forest and agricultural biomass is important precondition for successful transition to a low carbon economy. Smart and productive land use produce more food, fiber and other bio-based products with fewer inputs, less environmental impact and by using low-carbon and climate-resilient approaches.
Latvia is 4th forested country in EU, 52% of territory covered with forest. Half of forest belongs to almost 135 000 private owners. Part of small forest owners don’t manage their forest properly. As a result of passive forest management, a significant proportion of overgrown forest stands is accumulated. This leads to increase of unproductive forest stands and unused available biomass potential and also low land management efficiently.
In order to improve the situation, a support measure has been implemented for the replacement of non-productive forest stands. The support measure facilitate unproductive forest stands harvest, compensating cost for reforestation of forest stands and cover costs of use of high-quality forest planting material. According to experts’ evaluation forest restoring with high-quality planting material will give up to 30% more forest biomass in growing circle.
Support measure is a part of Latvia’s Rural Development Programme. Support is granted for private forest owners and implemented in rural areas. Measure directly facilitate improvement of private forest management, biomass production and mobilization.
Support for non-productive forest stand replacement cover up to 60-70% of eligible costs for forest replacement, that is almost 700 EUR/ha, total amount used up to now is 3,3 mill EUR.
Evidence of success
3400 ha of private forest are improved during 3-year period. Number of interested forest owners increased year by year. The support measure facilitates private forest owners’ activity in forest management and also improve their knowledge and understanding about forest practises and sustainable biomass production.
Interest from private forest owners to use support options raised gradually. Consultation availability for forest owners about support possibilities and requirements is important factor for successful implementation of support measure.
Potential for learning or transfer
Support measure for replacement of non-productive forest stands facilitate movement of biomass from private forests and also improve forest management. This is national scale measure for private forest owners with in Rural Development Programme. Supported activities incentivise private forest owners harvest biomass and improve forest stand quality via planting high-quality reproductive material in forest. This brings more forest biomass to producers in short run and enlarge forest stand value in long run. By using high-quality forest reproductive material forest stand adaptation and mitigation potential to climate changes also will increase.
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