The challenges of coordinating forest owners for joint management

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In a context of highly fragmented woodland's ownership, joint forest management implies a reduction of transaction costs for its members and improves the coherence of forestry actions at the landscape scale. Increasing the size of the management unit improves market positioning, permits a more technical management, and improves environmental sustainability in aspects that require spatial coordination. A review of relevant literature on forest owners' groupings and the lessons learned from case studies in Navarra (Spain) have been analysed from a social capital perspective.

Twelve challenges are identified, for which technical recommendations are offered. We navigate through decision-making procedures, geographical cohesion, legitimacy and trust building, transparency and internal communication, trade-offs in efficiency and equity, local idiosyncrasy, management committee dynamics, risk aversion vs. flexibility, legal aspects, joint motivations and long-term vision, and intermediary's efficiency. Existing policy tools help in overcoming some of the economic and technical aspects. However, internal governance challenges require a concerted effort from participating forest owners.

Full reference:

Górriz Mifsud, E., Olza, L., Montero, E., Marini Govigli, V. 2018. The challenges of coordinating forest owners for joint managementForest Policy and Economics.