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Category: Integrated Forest Management

Uwe Schölmerich: a tribute by EFI Bonn

In January 2021, our esteemed colleague Uwe Schölmerich, Head of the State Forest Enterprise Rhein-Sieg-Erft from the regional forest service “Wald und Holz NRW” retired. This blogpost is a retrospective on our fruitful collaboration with a forest manager who was rightly described by his colleagues as “deeply dedicated to both the forest and people”. 

When EFI opened a new office in Bonn in 2017, the few employees had little to no affiliation to their new surroundings, let alone to the forests in that region. As the former capital of Western Germany and a bustling hub of international organisations, Bonn was a strategic location more than anything else. 

After spending the first few months in a temporary location, EFI Bonn moved to its final premises on the Platz der Vereinten Nationen in 2018. From the first floor hallway of this building, many new employees caught their first glimpse of the forest embracing the city’s Western boundaries. What initially was no more than a background scenery, quickly turned into an impactful presence in our everyday work, as EFI Bonn slowly started to spread its roots into the fertile soils of the Lower Rhine Bay and its adjacent hills. 

The forest that they saw on the western horizon, the Kottenforst, turned out to be managed by a wise, dedicated and friendly man and forester named Uwe Schölmerich.

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Once upon a time… there was a marteloscope.

Stories of integrated forest management in Luxembourg

During times when polarisation seems to be on the rise on many levels, a growing number of forest managers is choosing to do the opposite and to bridge differences instead. The Integrate Network has since 2016 been exchanging information on forest management ideas that combine wood production with nature conservation, a feat which may sound contradictory to some but in many cases offers plenty of advantages compared to a segregated approach. The members, governmental organizations from 18 different European countries, reflect a diverse view on forestry, characterised by a variety of factors that differ from one region to another. The common theme is the belief that production and protection do not have to exclude each other, quite the opposite.

The open exchange of experiences in the Integrate Network is increasingly attracting interest, not only from policy makers but also from practitioners. The network of marteloscopes serves to demonstrate and visualise potential trade-offs between economy and ecology on a stand level, allowing on-field training for everyone with a professional or non-professional interest in forest management.

It is always exciting when new marteloscope sites are added to the steadily expanding list, but even more so when a new country decides to join the network. This was the case for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 2019. ProSilva and the Nature and Forest Administration of Luxembourg contacted EFI to set up its first marteloscopes. As a Belgian I had been in Luxembourg several times before but still the beauty and the diversity of the landscapes of this small country never seize to amaze me.

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Locally adapted concepts promote biodiversity in Europe’s forestry: new anthology published

Almost everywhere in Europe, forest biodiversity has decreased in recent decades. At the same time, the society’s expectations of the forest have increased. Therefore, many forest owners in Europe use the forest today in a way that, in addition to wood production, it also covers other demands of society. The recently published book on How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe summarizes the experience gained in balancing forestry and biodiversity protection.

The parallel existence of several forms of use, as in the case of numerous for instance Swiss or German forests, is what experts call “integrated forest management”. This multifunctional management approach requires those responsible for the forest to have a lot of experience and knowledge of ecological correlations.

To collect existing knowledge and experiences, a comprehensive anthology on “How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe” (free download here) has recently been published, edited by Frank Krumm and Andreas Riegling (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research/WSL) as well as Andreas Schuck (EFI). The anthology was supported by the Swiss Federal Institute for the Environment (BAFU) and the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It contains the expertise in integrated forest management of more than 150 forest and nature conservation experts from 20 European countries. The knowledge acquired by different European partner organizations over the past three years provides, for the first time, a Europe-wide overview of how forests are managed in such a way that they simultaneously meet at least two requirements of society. In addition to wood production and biodiversity, drinking water protection, recreation or the protection of settlements and other infrastructures against erosion and natural hazards can also be important management goals.

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Ein zukunftsfähiges Waldkonzept entwickeln – das Projekt “Dauerwald”

Interview mit Hans von der Goltz

Hans von der Goltz ist Bundesvorsitzender der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Naturnahe Waldwirtschaft (ANW). Wir haben mit ihm über das neue ANW-Projekt “Dauerwald” gesprochen, über Chancen und Herausforderungen – und das Ziel, einen sowohl ökonomisch als auch ökologisch nachhaltigen Wald zu fördern.

Was ist eigentlich ein Dauerwald?

Ein Dauerwald ist ein Wald, in dem nicht nur verschiedene standortgerecht Baumarten, sondern auch Bäume unterschiedlichen Alters stehen. Er wird ohne Kahlschlag einzelbaumweise nach dem Prinzip der größtmöglichen Stetigkeit bewirtschaftet – Stetigkeit von Vorrat, Struktur, Zuwachs und ökologischen Grundlagen.

Warum brauchen wir Dauerwald?

Im Dauerwald führt relativ einheitliche Ausstattung aller „Waldetagen“ mit jungen, mittelalten und alten Bäumen zu Windruhe und zu einer deutlich höheren Luft- und Bodenfeuchte. Hierdurch werden Maximaltemperaturen gesenkt. Einzelne, besonders trocken- oder hitzeempfindliche Baumarten leiden natürlich auch, aber andere überdauern. Im Gegensatz zu wenig strukturierten Reinbeständen verschwindet bei den aktuellen Herausforderungen des Klimawandels nicht der ganze Wald, sondern eben nur einzelne Bäume. Der Wald bleibt erhalten – und das muss aktuell unser wichtigstes Ziel sein.

