Press "Enter" to skip to content

Category: research

Nordic Forest Policy – a journey through two centuries

This is a contribution from guest authors: Alexia Fridén1, Dalia D’Amato2,3, Hanna Ekström1, Bogomil Iliev4, Akonwi Nebsifu2, Wilhelm May1,Marianne Thomsen4, Nils Droste1.

1 Lund University, Sweden, 2 University of Helsinki, Finland, 3 Finnish Environment Institute, Finland, 4 Copenhagen University, Denmark

Forest ecosystems play a crucial role in providing economic, ecological, and social values, both nationally and internationally. This significance is particularly evident in the forest-rich countries of the Nordics such as Sweden and Finland, where a long history of forest policies unfolds, intertwined with national (and more recently, international) macro-trends such as war, economic boom, and globalization.

Leave a Comment

Wildfire science enters the Spanish Congress 

The work of Oficina C brings science to policymaking in Spain 

In 2019, the church of Notre Dame burnt down. Citizens of Hong Kong took the streets to protest for a better democracy. Students protested against inequality in Chile. The Amazon burned (and the hashtag #PrayforAmazonas went viral). Theresa May resigned as prime minister of the UK, and Simone Biles became the gymnast with the most medals in the history of world championships. Anyone slightly following the news probably remembers most of these events. 

However, in this blogpost I will talk about something else that happened in 2019, in this case in Spain, that went unheard of for most. It was the year when the Spanish Congress approved the creation of the Office for Science and Technology (Oficina C), in order to support a scientifically informed debate in the lower House. And you may wonder why is this relevant at all. It is relevant, because we live in the era of the “post-truth”. An era when fake-news appear on a daily basis, and where online disinformation is a matter of public concern. Making scientific findings accessible for policymakers has always been relevant, but now we need to facilitate evidence-based discussions more than ever.  

Leave a Comment

What foresters want

Recently there has been broad political interest in alternative forest management systems, in response factors that call for a rethinking of production-oriented forestry, including biodiversity concerns, resilience issues and socio-economic changes. The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 for example calls for the development of nature-oriented forestry practices to safeguard biodiversity and rural livelihoods. Moreover, it sets a target for 30% of the European land cover to be under some sort of protection scheme, with 10% being strictly protected. Correspondingly, the EU Forest Strategy for 2030 proposes Closer-to-Nature forestry as the forestry concept to help achieve these goals.

So far for the goals and aspirations of policy makers. But how do these aims relate to the reality on the ground, and how keen are forest managers to make that vision come true? Those are the questions we sought to answer in our newly published paper Integrating nature conservation measures in european forest management – An exploratory study of barriers and drivers in 9 european countries – ScienceDirect.

Leave a Comment

Einen Tag Förster*in sein im Bonner Kottenforst

Wer interessiert am Klima- und Umweltschutz ist und mehr über die Rolle des Waldes im Klimawandel erfahren möchte, sollte an einer unserer drei „Marteloskop“-Übungen im Bonner Kottenforst teilnehmen.

Diese “Marteloskop“-Übungen (kurzes Info-Video zu Marteloskopen hier) bieten die einmalige Gelegenheit, selbst in die Welt der Förster*innen einzutauchen und Waldmanagement im Klimawandel zu erleben – und zu diskutieren, wie man den Wald sowohl nachhaltig nutzen als auch schützen kann.

Im Rahmen des Forschungsprojekts „Martelkom“ lädt European Forest Institute in das Marteloskop im Bonner Kottenforst zum Austausch mit Förster:innen direkt vor Ort ein. Dafür haben wir drei Termine für unterschiedliche Zielgruppen gefunden:

Am 16. September üben wir mit Wald- und Klimaschutzinteressierte Bürger*innen von 10-14:30Uhr.

Am 23. September laden wir junge Klimaaktivist*innen um 10-14:30Uhr ein.

Am 6. Oktober möchten wir die Übung gemeinsam mit zukünftigen Lehrer*innen ebenfalls um 10-14:30Uhr durchführen.

Wo? Jägerhäuschen im Kottenforst, bei Röttgen (53125 Bonn)

Wir sind gespannt auf Ihre/Eure Perspektive! Da Plätze begrenzt sind bitte unbedingt anmelden unter hannah.ertelt(at)efi.int

Leave a Comment

Take a walk in the Saxon forest…

…and discover forest soil test experiments!

In the Eisenstraßenmoor in Saxony, Germany, forest visitors now have access to information about peatlands and can discover one of the H2020 HoliSoils project sites. “The Eisenstraßenmoor used to be a drained bog. This means that centuries ago, the foresters simply drained the water and directed it away from the bog to make the area suitable for tree growth and timber production” , says Clemens Weiser, head of the local forest enterprise. “This deteriorated the condition of the bog, causing the entire peat body to decay. As a result, significant CO2 emissions occurred due to the dryness, similar to how a compost pile at home decomposes.” Clemens and HoliSoils partner Cornelius Oertel and his team from The Thünen Institute for Forest Ecosystems want to reverse this process as part of their activities in the project .

