Still widespread all over Europe, coppice forests are of high abundance and importance especially in South and South-Eastern Europe. This fact calls for clarification of forest management issues as well as environmental and socio-economic aspects. Relying on the lessons learned from a recent European networking project called 'CForSEE - the multi-functional management of coppice forests', a comparative stakeholder analysis in coppice forestry is presented for Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia. The main interests of different stakeholder groups are discussed as well as potential conflicts among users of coppice resources. First, there are conflicts between land-use change and the requirements for maintaining livelihood in rural areas. Both conversion to high forests and abandonment of coppice management on marginal sites will counteract conservation interests. Second, there is an increasing competition for woody biomass by wood-processing industry and energy production from renewable resources. National forest policy and administration is expected to balance and steer multiple interests by strengthening law enforcement and involving stakeholders in participatory negotiation and conflict resolution processes.
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