Press "Enter" to skip to content

Category: Forest conservation

The future of sustainable forest management grows with TRANSFORMIT

New collaborative project launches to integrate societal demands with biodiversity conservation

Whether we witness branches coming back to life as spring unfolds, observe squirrels swiftly disappearing into the woods, or notice the crisp sound of boots on snow-covered trails—forest experiences hold meaning to us in many ways. But how else can we value forests?

Clean water sources, fresh air, healthy soil, flood control, climate change mitigation, and the survival of wildlife—all of these contribute to the relational value of forests. This goes beyond mere timber; forests embody a wealth of long-lasting socio-ecological benefits. We deeply rely on forests for social, economic, and cultural wellbeing. Balancing the needs of diverse stakeholders and reconciling short-term gains with long-term interests has been a historical challenge in the relationship between societal demands and forest conservation efforts. It is a dilemma that risks fueling environmental conflict and pessimism across the world.

Integrative Forest Management (IFM) emerges as a practical solution to address these conflicts. IFM seeks to harmonize the ecological and socio-economic demands for forests through sustainable forest management, aiming to enhance biodiversity while equally ensuring economic viability. Over the past 13 years, European Forest Institute’s (EFI) exploration and research into IFM through projects like Integrate (2011-2013), Integrate+ (2013-2016), INFORMA (2017-2020), and FoReSite (2020-2022), have been proactive. While the concept of IFM is well-established, it currently lacks operational elements in terms of verification, monitoring, guidance, and Europe-wide implementation. This gap is what led us to initiate the new TRANSFORMIT project. 

Leave a Comment

The Vaia storm five years later – lessons for forests and people

By Alberto Pauletto, FSC Italia

At the end of October 2018, tropical storm Vaia brought heavy rains and winds of up to 200 km/h to Northern Italy, killing 37 people and unleashing damage estimated at almost 5 billion euros. Vaia also affected parts of France, Croatia, Austria, and Switzerland, but Italy sustained the worst forestry destruction in its recent history, with more than 14 million trees felled. The Asiago Oltre Vaia project was an initiative of the Municipality of Asiago  –  with the support of numerous entities such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Italia, Treedom, and the University of Padua  –  designed to draw lessons from the catastrophe to create more resistant and resilient forests for the future.

Leave a Comment

What foresters want

Recently there has been broad political interest in alternative forest management systems, in response factors that call for a rethinking of production-oriented forestry, including biodiversity concerns, resilience issues and socio-economic changes. The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 for example calls for the development of nature-oriented forestry practices to safeguard biodiversity and rural livelihoods. Moreover, it sets a target for 30% of the European land cover to be under some sort of protection scheme, with 10% being strictly protected. Correspondingly, the EU Forest Strategy for 2030 proposes Closer-to-Nature forestry as the forestry concept to help achieve these goals.

So far for the goals and aspirations of policy makers. But how do these aims relate to the reality on the ground, and how keen are forest managers to make that vision come true? Those are the questions we sought to answer in our newly published paper Integrating nature conservation measures in european forest management – An exploratory study of barriers and drivers in 9 european countries – ScienceDirect.

Leave a Comment

Einen Tag Förster*in sein im Bonner Kottenforst

Wer interessiert am Klima- und Umweltschutz ist und mehr über die Rolle des Waldes im Klimawandel erfahren möchte, sollte an einer unserer drei „Marteloskop“-Übungen im Bonner Kottenforst teilnehmen.

Diese “Marteloskop“-Übungen (kurzes Info-Video zu Marteloskopen hier) bieten die einmalige Gelegenheit, selbst in die Welt der Förster*innen einzutauchen und Waldmanagement im Klimawandel zu erleben – und zu diskutieren, wie man den Wald sowohl nachhaltig nutzen als auch schützen kann.

Im Rahmen des Forschungsprojekts „Martelkom“ lädt European Forest Institute in das Marteloskop im Bonner Kottenforst zum Austausch mit Förster:innen direkt vor Ort ein. Dafür haben wir drei Termine für unterschiedliche Zielgruppen gefunden:

Am 16. September üben wir mit Wald- und Klimaschutzinteressierte Bürger*innen von 10-14:30Uhr.

Am 23. September laden wir junge Klimaaktivist*innen um 10-14:30Uhr ein.

Am 6. Oktober möchten wir die Übung gemeinsam mit zukünftigen Lehrer*innen ebenfalls um 10-14:30Uhr durchführen.

