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Linking sustainable practices throughout Europe

Examples of Continous Cover Forestry practise in Estonia, EE

Rural topic(s): Sustainable forestry

Type: Narrative story

Date of writing: December 13, 2018

Organization(s): ELF (Estonian Fund for Nature)


Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF) is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to nature conservation. Our mission is to preserve endangered species and their habitats, natural landscapes and natural associations typical of Estonia. One important topic for ELF is forests and sustainable forestry. Our aim is to teach forest owners to manage in a sustainable way, one possibility is continuous cover forestry.


Description of activities

We started a project in 2018 to raise the awareness of forest owners about sustainable forestry and also continuous cover forestry. There is very little known about continuous cover forestry practice in Estonia, so our first aim was to find those forest owners who practice continuous cover forestry and learn from their experience.

We studied 10 forest owners on how they manage their forests and how they plan it, also what is their motivation to manage in that particular way and what are the constraints to their activities.



Continuous cover forestry has a bad reputation among many foresters and the debate over forest management often turns into a battle between continuous cover forestry or clear-cuts. But in reality both management methods can still be used, the question is where and how both management practices are implemented. It is important to communicate continuous cover forestry in better ways.

Next steps

We are going to publish a manual for continuous cover forestry and sustainable forest management practices in the beginning of 2019. This is aimed to raise the awareness on this subject and show practical examples of how it is done in Estonian forests by forest owners. Also we hope to show continuous cover forestry from a better light than it is has now gained.


Source and contact

Information gathered at: the 3rd workshop on Sustainable Forest Management (18-21 October 2018)

Organisation: Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF), EE

Website: www.elfond.ee/



Scale of intervention : National

Keywords: woodland management, biodiversity conservation, sustainable woodland, continuous cover forestry

Places: Estonia

Actors: NGO, multi-stakeholders, researcher/academic, forest owner

Methods: knowledge collection, exchange of good practices, raising awareness