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Category: research

Faktor 2,4 – Corona lässt Menschen in den Wald strömen

Försterinnen und Förster fordern Umsicht

„Unter Covid-19 haben die Besucherzahlen einen beispiellosen Boom erlebt. Der Kottenforst war vorher schon ein beliebtes Waldgebiet, über das Jahr haben wir durchschnittlich 290 Passanten am Tag gezählt. Aber die Zahl hat sich im März und April um den Faktor 2,4 gesteigert,“ zeigt sich Forscher Jakob Derks vom European Forest Institute (EFI) bei einer Freilicht-Pressekonferenz am 14. Mai 2020 im Kottenforst beeindruckt. Waren vorher morgens und abends in der Auswertung der Zählstelle klare Spitzen zu erkennen, die die Forschenden auch auf Rad-Pendlerinnen und -Pendler zurückführen, so dominieren in der Corona-Zeit nun Waldbesuche an den Nachmittagen, mit sehr hohen Besucherzahlen. Im Vergleich der Wochentage zeigt sich, dass Freitag und Samstag stark an Beliebtheit gewonnen haben und über den Tag neuerdings die höchsten Besucherzahlen verzeichnen.  

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“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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“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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The challenge of managing forests for multiple ecosystem services in a changing world

On 26-28 February 2020, about 200 scientists – forest ecologists, economists, policy analysts and conservationists – as well as interested stakeholders, students and practitioners from Europe and beyond gathered together at the Ceasar Research Centre in Bonn, Germany, to discuss scientific evidence relating to the current state of ‘integrated’ forest management approaches across the globe. Here’s my attempt of a short reportage of three very dense – but extremely interesting – days in the European Forest City 2020. 

Whether you are a regular reader of the Resilience blog or you ended up here by clicking a link in social media, one thing is clear: you are interested in forests. And you are interested to know how forests can be managed in an optimal way, so they provide not only wood but many ecosystem services (for example clean water, recreation, habitat, protection) to our busy society. Well, unfortunately there is not a universal recipe for this. Ecological conditions of forests as well as their governance, policies, and human societies surrounding them are very different across the globe. On top of that, our world is changing with a pace that is faster than the ability of forests to adapt to novel conditions. This demands us to bring together ideas for ‘integrated’ forest management solutions to face major global challenges. This was the reason why the European Forest Institute (EFI) in collaboration with several other research institutions and projects  organised the conference Governing and managing forests for multiple ecosystem services across the globe”.

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Wer ist schuld am Waldsterben?! Eine deutsche Debatte

Der derzeitige Zustand der Wälder in Deutschland wird hitzig in den Medien diskutiert, besonders in 2019, da Waldschäden erstmals großflächig auch für das ungeübte Auge sichtbar wurden. Die Debatte scheint dabei zu einem Schauplatz des verhärteten Konflikts von Naturschutz und Forstwirtschaft zu werden, den wir schon seit Jahrzehnten immer wieder in den Medien beobachten. Tippt man die Begriffe „Waldschäden“ oder „Wald im Klimawandel“ in eine Suchmaschine ein, wird man überschüttet mit zahllosen Artikeln, Kommentaren, Positionspapieren und Blogeinträgen verschiedener Einzelpersonen und Institutionen. Um die Struktur der Debatte und die Argumentation der unterschiedlichen Positionen zu verstehen, habe ich einen genaueren Blick auf den medialen Diskurs geworfen. Hierbei habe ich vor allem die Erzählstränge von Naturschutz und Forstwirtschaft, die Herleitung ihres Standpunktes und die jeweilige Rhetorik untersucht. Um die Fülle an Publikationen zu diesem Thema zu bewältigen, habe ich repräsentative Akteure von Naturschutz und Forstwirtschaft ausgewählt und ihre Onlinepräsenz und Publikationen untersucht. Natürlich handelt es sich bei den Ergebnissen um eine Verallgemeinerung, die nicht jedem einzelnen Akteur gerecht zu werden vermag. Dennoch zeigte sich ein interessantes Muster des Diskurses. 

