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Landowners’ relation to Land and Forest: Land use among Private Owners in Two Estonian Counties
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
Ekonomisk Historia Umeå Universitet.
2010 (English)In:  Recasting the peacful revolution of ´89. Roots and Legacies, Södertörn University college 22-24 October, 2010Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the major findings from two large surveys among private land and forest owners in two Estonian Counties: Põlvamaa and Läänemaa. Põlva County in south-east Estonia is the most forest dominated region, with more than half of its area covered with forests. Läänemaa, a coastal county in the north-west has a potential for summer tourism and second homes. Our departure for this comparative study is to be found in the two interlinked processes of restitution and privatisation after 1991. On the one hand, we will explore the different rationales for obtaining land and forest property, and on the other hand we will analyse the individual property holders’ relations to - and use of – land and forests. The two main rationales appearing from the survey: emotional or economic, can be explained and related to legacies from different property structures, i.e. the interwar independence and the Soviet years, which seems to have affected the owners’ relation to property. Thus, we can see that the respondent’s express different rationalities, ambitions and attitudes to the actual property depending on if the property was obtained through restitution or through privatisation. It is shown that despite the demand for land in the coastal region many landowners choose to maintain or recreate family property, even if the land or forest is not actively used. As in the case of Põlva County this is explained by the emotional bonds to land that exists among owners to restituted property.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Estonia, restitution, privatisation, land ownership, forest, emotional bonds
National Category
Agricultural Science Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography; Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120128OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120128DiVA: diva2:302590
Forest and Land as Resources in Estonia
Available from: 2010-03-08 Created: 2010-03-08 Last updated: 2011-12-21Bibliographically approved

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