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Category: Forest Risks

“Political commitments are not enough”

An Interview with Eva Müller, Director General, Forests, Sustainability and Renewable Resources, BMEL

Forests are among our planet’s most important human life-supporting ecosystems, and we have many expectations with regards to the ecosystem services they provide. But: How do major global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss affect forests globally, and what can forest governance and management do? How can we deal with rising and changing demands for forest products and ecosystem services due to global population and economic growth, and urbanization?   

In order to discuss these questions, the conference “Governing and managing forests for multiple ecosystem services” brought together policymakers, practitioners and academic researchers from different fields on 26-28 February in Bonn. During this event, EFI in collaboration with the documentary filmmaker Patrick Augenstein, interviewed Eva Müller, Director General, Forests, Sustainability and Renewable Resources at the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).

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Kleine Superhelden im Kampf gegen das Eichensterben

In Deutschland gibt es sie schon seit der Antike, Hölderlin und Herder haben über sie gedichtet, und seit dem 18. Jahrhundert gilt sie als der “deutsche Nationalbaum”: Zweifellos hat die Eiche für die Menschen in Deutschland eine besondere Bedeutung. Auch im Klimawandel wird ihr eine wichtige Rolle zugeschrieben. Gleichzeitig ist sie vor allem durch Schädlinge Risiken ausgesetzt, die ihre Widerstandsfähigkeit gefährden. Wie man dieses “Eichensterben” mit natürlichen Mitteln bekämpfen kann, untersucht seit Kurzem ein neues Projekt von Wald und Holz NRW, das von der Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR) gefördert wird. Auch das European Forest Institute gehört zu den Projektpartnern. Ich habe Bernhard Tapken, der im Projekt “Eichenresilienz” arbeitet, einige Fragen gestellt.

Was ist das Ziel des Projektes “Eichenresilienz”?

Das Ziel des von Wald und Holz Nordrhein-Westfalen geleiteten Projektes ist es die Widerstandsfähigkeit der heimischen Eichenarten, Stiel- und Traubeneiche, zu untersuchen und Wege aufzuzeigen diese natürliche Resilienz zu fördern. Wir untersuchen dabei, wie man die sogenannte „Eichenfraßgesellschaft“ erfolgreich mit natürlichen Gegenspielern bekämpfen kann.

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“If we want a sustainable future, the ecosystem needs it as well”

An interview with Pierre Ibisch, professor for Nature Conservation

Forests are among our planet’s most important human life-supporting ecosystems, and we have many expectations with regards to the ecosystem services they provide. But: How do major global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss affect forests globally, and what can forest governance and management do? How can we deal with rising and changing demands for forest products and ecosystem services due to global population and economic growth, and urbanization?   

In order to discuss these questions, the conference “Governing and managing forests for multiple ecosystem services” brought together policymakers, practitioners and academic researchers from different fields on 26-28 February in Bonn. During this event, EFI in collaboration with the documentary filmmaker Patrick Augenstein, interviewed Pierre Ibisch, Professor for Nature Conservation at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development. 

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Gefährliche Mixtur: Warum das Waldbrandrisiko im Frühling so hoch ist

Ein Beitrag des „Verbund Vegetationsbrand

Der Waldbrandgefahrenindex des DWD für den 21. April 2020

Nachrichtenportale und das Radio berichten davon, und auch die Wettervorhersage der Tagesschau warnt zur besten Einschaltquote vor der derzeit hohen Waldbrandgefahr. Dies ist üblicherweise ein Thema, was eher in den heißen Sommermonaten besprochen wird – doch Waldbrände halten sich genauso wenig an Monatskalender wie an Ländergrenzen. Gerade in diesen Tagen ist das Risiko für Waldbrände enorm hoch. Neben der Zeit im Hochsommer (Juli/August) gilt besonders für April eine erhöhte Waldbrandgefahr.

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Navigating the World of Resilience

As the Resilience Programme of the European Forest Institute, we are looking for evidence-based ways to improve resilience in the European forests. However, a brief discussion in the office revealed that even among our staff there are almost as many interpretations of resilience as there are staff-members. We needed to have a clearer understanding on what resilience means in the context of forestry.

