Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: ecosystem services

Key actions needed for resilient forests

In a world facing unprecedented challenges due to climate change, loss of biodiversity, and growing pressure on natural resources, we rely on resilient forest ecosystems (IPCC 2023) to mitigate these threats and support the well-being of our communities. On the one hand, forests are being increasingly impacted by numerous disturbances including wildfires, windstorms, droughts, and biotic threats. On the other hand, forests play a crucial role in addressing global challenges: they provide a wide range of ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, habitat provision, and sustainable livelihoods.

In 2020, former EFI researcher Laura Nikinmaa and her colleagues investigated fostering forest resilience as a key response strategy to address uncertainty stemming from global change. But how can theoretical concepts be translated into practical actions? Based on a systematic review of 255 studies, Nikinmaa et al. (2020) pointed out that the more holistic concept of social-ecological resilience  – which involves enhancing the ability of ecosystems to provide essential services while maintaining human well-being – has not been implemented widely in the practice of forest management because of the lack of clarity in operationalising it. At the same time, policy makers are tasked with devising policies without sound knowledge of the processes that have promoted forest resilience in the recent past. As a result, both policy makers and forest managers lack a broad understanding of whether forests are going to be resilient in the future given the current global trends (Nikinmaa et al. 2020).

Leave a Comment

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

ForestMoocForChange: join the first free online course on Continuous Cover Forestry

Today forests are under increasing pressure: on one side society demands productivity and multipurpose use, while on the other side there’s increasing pressure from climatic extremes and intensification of forest disturbances.

We need constructive responses to these pressures like integrative forest management approaches and close-to-nature solutions to both enable the multipurpose value of our forest as well as to enhance their biodiversity and resilience in the face of climatic disruption. However, one of the main hurdles to enable new management systems is the general lack of knowledge and expertise on alternative management options available, and we have a solution for that!

ForestMoocForChange is a new and free online course providing an introduction to continues cover forestry, covering the various aspects of this innovative forestry approach over an 8-week period. The course includes numerous videos produced in the field by experts, managers and owners. Each week, a live meeting will be organised with the speakers enabling you to ask your questions and discuss the subject covered. From discovering how continuous cover works and its dynamics, to questions of an economic, ecological or social nature, the MOOC is designed to be comprehensive and aimed at everyone. 

Leave a Comment

How forest owners can guarantee an income in times of uncertainty 

What I learned about the challenges for German forests and their owners, about future-oriented management and collaboration between forest science and practice when exploring the Hatzfeldt-Wildenburg county with my EFI Bonn team 

It is only a few months since I joined EFI, but of course, I have known the institution for a long time. And I must confess that I have always loved its catchy slogan: “Connecting Knowledge to action”. Thus, since I started working here, I have been looking forward to meeting and congratulating whoever would have created such an inspiring sentence. But recently I have found out that this slogan just simple and merely defines what we do at EFI, and I am going to tell you why.   

On Tuesday 22nd. August, we had our annual “Day out”, where EFI Bonn goes to the forest and discusses practical forest-related issues. We visited a forest located only one hour and a half Northeast of the city of Bonn, in the Northeastern part of Rhineland-Palatinate. It was not my first time visiting a German forest, but it was my first time seeing a German forest through the eyes of local practitioners.

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

Why Integrative Forest Management requires integrative solutions

In times of climate change and related global challenges, forests are both under threat and considered important allies to mitigate climate change. Demand for our forests is accordingly high, so we ask ourselves: Could Integrative Forest Management – a management method that integrates several forest ecosystem services – serve as one of the solutions? And if yes – how can we make all stakeholders concerned with forests part of this solution? What role does effective communication play in this? With the webinar “Integrative Forest Management requires integrative solutions” on 4th July organized by the Integrate Network, and hosted by the current Integrate chair, Michel Leytem (Luxembourg), we aimed at a solution-oriented discussion on tested methods and best practice approaches for overcoming silos and integrating the wide range of interests in forest ecosystems. Our panelists were Dr. Susanne Winter (WWF), Teresa Baiges (Centre de la Propietat Forestal, Catalonia), Sabrina Dietz (FACE), and Giovanni Santopuoli (Unimol). The panel was moderated by Jakob Derks (WUR, Landmax).

Leave a Comment

25 years of EFUF – becoming part of the European urban forestry community

Have you ever asked a friend or relative what they particularly value about their hometown or a city that they have recently visited? Do you remember the answer? More often than not, people will quickly think about the local landscapes and greenspaces. Such memorable places include public parks, urban forests, waterfront walkways or just everyday streets with distinctive or historic trees… like the cherry blossom in Bonn, the city where I live right now. 

Indeed, urban greenspaces help to transform our cities into more welcoming, healthier, and more resilient places to live. People simply appreciate the natural areas around them in, sometimes hostile, urban environments. We can immediately recognise the popularity of such spaces through the images shared on social media.

This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Urban Forestry team of the European Forest Institute. In the beginning, the concept of “urban” was quite a challenge for me, having been more familiarity with the “wilder” and larger forests of the Dolomites – pretty much the opposite of urban… however this urban forestry journey has brought a plethora of new experiences, ideas and food for thought.

Leave a Comment

Connecting nature conservation and forest management

Why the best exchange of knowledge&experiences about forests usually happens in the forest

Have you ever heard of the ADAPT Project, a project implemented by IUCN to increase ecosystem and community resilience to climate change and disaster risks by applying Nature-based solutions in the Western Balkans? I in fact haven’t, until recently I met some of the project partners when the Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) organized in collaboration with diverse partners and country representatives from the Balkan region a four-day study tour to Bonn. The tour had the goal to exchange experiences and knowledge of nature-based solutions that may find application to the Western Balkan region.    

Leave a Comment

Integrative forest management requires integrative solutions

Good practices for engaging different perspectives on forests. Register now for the next Integrate Webinar!

How can we manage our forests in the best way – both beneficial for nature and people? How can we integrate different forest functions and ecosystem services, and address trade-offs in forest management? What can we do to improve the communication and knowledge exchange between stakeholders who have “skin in the game” and potentially conflicting interests?

Leave a Comment