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Will 2021 be the year for forests? Implications of the upcoming EU Forest Strategy and other frameworks on forest ecosystem services

As the days grow shorter and colder, we are reminded that the final days of 2020 are just on the horizon, leaving us to reflect on the past year and make our hopes and aspirations for the following. But because we are people with a shared passion, we also make reflections and aspirations for our forests. With recent key EU policy frameworks such as the new Green Deal, Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 and the upcoming Forest Strategy, some questions might be on our minds. What are the implications of these new policies for the provision of forest ecosystem services (FES)? And what do representatives from policy, research, nature conservation as well as forest owners and managers consider to be essential in the Forest Strategy? On 7th December, the SINCERE Talks series jointly with the European Integrate Network produced the webinar “Towards an EU policy framework for forest ecosystem services – reflecting on 2020, exploring 2021” which provided a unique and exciting space to discuss these topics.

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Diversification of forest management systems in Ireland

Using marteloscope sites for educating on new approaches

A large number of private forests in Ireland are less than 30 years of age and many are approaching thinning stage. There is now greater need for owners to understand and control the thinning process in order to realise the full value of their forests as part of a sustainable management approach. This is imperative if a sustained level of timber mobilisation is to be achieved from private forests. There is also a growing demand, coming from forest owners, for diversification of management systems to complement the current clear fell-replant system. Recent developments in European and national forestry policy are directed at promoting integrated management as a means of enhancing forest resilience in the face of climate disruption, sustaining forest production and delivering diverse ecosystem services. These new systems, known as Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF), enable commercial timber harvesting while retaining a forest cover in the long term.

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“Naturschutz geht nicht ohne den Verzicht durch den Menschen” – Interview mit Förster Andreas Pommer

Andreas Pommer ist Leiter des Forstrevier Eibenstock im Staatsbetrieb Sachsenforst. Das Revier Eibenstock ist ein Mittelgebirgsrevier im Erzgebirge mit einem Fichtenanteil im Oberstand von über 90%, mit einer leidvollen Geschichte, die durch die Rauchschäden und durch das Rotwildstaatsjagdgebiet der 1970er–1980er Jahre und einem hohen Schadholzanteil in der Vergangenheit geprägt wurde. In “seinem” Wald hat es sich Andreas Pommer seit etwa 15 Jahren zum Ziel gemacht, Waldwirtschaft und Naturschutz miteinander zu vereinbaren – mit naturgemäßem Waldbau, Waldumbau hin zu strukturreichen, gemischten Wäldern. Eine wichtige Rolle spielen auch Totholz, Biotopbäume, Hochstubben, Moorrevitalisierungen, Bachtalrenaturierungen, Anlage von Kleingewässern, Waldinnen- und -außenrandgestaltung sowie Nisthilfen. Teilweise nutzt Pommer auch innovative Methoden wie Marteloskope, um für Naturschutz zu sensibilisieren. Deswegen hat die Zeitschrift “Forstpraxis” ihn auch für 2020 für den Titel “Förster des Jahres” vorgeschlagen. Wir haben mit Andreas Pommer ein persönliches Gespräch über Herausforderungen für die Forstwirtschaft in Zeiten des Klimawandels und wachsender Erwartungen an den Wald geführt – und über potentielle “integrative” Lösungsansätze, wie wir möglichst viele Waldfunktionen integrieren und unseren Wald langfristig und gesund erhalten können.

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Locally adapted integrated forest management concepts – a ‘Tour d’Europe’

Faced with biodiversity loss, climate impacts, and changes in societal demands, forest owners and managers across Europe have started to use integrated forest management to address the trade-offs between multiple uses of forest ecosystems. Integrated forest management is a highly dynamic, multi-functional management approach with as many different strategies for implementation as there are different forest ecosystems in Europe. This flexibility was showcased in the final conference of the oForest project: “How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – a view across Europe” organized by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research (WSL) as well as European Forest Institute (EFI) and supported by the Swiss Federal Institute for the Environment (BAFU), the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Canton of Basel. The conference, held on November 9th-11th, 2020 as an online webinar, was named after the title of the upcoming oForest book publication, which compiles expertise of integrated forest management from over 150 authors. 

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“Wie man die Waldbewirtschaftung und die Erhaltung der biologischen Vielfalt in Einklang bringt – ein Blick über ganz Europa”

Vom 9. – 10.11.2020 wird im Rahmen des europäischen Netzwerkes INTEGRATE eine virtuelle Tagung stattfinden, an der auch das neue Buch „How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – a view across Europe“ vorgestellt wird. Dabei werden die grundlegenden Ansätze des zukunftsweisenden Konzepts einer integrierten Waldbewirtschaftung vorgestellt. Dieses soll die Nachhaltigkeit der Waldbewirtschaftung verbessern, indem die Biodiversitätsförderung, die Holzproduktion und andere Waldleistungen aufeinander abgestimmt werden. Die Veranstaltung unter dem Titel „How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – a view across Europe“ wird gemeinsam von der Schweiz (Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL, Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU), von Deutschland (Bundesministerium für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung im Rahmen seines Vorsitzes der EU-Ratspräsidentschaft) und vom European Forest Institute (EFI) als internationaler Organisation ausgerichtet.

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