Written by Laura Dieguez Finding a balance between the changing social demands on various forest ecosystem goods and services has for long challenged policy makers and…
by Sonja Mewes
The Fridays for Future movement has received not only a lot of attention but also support in our University Town of Freiburg in the south of Germany. This led the Montessori School ANGELL in Freiburg – where I am teaching – to reflect on how to channel this energy of the students to engage and work on concrete projects related to climate change and environment.
In this context, the Montessori Zentrum ANGELL decided to launch an initiative called ‘The Green Campus Day’ on November 15th, 2019. Our teachers suggested a range of projects in the area of climate change, biodiversity, waste reduction and upcycling. We selected all these projects on the basis that our students would learn about their contributions to reduce their carbon footprint, their impact on biodiversity and waste reduction. It was up to the students to select a project of their choice. The age of the students in our group ranged from 12 to 18 years.
On 11-12 July 2019, nine journalists from six media teams visited the Białowieża Forest to attend the ‘Sound Co-Lab Reporting’ – a workshop introducing audio storytelling techniques to report on forest-related issues. The workshop was part of the Lookout Station which aims to bridge the gap between science and media and bring innovation to newsrooms. The event was organized in collaboration with EUFORGEN to bring forest genetics onto the map of interconnected issues needed to decipher today’s complex problems.
Białowieża Forest, a UNESCO-protected site on the border between Poland and Belarus, is known worldwide for its high conservation value and for a history of controversy over conservation and forest management.
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” -John Muir
Forests have more to offer than timber and wood products. Through its multifunctional nature, it provides several other goods and services such as carbon sequestration, erosion control and the provision of clean water. These benefits which people obtain from forests can collectively be referred to as “forest ecosystem services”.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) 2005 report classifies ecosystem services into three categories:
- Provisioning services (e.g. food, fresh water, firewood)
- Regulatory services (e.g. climate regulation, carbon sequestration)
- Cultural ecosystem services (nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences)
It’s funny how one starts to miss the things they previously would have been glad to give up. In my case, I realized I have missed sitting in lecture rooms. That is why I was so eager to participate the summer school “Forest Resilience” organized by the SwissForestLab, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and NFZ.forestnet. The school took place in Davos, Switzerland from 18th to 24th of August. There were 20 students from 10 different countries and diverse backgrounds.
Resilience is a complex, multiscalar and interdisciplinary issue. It touches topics from tree growth to disturbance regimes, from human behaviour to economics and insurances. The summer school had made considerable effort to fit these different perspectives into a packed but mind-grabbing programme. We started with lectures on the social and economic aspects of resilience. As many of us had more natural sciences background, there was a lot of new information to chew on.
The change to a greener economy offers important opportunities to create decent jobs and create social inclusion, besides leading the global economy to a path of sustainable growth…These changes give an opportunity to change all the shortcomings in the forest sector.
(Forest Europe, 2014)
Written by Juliet Achieng
The mention of green jobs elicits different reactions among people. For some, it is the hope of better tidings for the forest sector, for others it’s just a fancy term that has no clear meaning while for others it just brings more confusion and questions than answers. But who will shed light on this buzz word? The Green Jobs project brings together three international organizations (European Forest Institute, International Union of Forest Research Organizations and International Forestry Students Association) with research and networking prowess to attempt to give answers to this puzzle. We also aim to shed light on the changes in employment that have been happening as well as the drivers of these changes in different regions and what trends could be anticipated in the future with regards to employment in the sector. Skills and competencies needed for future employment are also a vital component of our project. Through a clearly defined research approach, consisting of a literature review, workshop, survey and rapid employers’ interviews, we aim to adequately tackle these topics and provide a more elaborate picture.
Deadly wildfires in the past two years and the heatwave we are facing throughout in Europe this year are a glimpse of what to expect in the future. Therefore, the European Union has granted 4 million Euro for PyroLife, a project in which framework a new generation of experts will be trained in integrated fire management. We are happy to announce that we will take part in the newly established project.
PyroLife is the first integrated doctoral training programme on wildfires globally and will train 15 PhD candidates across Europe, coordinated by Wageningen University & Research.
Within this project, the European Forest Institute will supervise one PhD student and further offers various fire related trainings through the SURE project.
Written by Vera Knill
„Don’t underestimate the ability of children to help drive change!“ Jo Sayers (The Mersey Forest)
Urban forests serve as a biodiversity hub and enhance resilience to environmental changes. As one of the most significant ecosystems for CO2 reduction from the atmosphere, forests do not only mitigate climate change. They also increase societal benefits, improve the quality of life and shelter the declining species of manifold flora and fauna. To spread this knowledge and to preserve and restore forest ecosystems, education for sustainable development is key.
Von Klaus Striepen
Das Netzwerk der Marteloskope in Europa wächst immer weiter und damit auch die Ideen für deren Einsatzmöglichkeiten. Im Rahmen des europäischen LIFE+ Naturschutzprojektes „Villewälder“ wurde erstmals eine Übung für Bonner Bürgerinnen und Bürger durchgeführt. Diese wurde in Zusammenarbeit mit der Volkshochschule Bonn (Adult Education Center) organisiert. Die Veranstaltung fand bei wunderbarem Frühlingswetter am ersten Aprilwochenende 2019 im Marteloskop Jägerhäuschen statt, einem Eichenmischwald im Waldgebiet Kottenforst nahe der Großstadt Bonn. Die Betreuung der Teilnehmer erfolgte durch die Mitarbeiter des LIFE+ Projektes, Klaus Striepen vom Regionalforstamt Rhein-Sieg-Erft und Peter Tröltzsch von der Biologischen Station Bonn/ Rhein-Erft.
The joint EFI-IFSA-IUFRO project, funded by the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture, recently launched the ‘Dare to Explore!’ traineeship programme. Each year for 2019, 2020, and 2021 the programme will offer four unique, paid traineeship positions at three partnering organizations as well as other international forest related institutions. The traineeship programme aims to enrich students and recent graduates’ formal education and gain insight into science-policy interactions at the international level. In 2019 the traineeships address topics such as forest education, forest restorations, rewilding and rights-based approaches and includes knowledge sharing, literature review, outreach and communication activities.