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A decision guide for choosing the right connectivity tools

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.

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The city of contrasts: Learning about forests and trees in Industriewald and Rheinelbepark in Gelsenkirchen

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 [1]. 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.

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From tradition to innovation: Insights into trends in forest-related employment and tertiary education

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?  

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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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