Information on the spatial distribution of forest ownership is needed not only in the forestry sector but in general for activities related to forest ownership. A newly published EFI Technical Report 'Mapping the distribution of forest ownership in Europe' contributes to a better knowledge of forest ownership distribution in 47 European countries through a thorough data collection, analysis and visual presentation.

Public forests, but increasingly also forests in private ownership, play a key role in sustaining forest ecosystems, ensuring biodiversity protection, mitigating climate change, enhancing rural development and supplying timber and non-wood goods and services.

The study set out to quantify the spatial distribution of forest ownership at sub-national level. The data was compiled from official regional, national and international sources being publications, websites and information portals. As countries have own specific classifications for forest ownership the project classified the available information to the definitions of the FAO. A further activity of the project was to investigate the availability of geo-referenced forest ownership maps in the 47 countries existence that present the spatial distribution of private and public forests.

The report is accompanied by a set of European forest ownership maps, detailed country data fact sheets, an extensive dataset and individual country maps giving more detail on forest ownership distribution.