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Friends or foes? Managing bark beetles in the 21st century

By Tomáš Hlásny, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences

Outbreaks of bark beetles have devastated vast swaths of forests across Europe, flooding media headlines and concerning forest owners, managers, policy-makers, and the public. The outbreaks affected many countries such as Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, or France and challenged not only forest management but entire societies. The unprecedented areas of dead and often salvaged trees dramatically changed historically forested environments and compromised landscape cultural values. Heavy logging and transportation of dead trees and consequent impacts on the timber market further aggravated the effects on people and the environment.

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Marteloskope – Selbstüberprüfung des forstlichen Götterblickes

Hans von der Goltz, Jakob Derks

Am 29.-30. Juni diesen Jahres fand die jährliche Vorstandssitzung der ANW (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Naturgemäße Waldwirtschaft) unter dem Vorsitz von Hans von der Goltz und organisiert von Johannes Odrost statt. Zu diesem Anlass trafen sich die hochrangigen Forstexpert*innen in Massow, einem Forstrevier, das der Hatzfeldt-Wildenburg’schen Verwaltung gehört und von ihr verwaltet wird. Der Wald erstreckt sich über rund 7000 Hektar und wird überwiegend von der Waldkiefer dominiert. Die jahrzehntelange nachlässige Bewirtschaftung hatte zu dichten, überalterten Kiefernmonokulturen mit wenig Unterwuchs und Artenvielfalt geführt. Auf den kargen Sandböden Brandenburgs macht das die Bestände anfällig für Trockenheit und Brände. Mit dem Erwerb des Waldes durch die Hatzfeldt-Wildenburg’sche Verwaltung vor etwa zwanzig Jahren wurde eine neue Bewirtschaftungsweise eingeführt. Das Hauptziel besteht darin, die Widerstandsfähigkeit des Waldes zu erhöhen, indem die strukturelle Vielfalt maximiert, die natürliche Verjüngung gefördert und die Beimischung verschiedener Arten, gegebenenfalls durch Anpflanzung, begünstigt wird. Nach Jahren konsequenter selektiver Durchforstung, verbunden mit einer intensiven Bejagung und der gezielten Einbringung verschiedener Baumarten, hat sich der Wald verändert. Er ist deutlich üppiger, grüner und strukturreicher als die meisten benachbarten Bestände.

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Insights on “Engaging with Media” Workshop

What makes forest-related topics newsworthy? How can we humanize our stories and constantly create better engagement with readers, without repeating the same story over and over?

Media plays a vital role informing about forest-related issues, especially when linked to the role forests play in climate change. However, these topics are often very complex and thus difficult to explain in detail to a general public so that they have a clear understanding of how for instance, climate change is affecting the state of forests. Furthermore, media is often attracted by specific narratives, for example the potential of forests to mitigate climate change and attempts to “sell” forests as the ultimate solution – which is too short-sighted. Thus, we need to find ways to tell stories entailing important and correct information in a way that people can relate to and empathize with. But how can we achieve that?

Discussions around these topics are tackled in our communications training series, an initiative from the European Integrate Network secretariat. In our second workshop “Engaging with Media,” taking place on 24th June 2021 as a virtual event, we learned about the many challenges faced but also solutions that scientists, journalists, politicians, and practitioners can offer when communicating about forests.

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Do you know an urban green space where prescriptions in nature take place? Take our survey!

The European Forest Institute (EFI), ETIFOR and the University of British Columbia launched a survey on a Market Outlook on Urban Green Care. This research…

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Borderless natural assets can only be managed and restored through collaborative efforts – interview with Saurav Malhotra

This interview is part of the ‘Forest Governance Unpacked’ series with key experts in forest governance. It was developed in the context of the NewGo! project which aims to provide scientific knowledge on lessons learned from initiatives related to zero deforestation, forest restoration, and sustainable forest finance. The project sets the ground for the EFI Governance Programme.

Tell us a bit about who you are.

