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Category: Forest Risks

Talking through research landscapes

Reflections on inter-generational interactions in science and the potential of young scientists 

Imagine you are sitting in a room full of people for three days. Listening to a lot of presentations which do not necessarily light up your interests. You make the effort to resist the temptation of checking your mailbox. Feeling guilty for seeing work accumulating, knowing you will have to address part of it at night, alone in your hotel room. Eventually, you will be presenting your work and – if you are lucky – have an awesome 20 minutes of lit discussion and feedback. But after that, you will rely on coffee again to fight back the gravity attacking your eyelids, especially in the post-lunch sessions. You will be looking forward for the drinks at the end of the day to socialize a bit and get to know people. 

In my short, young scientist’s experience, that’s how I’ve portraited – and experienced – scientific conferences. 

A (much needed) alternative 

Well, the latest conference I attended was absolutely nothing of the above. 

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Let’s talk fire: How to move Integrated Fire Management forward?

The last training of the Pyrolife project for its 15 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) took place on the 19th-30th of September in the Netherlands. Pyrolife is an Innovative Training Network funded under the Marie Curie Programme (MSCA-ITN) which supports the PhD training and research of 15 candidates working on wildfire-related issues across different European countries, covering a wide array of disciplines from engineering to human geography and sociology.

The whole Pyrolife training program is designed and anchored upon the recognition of the urgent need for change in the way our (highly heterogeneous) societies manage, govern and relate to wildfires across the globe. The project takes up the imperative of building landscape resilience through a better understanding of fire drivers, risk, and impacts, as well as creative approaches to risk reduction that are sustainable in the long term.

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EFI-Experte und Waldbrandökologe Alex Held zu Gast bei hart aber fair 

Im Rahmen der ARD-Themenwoche „Dürre” hat auch die Politik-Talkshow hart aber fair am 29. August sich des Themas angenommen und über die Folgen der Dürre für Mensch und Natur diskutiert. In diesem Zusammenhang ging es natürlich auch um die Gefahr von Waldbränden und das Waldbrandjahr 2022, das bereits als trauriges „Rekordjahr“ bezeichnet wird. Dafür wurde unser EFI-Kollege Alex Held als Experte eingeladen. In einem Einzelgespräch mit Moderator Frank Plasberg räumte der WKR-Projektleiter und Waldbrandökologe mit Mythen über Waldbrand-Ursachen auf und erklärt, inwieweit Deutschland und unsere Wälder auf diese intensiven Brände vorbereitet sind.  

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Wrangling resilience from concept to forest management application

Record breaking temperatures, minimal rainfall, drying rivers and burning forests. The news from this summer show how acutely the warming climate is affecting our environment and lives. To me, the damages to forests due to fires, drought and insect outbreaks are particularly worrisome as we as a society are counting on forests to sequester our carbon emissions, to replace the fossil fuel products and to foster biodiversity that is rapidly declining. This concern on the capacity of forests to cope with increased disturbances started years ago and led me to pursue a PhD on forest resilience and how it could be improved with forest management. Now it is time to summarise my work from the last four years.

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36° und es wird noch heißer: Innen Interforst, Draußen Waldbrand

WKR als Aussteller beim BMEL Stand auf der Interforst in München

Zwischen dem 17-20 August stand bei der Messe München alles im Zeichen von Wald. Die Interforst ist die Leitmesse für Forstwirtschaft und Forsttechnik und vereinigt über 300 Aussteller und 31000 Besucher aus knapp 60 Ländern.

