Natura 2000 subsidy for private forestland

The subsidy may be applied for by a private forest owner whose forest area is at least 0.3 ha and is entered in the Estonian nature information system as a forestland entitled for support


Compensation is paid to private forest owners in Natura 2000 areas, as well as in conversation zones of protected areas located outside them, on the basis of the Estonian Rural Development Plan (ERDP) to compensate for nature conservation restrictions.


The subsidy compensates the private forest owner for the loss of income due to nature conservation restrictions in the Natura 2000 network area in the limited management zone, the conversation zone, and the planned area, and in the conversation zone outside the Natura 2000 area [1].


The subsidy may be applied for by a private forest owner whose forest area is at least 0.3 ha and is entered in the Estonian nature information system (EELIS) as a forestland entitled for support. However, compensation can only be claimed for forest areas that do not overlap with a semi-natural community, arable land, or with the area covered by the key habitat contract [2]. All forest areas for which compensation can be claimed are also aggregated on the map layer of the Land Board’s map application. Compensation rates depend on the severity of nature conservation restrictions [2].


The subsidy rates are [1]:

  • in the conversation zone of a Natura 2000 site and beyond, the rate is 110 euros per hectare per year;
  • in the limited management zone, limited-conservation area, and planned protected area of a Natura 2000 site, 60 euros per hectare per year. The latter may be reduced if the budget is not sufficient to fund all eligible applications.

According to the amendment to the Income Tax Act in force from 2020, income from forests in the amount of up to 5,000 euros is exempt from income tax. The tax incentive also includes Natura 2000 support for private forest land [1].


An application for compensation can be submitted via the e-ARIB portal. The amount disbursed as a subsidy has steadily increased. While in 2008, the total amount of compensation was 1.6 million euros and the area covered by the compensation was 24,000 hectares, then in 2019, it was already 4.3 million euros and 64,000 hectares [3].


The latest information on the support can be found on the private forest portal.



Last modified: 10.06.2022






[3]  Roasto, R., Tampere, U. (toim). Eesti looduse kaitse aastal 2020. Keskkonnaagentuur, Tallinn.