I am the Co-Founder and Designer of the Rural Futures innovation at the Balipara Foundation. Rural Futures integrates ecological gains with upward socio-economic mobility of forest-fringe communities across the Eastern Himalayan region. Through Rural Futures, we mobilise forest-fringe communities (esp. youth) to engage in the complete value-chain of ecosystem restoration. The natural capital that is sustainably derived from restored habitats is utilised by communities to deliver universal basic assets – locally and autonomously. I am an Acumen Fellow of the 2021 cohort.

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A look into the crystal ball: the future of global forest governance

New study evaluates directions for policy making and research

“Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity,” said the FAO in her “State of the world’s forest report” in 2020. It seems that even though a variety of global forest governance initiatives have emerged over the past 25 years trying to stop deforestation and forest degradation, they have failed to achieve their overarching goal. One example is the UN-endorsed New York Declaration on Forests, which aimed amongst others to halve tropical deforestation by 2020 and recently declared failure. As shown by different scholars, global forest governance initiatives overall remain fragmented, inefficient, and face major implementation challenges. Policy makers thus lack clear evidence of successful anti-deforestation measures and are left not knowing into which basket(s) to put their eggs.

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Einmal FörsterIn spielen- EFI als Aussteller bei Woche der Umwelt

Artenvielfalt ist das diesjährige Thema der Woche der Umwelt, die auf Einladung des Bundespräsidenten Frank-Walter Steinmeier und der Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) stattfindet. Unter dem Motto „So geht Zukunft!“ erwarten die Teilnehmenden am 10. und 11. Juni 2021 spannende Diskussionen und ein attraktives Programm zu wichtigen Zukunftsfragen. Ausstellende aus Wirtschaft und Technik, Forschung und Wissenschaft und aus der Zivilgesellschaft präsentieren online ihre innovativen Lösungen für die Zukunft.

Aus über 600 Bewerbungen wählte eine durch das Bundespräsidialamt berufene Fachjury die besten Projekte aus und wir freuen uns, dass das Europäische Forstinstitut (EFI) als Aussteller dabei ist. Das EFI Bonn stellt das Konzept der Marteloskope, ein innovatives Trainingstool zur Visualisierung waldbaulicher Entscheidungen. Marteleloskope sind ca. 1 Hektar große Flächen, in denen alle Bäume nummeriert, kartiert und vermessen sind.   Übungen in den Martelskop-Flächen erlauben es, in die Rolle von Forstleuten zu schlüpfen und dank einer eigens dafür entwickelten Software, die auf Tablets bereitgestellt wird, virtuell forstliche Entscheidungen zu treffen. Hier ein kurzes Video zu den Marteloskopen (Link youtube).

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Brazil offers many lessons to all those interested in making forest governance more effective – interview with Thais Linhares-Juvenal

This interview is part of the ‘Forest Governance Unpacked’ series with key experts in forest governance. It was developed in the context of the NewGo! project which aims to provide scientific knowledge on lessons learned from initiatives related to zero deforestation, forest restoration, and sustainable forest finance. The project sets the ground for the EFI Governance Programme.

Tell us a bit about who you are.

Thais Linhares-Juvenal in the FAO headquarters, Rome.

I am an economist with a diversified background in governance, from corporate and market governance to public matters, working exclusively on forest matters for the last 16 years. I built a great part of my experience in Brazil, where I had the privilege to work with federal, provincial and municipal governments, and the private sector to set up institutional arrangements in response to the 1988 Constitution mandate for decentralization, participation and accountability. I engaged with the climate change agenda early on, and have worked on increasing participation of native and planted forests in climate change mitigation since 1996. When REDD+ was formally accepted as a potential mitigation measure by the UNFCCC in the 2000s, I redirected my career towards forest development in the context of climate change. Since then, I worked both nationally and internationally, mostly with developing countries on governance, climate, and finance issues. This experience has been valuable to my current work at FAO, where I focus on governance to halt deforestation and forest degradation, as well as forests in the sustainable bioeconomy. As part of this work, we give special attention to building capacities for evidence-based policy-making and improved cross-sectoral coordination to respond to environmental and socioeconomic issues.

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