Good example of cooperation among forest owners – enabling the increase of timber from private forests, improving forest management and higher income.
Slovenia is one of the most forested countries in EU, as forests cover 60% of the country -1,2 million hectares. Almost 80% is private owned. The main characteristic of forest property in Slovenia is a great number of forest owners (FO) - 460.000 and its great disunion. An average forest holding is 2,6 hectares and besides that it is in most cases located in divided areas. This situation causes difficulties in forest management, the economic income for FO is small, and the supply of wood and biomass is not so efficient. One of the most efficient way to solve these problems is promotion of forest owners’ associations (FOA), the activity which has been run under the umbrella of Slovenia Forest Service (SFS) since year 2000. Till now more than 29 FOA has been established. Among them one of the most active and productive is Machine Circle Bled (MCB), established in 2004 as an initiative of SFS and 67 founding members. One of the biggest achievement of MCB is their own company “Strojni krožek Servis d.o.o.” with the main tasks to perform forestry operations among its members and other FO in the region, trading with the wood, and (very important) wood biomass production to supply different consumers in the region and abroad. Thus, FO get services of high quality and economically more efficient. In addition, MCB enables green jobs for many of its members. Among MCB’s 400 members one quarter of them are constantly active in forestry operations and other activities.
The initial cost to launch Society Machinery circle Bled was 7300 €. The association is financed by membership fees, by implementation of various events and by their own company.
Evidence of success
MCB provides support services for forestry operations for its members and other forest owners in the Gorenjska region and has nearly 400 members. Thus, the owners of forests have access to quality hardware, which individual owners could not afford. It also provides expert advice and purchase and sale of wood, including biomass for heating, and agricultural services. By increasing efficiency and professionalism enables the increase of wood from private forests or higher returns.
Potential for learning or transfer
MCB is a good example of a forest owners association. It provides more efficient forest management and greater revenue for the owners. In this way, the accessibility of timber and biomass in the market is enhanced. Beside that MCB enables more jobs in rural ares.
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