Leave a Comment

„Parasitoide spielen eine wesentliche Rolle in Waldökosystemen“ 

Interview mit Axel Schopf zur Erforschung natürlicher Gegenspieler von Forstschädlingen

 Darüber habe ich mit Axel Schopf, Professor i.R. an der Universität für Bodenkultur in Wien und Berater  in dem Team des Eichenresilienz-Projekt gesprochen, in dem European Forest Institute mit dem Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz im Wissenstransfer zusammenarbeitet.

Die Durchführung des Projektes „Erhebung der Parasitoiden der Frostspanner-Arten Operophtera brumata und Erannis defoliaria sowie des Eichenwicklers Tortrix viridanaerfolgt am Institut für Forstentomologie, Forstpathologie und Forstschutz (IFFF) an der BOKU Wien unter der Leitung von Frau Doz. Dr. Christa Schafellner. Ihre Aufgabe war, den Parasitoidenkomplex (Parasitoide = Raubparasiten, die als natürliche Gegenspieler von Schädlingen diese letztlich abtöten) der dominierenden Eichenschädlinge Kleiner und Großer Frostspanner (Operophtera brumata, Erannis defoliaria) und Grüner Eichenwickler (Tortrix viridana) in ausgewählten Eichenbeständen im Münsterland zu untersuchen. Ziel der Untersuchung war es, in Folge die Möglichkeit einer Steigerung der Widerstandsfähigkeit von Eichenwäldern durch bestimmte Förderung und Ausbringung von natürlichen Gegenspielern der Eichenschädlinge zu bewirken.

Leave a Comment

Breaking down barriers to sustainability transition

Imagine an approach that can tackle the complex and interconnected challenges we face today— commonly known as “wicked problems”. Consider sectors like water, energy, and food, traditionally, these sectors have been treated in isolation, leading to fragmented decision-making and unintended consequences. Take, for example, the issue of water scarcity, which directly impacts agricultural productivity, subsequently affecting our food security. On the other end of the spectrum, consider energy production, which often demands significant water consumption, creating potential conflicts between allocating water for energy generation and meeting agricultural needs.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the nexus approach as a framework for addressing those wicked problems that defy traditional, siloed solutions. The nexus approach embraces a systems-thinking perspective, recognizing that the actions we take within one sector can have ripple effects across other sectors. It is a call to move beyond the confines of siloed thinking.

Despite its promising potential, the nexus approach has not been widely implemented in policy or practice. This realization propelled our investigation into the challenges surrounding the application of integrative approaches, such as the nexus approach, with a special focus on how international organizations embrace them. As a collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), the European Forest Institute (EFI) Forest Policy Research Network (FPRN), University College London, and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), we were interested in exploring what the “street-level bureaucracy” concept means for the nexus approach. We are thrilled to announce that our recent paper, titled: ‘The mirage of integration: Taking a street-level perspective on the nexus approach‘ encapsulates some of our findings and insights from this work.

Leave a Comment

Healthy trees translate to healthy citizens

New FORWARDS project will provide crucial information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change

Climate change has already had a deleterious impact on forests ecosystems and silviculture in various parts of the world. But healthy trees translate to healthy citizens: everyone benefits from forests’ clean air, safe food and water, and recreational space.

With a total budget of €14m funded by the European Commission’s HorizonEurope (plus additional funding by Switzerland and the UK) and more than 19 partners (incl. European Forest Institute) involved, the FORWARDS project (ForestWard Observatory to Secure Resilience of European Forests) will provide timely and detailed information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change. The project will also deliver science-based knowledge to guide management using the principles of climate-smart forestry, ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity conservation. With its activities, FORWARDS aims at supporting European forests and society to transform, adapt, and mitigate climate-induced changes.

Leave a Comment

Re-spiritualizing forests… What in heaven does this mean?!

“In the forests are things you could lie in the moss for years pondering about.” (Franz Kafka) 

With this quotation from a famous local poet, we started our SINCERE project workshop in 2019 in the city of Prague. Experts and enthusiasts of spiritual and cultural values of forests from across Europe and Asia came together for three days to discuss how the “spiritual values of forests” have been relevant in the past as well as the present.  

The result is an exploratory study, based on knowledge from 18 inter-disciplinary experts including natural and social scientists, recently published in Ecology & Society. Funeral forests, forest therapy, and forest bathing: these are all “new” trends, especially in Europe. What is the spiritual fuss over forests about? That’s what we wanted to find out! 

But this spiritual interest in forests is not new at all. Humans have had a close relationship with forests and have been intrigued by their magical nature since forever. Societies depended on forests also for their spiritual development, e.g., sacred natural sites (sacred groves), of which some still exist today. We also know that forests and trees are often central in myths and folklore – thinking about the Brothers Grimm fairytales, but also myths including the mystical and magical power of certain tree species such as the oak…. (and again, even in art and films today such as Lord of the Ring’s Treebeard character and Avatar). 

Leave a Comment