Auf Einladung des Bundesministeriums für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL) wurden 3 Projekte ausgewählt, die am Stand des Ministeriums auf der Interforst ihr Projekt vorstellen konnten. Das vom Waldklimafonds geförderte und am EFI Bonn ansässige Waldbrand-Klima-Resilienz Projekt war eines dieser Projekte. Die Einladung haben wir dankend angenommen und uns gefreut das Thema Waldbrand(management) unter die Leute zu bringen- und es ist brandaktuell. Während der Messetage überschlugen sich die Nachrichten von Waldbränden in Deutschland und ganz Europa. Parallel zu den Gesprächen vor Ort mit Besuchern, stieg auch das mediale Interesse für die Thematik und so haben die WKR Experten Alexander Held und Lindon Pronto an den Tagen verschiedensten Medien zahlreiche Interviews und Statements gegeben. Diese sind wichtiger Teil des WKR Projektziels, für das Thema Waldbrand zu sensibilisieren und auch das Konzept vom ganzheitlichen Waldbrandmanagement stärker in den Fokus der Öffentlichkeit zu bringen.

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How we can better understand our forest ecosystems with laser scanning

by Luiza Tyminska and Jean-Matthieu Monnet

If you want to investigate the influence of management on forest resilience after disturbances, you can of course put your walking shoes on and do field measurements. However, how can you evaluate forest areas of several hundreds of square kilometers? In forest science, we consider Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) a strong solution for mapping forest characteristics – including forests’ internal structure – at high resolution over wide areas. ALS is a remote sensing technology based on the emission of laser pulses. The laser light can penetrate the tree canopy and reflect on objects located inside the forest, or even by the ground. The Earth’s surface is then modelled as point clouds in three dimensions with geometric information on the height of the vegetation, but also on its internal structure. In the project Innovative forest management strategies for a resilient bioeconomy under climate change and disturbances (I-MAESTRO), we used ALS for two purposes: describing the forests to get an initial state for simulations, and analysing forest dynamics with repeated measurements.

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Exchange of Experts in Polen- Teamwork at its best

Wenn über 100 motivierte Waldbrandexperten von Heute und Morgen aus sieben Nationen in Polen zusammenkommen, um bei vollem Einsatz drei Tage lang, bei einem Exchange of Experts (EoE) verschiedene Waldbrandbekämpfungs-Taktiken zu üben, dann auch noch entgegen der Vorhersage das Wetter mitspielt, ist das Wochenende perfekt gelaufen!

Zwischen dem 20-22 Mai fand in Gołąbki (Staatswald Toruń) das erste International Forest Camp in Polen statt. Ziel des Workshops war es Techniken und Taktiken zur Bekämpfung von Waldbränden zu trainieren. Zunächst in verschiedenen Trainingsstationen am Freitag. An den beiden folgenden Tagen wurden unter Anleitung von internationalen Waldbrandexperten verschiedene Aspekte von Waldbrand- Szenarien nachgestellt und die Teams aus ganz Europa mussten das gelernte Wissen anwenden. Dabei konnten die Experten direktes Feedback geben und die Teams dadurch (wenn nötig) Ihre geplante Strategie anpassen.

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Between Theory and Reality Check: PyroLife trainings in Cyprus

Written by Isabeau Ottolini

Isabeau Ottolini is an Early Stage Researcher within the European ITN project, PyroLife. She is researching Community-based Communications on extreme wildfires. She will spend her secondment at the EFI Bonn Office.

Between 8-14 April, the EU funded PyroLife project held two training events on the island of Cyprus. This blog post shares what we, as Early Stage Researchers, did and learnt during the Risk Communication workshop and the in-field module of the Making Change in Wildfire Management: Science Policy Interaction training.

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Is European forest management out of alignment with natural patterns in disturbances?

by Joshua Brow, University of Vermont

European forests are in trouble. “Not because they’re being lost,” says University of Vermont scientist William Keeton. “Europe, actually, is greener and more heavily forested now than it has been in centuries.” But many of the continent’s forests are suffering major insect outbreaks, forest disease problems, increasing frequencies of wind-storms, and more-intense fires.
To help give forest managers and policymakers new options, Keeton and a large team of European scientists completed an extensive, multi-year study of forests in thirteen countries across the continent.

Their results show that most current forest management in Europe doesn’t imitate the patterns of nature—specifically, the complex patterns created by natural disturbances that leave behind a mosaic of tree types, ages, and sizes; standing and downed dead wood; and highly variable, resilient landscapes.

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