They help farmers to pick asparagus and support foresters with salvage-cutting bark-beetle damaged trees: The EU – and especially countries like Spain, Poland and Germany – is heavily dependent on so called “seasonal migrants”, either from other EU Member States or third world countries. Bringing the issue closer to home, Germany receives around 300,000 workers per year for agricultural, horticultural and forestry work, many of them from Central and Eastern Europe, especially Poland and Romania. Very often, they remain invisible. We asked ourselves, how many of these workers can we specifically find in the forest sector? What roles do they play and how can these be distinguished from the agricultural sector? How are the working conditions? And what can we do to make this issue more visible?
Reflections on inter-generational interactions in science and the potential of young scientists
Imagine you are sitting in a room full of people for three days. Listening to a lot of presentations which do not necessarily light up your interests. You make the effort to resist the temptation of checking your mailbox. Feeling guilty for seeing work accumulating, knowing you will have to address part of it at night, alone in your hotel room. Eventually, you will be presenting your work and – if you are lucky – have an awesome 20 minutes of lit discussion and feedback. But after that, you will rely on coffee again to fight back the gravity attacking your eyelids, especially in the post-lunch sessions. You will be looking forward for the drinks at the end of the day to socialize a bit and get to know people.
In my short, young scientist’s experience, that’s how I’ve portraited – and experienced – scientific conferences.
A (much needed) alternative
Well, the latest conference I attended was absolutely nothing of the above.
Written by Isabeau Ottolini
Isabeau Ottolini is an Early-Stage Researcher within the European ITN project PyroLife, and visiting scholar at EFI Bonn. She researches community-based wildfire communication, specifically through a case study in Spain with the local association Pego Viu.
Most communication around wildfires happens in the prevention and preparedness phase. That is, before a potential wildfire happens with the aim to reduce wildfire risk. However, sometimes the need emerges to communicate during a wildfire, and that’s a whole different game.
In this blogpost, I share the story of the Vall d’Ebo (Spain) wildfire that happened this August, and what the local association Pego Viu and I learnt from communicating during this extreme wildfire.
If you are confused and intimidated by the sheer number of tools to analyze connectivity related questions, don’t worry. We feel you.
We’ve all been there – we have an interesting research question, we collected data, but we come to a screeching halt when we are faced with the numerous tools in the field of connectivity science. Every paper we read points us in a different direction, and at the end we are left wondering which one we should use and why.
Establishing the first marteloscope in an Urban Forest and discovering the transition of Gelsenkirchen
How do marteloscopes – these forest demonstration sites, where all trees are mapped and measured – and Gelsenkirchen, a city located in the so-called Ruhrpott fit together? You might be surprised that after being known as the “City of Thousand Fires” characterised by the coal, iron, and steel industry, and being a target of several air raids during World War II, Gelsenkirchen went through different economic and social changes. To boost its attractiveness for citizens, the city is now “shaping” its sustainability, investing in solar energy and converting numerous former mining sites into small city parks and urban forests . The city of Gelsenkirchen is also a partner in the CLEARINGHOUSE project, which connects China and Europe and explores the potential of Urban Forests for more liveable cities. And as part of this big international project, we – four researchers from European Forest Institute’s Bonn Office – established two new marteloscopes in the Urban Forest in Gelsenkirchen. This was not only an interesting experience because they were the first marteloscope sites we set up in urban forests, but also because of the vegetation and the fact, that these forests are not used for wood production.
Despite their differences in e.g. climate, culture, and culinary preferences, you might be curious to find out what Brazil, China, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa and United States of America have in common.
The seven countries represent 42.7% of the global forest cover; and six out of the seven countries were among the top producers of forest products globally in 2018. Thus, the forest sector contributes significantly to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates a high number of full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs (FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment Report, 2015). But when we speak about jobs, do we know what changes are happening in forest-related employment in these countries? What are the major drivers of these changes? What is the state of forest-related green jobs there? How are the countries’ forest-related tertiary education programmes addressing these changes? And what is the future of forest-related employment and education in these countries?
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.
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.
How did the COVID-19 lockdown impact forests, and wildlife and people depending on them in Bangladesh? Which policy implications are recommended by experts? A recently…
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.