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A gift programme for sustainable forest management? A Swiss perspective on public policies and property rights

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Creutzburg Leonard, Ohmura Tamaki, Lieberherr Eva,
Project Analyzing TRade-offs in forests between sustainable Economy and Environmental objectives (ATREE)
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Geographica Helvetica
Volume (Issue) 75(2)
Page(s) 69 - 80
Title of proceedings Geographica Helvetica
DOI 10.5194/gh-75-69-2020

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


For multifunctional forests that seek to fulfil societal, environmental and economic demands, active forest management is key. However, like in many other western European countries, Switzerland's small-scale private forest owners increasingly do not manage their forests. By applying and adapting the Institutional Resource Regime (IRR), a framework for environmental policy analysis that considers use rights both from public policies and property rights, we analyse the situation in Switzerland. Subsequently, we propose a Swiss forest gift programme – based on the Canadian Ecological Gifts Program (EGP) – consisting of different policy instruments that would ultimately lead to a transfer of property rights from the current to new owners. In sum, we argue that our proposal would lead to more “coherence”, with regard to the IRR's sustainability dimension, and consequently to clearer responsibilities for the sustainable management of forests in Switzerland.