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Bitten by the same bug – German spruce in jeopardy

“Scientists alarmed by bark beetle boom” (ScienceDaily, 2019), “French forests scarred as heatwaves bring bark beetle infestation” (Euronews, 2019a), “Czech forest owners face $1.7 billion loss this year from bark beetle crisis” (Euronews, 2019b) and finally “Merkel promises €500m to revitalise German forests” (Guardian, 2019) – these were only some of the many forest-related headlines in European news in the past months.

It is obvious: How weather affects our forests, would not have made it to the news ten years ago – but following the unprecedented hot temperatures, long dry spells as well as severe storm events in Central Europe, everybody was talking about the state of our forests. These extreme weather events are a not only a huge burden for human health but also for entire natural ecosystems. In Germany, extreme temperatures contributed to the extremely dire state of about 180,000 ha of forested area and taxpayer support of 800 million Euros for reforestation measures (FAZ, 2019). In the past, evolution gave flora and fauna the opportunity to adapt to changing environmental conditions and climates but the pace and scale of climatic changes that we experience today, give our natural world a mountain to climb, regardless of the money thrown at the problem.

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EFI Bonn looking for a PhD Researcher on Perceptions of Wildfire Risks

The European Forest Institute (EFI) is now looking for a PhD Researcher on understanding perceptions of wildfire risks and related land management at its Bonn, Germany, office.

Deadline for the application is 16 December 2019 COB.

The objectives of the research are:
• To analyse perceptions of fire risk and related concepts of fire (risk) management in different regional and sectoral contexts across Europe amongst a) fire and land management experts, b) land owners and managers in different regional settings;
• To enhance learning and generate transferable knowledge on risk and its management through interconnecting experts across regional contexts.

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Where is Japanese forest policy going?

What role does forest policy play in Japan? Why did the Japanese government implement a forest environment transfer tax scheme in 2019? Who is affected by this new approach to forest management? And how are the reactions from different Japanese prefectures?

On Wednesday, 13 November 2019, 12am, Professor Ryo Kohsaka from Nagoya University will introduce us to the new Japanese national forest environment transfer tax and management system. The presentation will take place at European Forest Institute’s Bonn Office, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 6, 53113 Bonn.

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Forest Governance: How to orientate in the labyrinth of international forest policies?

By Lukas Giessen and Carmen Rodríguez

In this Blogpost Lukas Giessen and Carmen Rodríguez, both EFI staff, provide us with an insight into a recently published article on the numerous elements of international forest-related policy. The paper indicates that the many policies addressing forests in a way or another are fragmented and often conflict with one another, possibly leading to unsuccessful forest protection efforts of many governments around the globe. But this fragmentation is also found to hold promise for actors in finding allies to their own missions.

Because it is quite tricky to identify the actually relevant elements of a fragmented set of international policies, we developed a new method for mapping the entire governance architecture of international forest policy, using the United Nations Forum on Forests’ (UNFF) deliberations as key reference.

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When school becomes holiday – Exploring forest resilience from all the angles

It’s funny how one starts to miss the things they previously would have been glad to give up. In my case, I realized I have missed sitting in lecture rooms. That is why I was so eager to participate the summer school “Forest Resilience” organized by the SwissForestLab, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and NFZ.forestnet. The school took place in Davos, Switzerland from 18th to 24th of August. There were 20 students from 10 different countries and diverse backgrounds.

Resilience is a complex, multiscalar and interdisciplinary issue. It touches topics from tree growth to disturbance regimes, from human behaviour to economics and insurances. The summer school had made considerable effort to fit these different perspectives into a packed but mind-grabbing programme. We started with lectures on the social and economic aspects of resilience. As many of us had more natural sciences background, there was a lot of new information to chew on.

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