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Category: Forest Risks

African Swine Fever, wild boars and nervous German farmers – no easy solutions for man-made problems

by Frank Krumm & Johanna Strieck & Gesche Schifferdecker
The German Farmers Association (DBV) demands a 70 percent reduction of the wild boar population, after the African Swine Fever is threatening to cross borders in eastern Germany. In case of an outbreak, German pig farmers will face severe economic consequences, as they are the ones with the most to lose. DBV’s vice president Werner Schwarz explains, that the farmers will have to stop exporting pork products to third-member countries, meaning non-EU members. This will cause for substantial losses in the export sector, possibly amounting to billions of Euros.
Consequently, this sparked an outcry from the DBV. The Swine Fever, like many other diseases, thrives on high host density, so that a radical population reduction in wild boars is the only logical answer according to Schwarz.  This demand is not only drastic but also rather unrealistic, knowing the animals and their intelligent and strong population dynamics.


Wild und Wald im Klimawandel – alte Kontroversen und neue Lösungsansätze

von Hans von der Goltz, Alexander Held und Christian Henschke
Spektakuläre Risiken wie Feuer oder Sturm erfahren größeres mediales Interesse als Reh oder Hirsch. Während die Wirkung von Waldbrand oder Sturm in wenigen Stunden sichtbar wird, bleiben die Folgen des Wildverbisses in einem schleichenden Prozess verborgen. Auf diese Weise ist ein Schlüsselfaktor für erfolgreiche Klimaanpassung im Wald in der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung, medial und politisch auf fatale Weise unterbelichtet.

Hintergrund: Anpassung an die Folgen des Klimawandels

Die Folgen des Klimawandels drohen die Zukunftsfähigkeit der Wälder zu gefährden. Aus diesem Grund haben Forstämter und WaldbesitzerInnen ein Leitbild für die Waldentwicklung unter Berücksichtigung des Klimawandels entworfen. Der sogenannte „klimaresiliente Wald“ sieht wie folgt aus:

  • Vielfältiger Mischwald
  • Widerstandsfähige Bäume mit großen Kronen
  • Nebeneinander von alten und jungen Bäumen
  • Artenreicher und vitaler natürlicher Baumnachwuchs
  • Durchmischung mit klimarobusten Baumarten

Die Erfahrung zeigt, dass Schälschäden (Abnagen von Rindenstücken oder Abziehen ganzer Rinden-streifen von Bäumen vor allem durch Rotwild und andere Hirscharten) und vor allem Verbiss durch Rehwild – sofern ein zu tolerierender Bereich überschreiten wird – diesem Leitbild entgegenstehen: Allzu oft verhindern überhöhte Schalenwildbestände die erfolgreiche Entwicklung vitaler, widerstandsfähiger Mischwälder.
Dieses Problem ist nicht neu, wird aber durch den Klimawandel verschärft. Gleichzeitig könnte der Klimawandel aber eine Gelegenheit sein, eine verkrustete Problemkonstellation lösungsorientiert anzugehen.


"We need wildfire prevention rather than fire suppression" – EFI-expert responds to EU's new rescEU plan

The European summer of 2017 had unprecedented amounts of natural disasters happening simultaneously, such as devastating forest fires in Portugal, immense storms in Germany and…


Governing the forests: how fiscal instruments can act as a (dis)incentive to reducing emissions

In recent years, the concept of ‘governance’ rather than ‘government’ has become a popular term for describing the interactions between stakeholders in the sustainable development policy arena. In this context, especially in the arena of forest management, it is used to describe the structures and processes that steer, or co-ordinate the relations between multi-stakeholders (government, business, civil society). Usually, governance refers to human actors, but there are other forces that exercise influence over how forests are managed. One of the most important of all these, is that most essential resource: money. This brief report outlines the role that public finance, and most importantly the fiscal instruments developed by governments, can have a considerable influence over the fate of the world’s forests.
Research undertaken by the author in 2016-2017 investigated the extent to which fiscal incentives encouraged, or discouraged, private sector involvement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) initiative known as REDD+ (“Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries”).
In Indonesia, REDD+ has been recognized as a potentially significant source of revenue, while at the same time providing an important incentive to contribute to reductions in global deforestation. However, in a series of interviews and surveys, forest-based business stakeholders identified a number of issues impacting on their ability to undertake activities that would lead to reducing deforestation and forest degradation, and emissions.

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First Exchange of Experts of SURE project in Czech Republic – a cooperative learning experience

In Europe, there are almost as many ways to manage forests as there are forest owners. However, many of the challenges they face are the…

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Tackling wildfires in Mediterranean forests

Catastrophic forest fires claimed lives this summer across the world, from California to Portugal and Spain. The Mediterranean basin is a global wildfire hotspot and the threat of wildfires to forests and society is expected to increase with climate change.
Scientists from the European Forest Institute (EFI) urge a shift in focus on how we tackle this problem, moving beyond the current emphasis on fire suppression. They argue that the bio-economy offers means to activate management and to demonstrate that forests are a valuable resource, as a smart and sustainable strategy to address the problem of wildfires.
In a new paper published in Forest Policy and Economics, the researchers consider the opportunities offered by a forest-based bio-economy alongside an improved recognition of the value of forests. They suggest a strategic policy shift in favour of fire prevention as part of an integrated forest management strategy, while calling for a shift in mind-set for society to recognise the various ways in which forests provide value.

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