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Adapting forests to climate change: methods, tools, and projects

What does climate change adaptation look like in Southern France? Is there anything we – in Central Europe – can learn from our colleagues in the South? Is risk management an issue there and do forest risk experts know the European Forest Risk Facility?

These were the questions – among others – that I had before attending the international symposium “Adapting forests to climate change: methods, tools, and projects” on 19-20 November 2019 in Toulouse, France.

The symposium was organized by the FORECCAST project, partially funded through the EU LIFE project,  aiming to provide Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park producers and forest managers with means to build a forest management strategy that takes into account the impact of climate change. Goal of the project is to raise awareness of the challenges posed by global change among stakeholders, elected representatives and the general public within that region.

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How and why prescribed burning mitigates bushfire losses

by Neil Burrows and Rick Sneeuwjagt

Considerable publicity is recently being given to an article by titled “Why prescribed burns don’t stop wildfires” (published in Sydney Morning Herald, in New Matilda, and also WAToday on 22 January 2020), written by a botanist and a molecular biologist from Curtin University in Western Australia. They argue against the use of fuel reduction burning in bushfire management because it does not “stop bushfires”.

The article worries us, because in our opinion it could give rise to dangerous fire management policies, a continuation of the cycle of devastating bushfires in Australia, and to further losses of lives and beautiful forests.

Thus we decided to write a reply to the publication, to clarify some facts and spread important information on prescribed burning based on scientific research and practical experience.

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“Unser Wald im Klimawandel” – Kurzfilm zur Waldbewirtschaftung in NRW

Die Landesregierung NRW hat einen kurzen Film veröffentlicht, in dem der Zustand unserer Wälder in NRW näher beleuchtet wird. Dabei geht es auch um die kurz- sowie langfristigen Maßnahmen des NRW-Umweltministeriums, um diesen Zustand zu verbessern.

Ein Drittel der Fläche von NRW ist mit Wäldern bedeckt. Diese werden nach dem forstlichen Nachhaltigkeitsprinzip bewirtschaftet, aber die durch den Klimawandel ausgelösten Veränderungen stellen große Schwierigkeiten für die Forstwirtschaft dar. Dazu gehören vor allem Stürme, Trockenheit und Borkenkäfer, aber auch viele andere Herausforderungen.

Im Video werden kurz- sowie langfristige Hilfen für die Waldbesitzer vorgestellt – und viele weitere Informationen und digitale Karten über unsere Wälder sind auf dem neuen Waldinfo-Portal https://www.waldinfo.nrw.de/ zu finden.

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Bushfires, Wildfires and Damaging fires – Rinse and Repeat or Risk Reduction and Resilience?

Dr. Peter F. Moore, Forestry Officer, Forest Fire Management & Disaster Risk Reduction, in the FAO-Forestry Department originates from Australia and posted the following statement in response to the ongoing wildfire crisis:

“In January 1994 there were four fire related deaths, hundreds of thousands of hectares burnt and fingers of fire crept into the city of Sydney.

  • Parliament, the cabinet and the coroner held inquiries and released reports on the reasons, causes of death and the possible means of avoiding the same problems in the future.

On Christmas Day 2001, the concerns of fire authorities in New South Wales were realised – in full measure. The lead-up to summer conditions had been drier than normal. December 25, 2001 was hot with temperatures well over 30C; very low humidity of less than 15 per cent; and winds from the west. These bush fires burnt nearly 700,000ha, with 115 houses and many other buildings destroyed and scores of others damaged.

  • And Parliament and the coroner held inquiries and released reports on the reasons and the causes …
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The potential of recovering degraded pine forests

by Alessandra Lagomarsino

Did you know that worldwide forests each year absorb 30% of the CO2 emitted globally by fossil fuels and are huge carbon sinks, thus contributing to climate change mitigation and storing carbon in different pools (i.e., biomass, soil, dead organic matter, or litter)? However, when a forest is degraded with many dead, fallen and damaged trees, it does not remove enough CO2 from the atmosphere to compensate the emissions due to the decomposition of dead trees and soil organic matter.

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