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Category: Forest Education

The invisible workforce: seasonal migration in the forest sector 

They help farmers to pick asparagus and support foresters with salvage-cutting bark-beetle damaged trees: The EU – and especially countries like Spain, Poland and Germany – is heavily dependent on so called “seasonal migrants”, either from other EU Member States or third world countries. Bringing the issue closer to home, Germany receives around 300,000 workers per year for agricultural, horticultural and forestry work, many of them from Central and Eastern Europe, especially Poland and Romania. Very often, they remain invisible. We asked ourselves, how many of these workers can we specifically find in the forest sector? What roles do they play and how can these be distinguished from the agricultural sector? How are the working conditions? And what can we do to make this issue more visible?  

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Green impact, Green Jobs: The future of the pan-European forest sector by FOREST EUROPE and Thünen-Institute

Employment in the pan-European forest sector is decreasing already for some time and the forest sector workforce is aging rapidly. A recent report by FOREST EUROPE and the Thünen-Institute of Forestry provides the latest facts and figures about employment in the pan-European forest sector as well as information about green forest jobs in general and the trends, challenges, and opportunities that green jobs present and recommendations on how to reverse these trends.

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Sustaining cities, naturally – across 3 continents

The role of cities in the light of the health of people and the planet alike, is undeniably crucial. While cities only make up about 2% of terrestrial areas, more than 50% of the World’s population is already living in cities (Pincetl, 2017). This trend of urbanization is expected to continue to grow into a staggering 65% of the world population living in cities by 2040 (weforum, 2019).  

While poorly planned urbanization can lead to societal challenges such as social deprivation, climate change, deteriorating health and increasing pressure on urban nature, urban ecosystem restoration can contribute to lessen these challenges, through for example implementing nature-based solutions (NBS). Research by the ISGlobal drastically illustrated this: An increase in overall greenness in cities could prevent up to almost 43.000 deaths in European cities every year (ISGlobal, 2021).
On Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th of October the webinar “Sustaining Cities, Naturally” focused precisely on these topics: NBS and urban ecosystem restoration. The webinar was jointly organized by four Horizon 2020 projects: INTERLACECONEXUSREGREEN and CLEARING HOUSE as an official side-event of the The European Week of Regions and Cities 2022. By bringing together cities, regions and local authorities, city network representatives, policy makers, researchers, civil society and experts on NBS and urban ecosystem restoration, the webinar was a showcase example of international cooperation in knowledge creation and exchange. With a total of 333 participants on Thursday and 571 on Friday as well as 29 speakers, NBS and urban ecosystems restoration in Europe, China and Latin America were discussed in depth and from various perspectives.  

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Improving forest resilience and enhancing biodiversity in European Forests: findings, experiences, and prospects

For two days, on June 28-29, over 50 marteloscope managers, researchers, and further forestry experts from more than 12 European countries participated in a workshop…

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What can we say about forest-related employment and green jobs in the forest sector after 3 years?

What has been happening since its inception? “It is an exciting time to summarize what we have done for the past 3.5 years and look…

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Why should we all learn to think like foresters

Interview with Lisa Hafer, WaldHaus Freiburg, on the role of forest education

Forestry isn’t a topic usually taught in schools, and despite its relevance to climate change mitigation and adaptation, the dilemmas of a forester might sometimes seem too intricate and technical to explain to a general audience. In Germany, however, since Education for Sustainable Development started being officially incorporated into school curricula in 2016, teachers received an incentive to bring forest-related topics into the classroom and take students on excursions to the forest.

To enable deeper discussions on the role of forests in climate protection, the forest education centre Stiftung WaldHaus Freiburg, in Germany’s Black Forest, installed a “junior” marteloscope site in cooperation with the European Forest Institute and the Integrate Network near its building in the city of Freiburg, where teachers and students can now see real-life examples of the economic and ecological values of trees. Almost 60 trees from eight species were mapped on the site, and a tablet app allows the visualisation and comparison of different attributes of each tree, giving visitors a concrete idea of how forestry decisions are made, and priorities established in forest management.

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A week in the life of a marteloscopist

The morning sky is still pitch black when the alarm goes off. I wake up in a hotel room on a grey busy rainy road in a post-industrial town in southern Luxembourg. Hitting the snooze button is not an option; daylight is scarce in late November and we should really reach the forest at dawn. There is still time for a sad corona-proof breakfast though, that is to be consumed in the hotel room. Crackers, instant coffee, jam, all individually packed in plastic of course. What is good for hygiene is not necessarily good for the environment.

Before sunrise, my colleague and I get to the site of our next marteloscope. The morning fog reduces the visibility to almost nothing, but luckily our memory manages to lead us back to the place we had visited with the local forester a month earlier. Despite the dense undergrowth we had managed to survey the perimeter of the square one-hectare stand in October, but not without cutting much of the regeneration along the borders that were obstructing the view and the functioning of our measurement equipment. A tedious effort, but one less task this week. Last time the foliage was still too dense to measure heights or spot tree microhabitats. Now that most of the leaves have fallen, we can continue the inventory. Yesterday we were still in the far north of this little country, to finish precisely those tasks for the previous site. Now we are ready to wrap up the inventory of the final marteloscope in Luxembourg.

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