Johanna Strieck & Andreas Schuck & Nataša Lovrić
During the past week, EFI Bonn had once again the opportunity to present its new premises and to host the networking event entitled –“Forest Extension Workshop”. It was initiated jointly by the European Forest Institute and the Finnish Forest Centre (FFC). The two-day workshop started on 22nd of January 2018 and was organized by Marko Lovrić from EFI Headquarters in Joensuu. The event aimed at creating a platform of interchange of expertise, concepts and ideas. It brought together more than thirty participants from 16 countries representing different fields of forest advisory and extension.
The first day focused on making contacts and informing one another on what type of extension services are provided by the different participating institutions and how they are applied. Participants further shared their views on possibilities for cooperation, but also uncovered potential needs. They discussed experiences of good networking and cooperation practices while at the same time addressed crucial prerequisites for successful forest management, such as a strong cooperation in organization and active engagement of forest owners. Both EFI and FFC took the role of moderating and stimulating a lively discussion on concepts of cooperation and to promote the expert dialogue.
After having exchanged experiences during the indoor session, the second day was dedicated to a field excursion. The thirty participants visited the Marteloscope Jägerhäuschen in the Rhine-Sieg-Erft Forestry Department. After a brief overview of the department given by Friedrich Louen, Andreas Schuck, senior researcher at EFI, introduced the Marteloscope – a demonstration site, which can be used to perform virtual tree selection exercises. On this 1-hectare site each tree is mapped, numbered and recorded also including economic and ecological information. An introduction was given to the“I+ software” that runs on mobile devices such as tablets. It allows participants to immediately visualize outcomes of silvicultural decisions and related ecological and economic consequences in a Marteloscope. “The advantage of Marteloscope exercises”, said Schuck, “is that they allow scientists, practitioners, forest owners and policy advisers from different backgrounds to objectively discuss the outcomes of their virtual tree selection”. The visit to the Marteloscope made the group reflect on how such a tool may find application for their work with private forest owners. That could include a transfer of knowledge on what forests provide in terms of wood production, biodiversity conservation but also related to other ecosystem services. “Discussing such issues directly in a stand while having available data and information on all trees usually results in fruitful and stimulating discussions; often showing that views are often not so far apart as one might think”, explained Schuck.
After the successful exercise the workshop ended with a brief session on how to follow up on cooperation models of the past two days in the future. The participants made sure to discuss future cooperation and project proposal developments.
For more information and on cooperation possibilities, please contact Natasa Lovric from EFI Headquarters.