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Category: Integrated Forest Management

Register now: Integrate Communication Workshop on “Building a Narrative” on 21st May 2021

How should we best manage our forests? This is the guiding question behind the virtual communication workshop series the secretariat of the European Integrate Network is initiating. Being aware that there is no single answer to this question, in our first training on “Building a Narrative”, we would like to engage with you to develop narratives for your proposed solutions and effectively communicate with those who might have different perspectives. The workshop will provide the opportunities for exchanging perspectives and listen to the stories others tell to define the best communications approaches to respond to the guiding question.

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Webinar “Policy challenges of integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management – the way forward”

On March 30, the European Network Integrate hosted the webinar “Policy challenges of integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management – the way forward”, gathering over 100 attendees. The webinar brought together forest policy experts from the French, German, Italian and Swiss governments to compare country perspectives and lessons learned on how to advance forest biodiversity conservation in Europe, in relation to the new EU Forest Strategy.

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Urban Forests in the light of sustainability transition – kick-off at Urban Forestry Days 2021

Cities need to learn from nature in order to organise themselves. (Vicente Guallart, IAAC) The first day of the Urban Forestry Days 2021 kicked-off on…

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Marteloscopes and Carbon – a missing piece of the puzzle?

Witten by Huntley Brownell and Andrew Stratton

Many readers of this blog are likely familiar with marteloscopes (if not, click here to read more). We think our story demonstrates the remarkable educational potential of this tool, and we would like to share it with you.

Our story begins deep in the Black Forest, outside of Freiburg in Germany. It was long, long ago, before corona times: the autumn of 2018. We were part of a group of MSc students studying Forest and Nature Management on a study tour from the University of Copenhagen, and we were brought to visit the Rosskopf marteloscope.

By now we all understand the limitations of virtual meetings; back then the forty of us, carefree and not at all socially distanced, took for granted the vibrant educational environment of in-person learning. With tablets in hand, groups of students and professors explored the marteloscope, observing, discussing, debating – sometimes passionately – the harvesting trade-offs we were considering in the exercise. Questions arose: how will our decisions affect stand biodiversity? How will the stand develop in the future if we harvest certain trees now? Are some microhabitats more important than others? What is biodiversity anyway? How much is that tree worth?

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Join us for a virtual excursion during the Urban Forestry Days

Cannot wait for the Urban Forestry Days (March 23-24, 2021) to be out in the forest? Our 1-minute conference trailer invites you on a journey through urban forests and green spaces from Beijing to Bonn.

The two-day collaborative event of integrated activities on Urban Forestry, hosted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) and the Horizon 2020 CLEARING HOUSE project, brings together advanced practitioners, researchers, sector-leading policymakers, and everyone eager to learn about urban forestry’s latest developments in and beyond Europe. The online conference will be split into two main themes. While Day 1 addresses integrated forest management, Day 2 is themed on urban forests and health infrastructure. Further, there will be a specific focus on Sino-European collaboration. The conference will thus be run in English with Mandarin translations. Join us for lively and interactive talks and register here to secure a virtual seat.

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“Dialogue with interest groups in the forest needs to be intensified” – an interview with Thomas Haußmann

Thomas Hausmann, who has a background in forestry and is working with the the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture since many years, was one of the initiators of the European Network Integrate, which is connecting people from forest management, and nature conservation, science and
policy-making to overcome political polarization and limited dialogue between sectoral silos. With almost 20 member countries and more than 100 demonstration sites, the network promotes the integration of nature conservation into sustainable forest management. We have spoken with Thomas about the history of the network, challenges faced and future perspectives.

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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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