Wo? Jägerhäuschen im Kottenforst, bei Röttgen (53125 Bonn)

Wir sind gespannt auf Ihre/Eure Perspektive! Da Plätze begrenzt sind bitte unbedingt anmelden unter hannah.ertelt(at)efi.int

Leave a Comment

„Parasitoide spielen eine wesentliche Rolle in Waldökosystemen“ 

Interview mit Axel Schopf zur Erforschung natürlicher Gegenspieler von Forstschädlingen

 Darüber habe ich mit Axel Schopf, Professor i.R. an der Universität für Bodenkultur in Wien und Berater  in dem Team des Eichenresilienz-Projekt gesprochen, in dem European Forest Institute mit dem Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz im Wissenstransfer zusammenarbeitet.

Die Durchführung des Projektes „Erhebung der Parasitoiden der Frostspanner-Arten Operophtera brumata und Erannis defoliaria sowie des Eichenwicklers Tortrix viridanaerfolgt am Institut für Forstentomologie, Forstpathologie und Forstschutz (IFFF) an der BOKU Wien unter der Leitung von Frau Doz. Dr. Christa Schafellner. Ihre Aufgabe war, den Parasitoidenkomplex (Parasitoide = Raubparasiten, die als natürliche Gegenspieler von Schädlingen diese letztlich abtöten) der dominierenden Eichenschädlinge Kleiner und Großer Frostspanner (Operophtera brumata, Erannis defoliaria) und Grüner Eichenwickler (Tortrix viridana) in ausgewählten Eichenbeständen im Münsterland zu untersuchen. Ziel der Untersuchung war es, in Folge die Möglichkeit einer Steigerung der Widerstandsfähigkeit von Eichenwäldern durch bestimmte Förderung und Ausbringung von natürlichen Gegenspielern der Eichenschädlinge zu bewirken.

Leave a Comment

Training argumentation and critical thinking skills in a role-play about forests

How can students develop skills such as argumentation and critical thinking? The Umeå University is investigating the topic using learning materials around forest use and forest protection as part of the MULTIPLIERS project

Leave a Comment

Restoring Forests, One Peck at a Time

The Return of the Woodpecker

It was an early arrival at the airport for departure on Saturday morning, packed with several layers of clothing and warm shoes. This time the trip was up North, with final destination Umeå to visit SUPERB’s Swedish demo area. We were first flying to Stockholm and from there taking the train onwards to Umeå. While looking out of the window from the airplane close to Stockholm, we noticed that everything was still very green, no snow in sight. Or at least not yet.  

At the train station we met with Magda, deputy project coordinator of SUPERB, who was also joining us. As we didn’t see any snow yet, we made a bet after how much time on the train we would see full snow cover. Of course, a full snow cover needed to be defined; “Enough snow to not wreck your skis.” Apparently, this was still open for own interpretations. In the end we were all too optimistic. It took longer than expected to reach our expected “winter wonderland”. But we had some beautiful views during the train ride, and the sunset was spectacular.  

During dinner that night in Umeå we had our second Swedish experience, eating reindeer. We would learn more about the role of reindeer for Swedish forests and forest-depending communities later. But now, after such a long travel day and a tasty dinner, it was time for a good night of sleep, so we would be well rested for the next day, exploring the demo area.  

Leave a Comment

“Oak Resilience”: investigating ecological measures to combat oak decline

Oaks can live up to a thousand years and grow to trees of impressive magnitude. They are of great importance, economically and ecologically. Oak wood is hard and resistant and provides a valuable resource for the market. And with over a thousand species of beetles, butterflies, birds and bats, fungi and more living on oaks, these trees are a real biodiversity hotspot.

Since the mid-1980s, however, the condition of oaks in Europe has deteriorated dramatically. This is due to an interaction of climatic extremes, such as drought or late frost, herbivorous insects and mildew. Among these stress factors, insect damage by early defoliators is of particular importance. Oaks generally show a strong ability for regeneration and can regrow their foliation even after complete defoliation. However, if severe defoliation in spring occurs repeatedly or in combination with a second stressor, the oaks’ energy reserves cannot be restored and the tree is lost.

The critical question is: how can we make oaks more resilient? And are there ecological means to combat oak decline? In Germany, committed people from forestry practice and science have joined forces to find solutions. The project “Oak Resilience” investigates the resilience of the native pedunculate oak and sessile oak and looks into predatory parasites –called parasitoids­– of the most important early defoliators in oaks, the winter moth Operophtera brumata, the mottled umber moth Erannis defoliaria and the oak leafroller moth Tortrix viridana. Parasitoid insects are natural antagonists of defoliating insects and are an important regulatory force in the ecosystem. The project will develop recommendations for silvicultural measures to support these natural regulating forces in order to strengthen the oak’s vitality and forest resilience in general. The project is led by Wald und Holz NRW and funded by the FNR (Agency for Renewable Resources; FKZ 22017517). Watch this video to get an introduction to the project – and check our Resilience blog for upcoming project results in 2023.

Leave a Comment