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Resilience Blog Posts

The roots of innovation – setting the course for sustainable growth in the forest sector

This year, the International Day of Forests (IDF) theme is ‘Forests and Innovation.’ In alignment with this theme, FOREST EUROPE organized a webinar on 14 March 2024 to commemorate it and facilitate a networking space for start-ups, forest practitioners, students, policymakers, and interested people.

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„10 Must-Knows” als Wegweiser für mehr Biodiversität

Neuer Policy Report mit Kapitel zum Erhalt von Biodiversität und vielfältiger Waldnutzung 

Von der noch unentdeckten Artenvielfalt über widerstandsfähige Wälder bis zu den Auswirkungen des Lebensmittelkonsums auf die Natur: 64 Expertinnen und Experten haben jetzt ihr Wissen und ihre Empfehlungen gebündelt und in Form von „10 Must-Knows aus der Biodiversitätsforschung“ für 2024 veröffentlicht. Der neue Bericht des Leibniz-Forschungsnetzwerks Biodiversität zeigt Politik und Gesellschaft konkrete Wege auf, wie die biologische Vielfalt in Deutschland auf lokaler, nationaler und europäischer Ebene wirksam erhalten und nachhaltig genutzt werden kann, und wie sich dadurch zugleich das Klima schützen lässt. Eines der 10 Must-Knows Kapitel bezieht sich dabei auch konkret auf den Umgang mit unseren Wäldern. Mit der Veröffentlichung steuern die Forschenden aktuelle, wissenschaftliche Fakten zur Debatte um die nationale Biodiversitätsstrategie bei, die noch vor der nächsten Weltnaturkonferenz (CBD COP 15) im Herbst 2024 verabschiedet werden soll.

Nach der großen Resonanz auf die 2022 erstmals veröffentlichten „10 Must-Knows aus der Biodiversitätsforschung“ haben jetzt Forschende aus insgesamt 52 deutschen und internationalen Forschungseinrichtungen – einschließlich des European Forest Institutes – ihre Expertise aus den Umwelt-, Lebens-, Raum-, Sozial-, Geistes- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften in die Neufassung eingebracht. „Bereits heute überschreiten wir planetare Belastungsgrenzen, sowohl bei der globalen Erwärmung als auch beim Verlust biologischer Vielfalt. Um diesen Krisen zu begegnen, braucht es gemeinsame Antworten. Wir wissen, dass der Schutz der Biodiversität wesentlich dazu beitragen kann, den Klimawandel abzuschwächen, etwa durch artenreiche Wälder und wiedervernässte Moore, die Kohlenstoff speichern. Nur wenn Maßnahmen zum Schutz der Biodiversität stärker in den Fokus rücken, kann es gelingen, gegen beide Krisen zugleich vorzugehen“, sagt Dr. Kirsten Thonicke, Leitautorin und stellvertretende Abteilungsleiterin am Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK), die das Forschungsnetzwerk koordiniert. 

Auch das European Forest Institute in Bonn steuert mit Forschungserkenntnissen zu Waldbewirtschaftung und Biodiversitätsschutz zu dieser Neufassung bei. In Kapitel 5 „Vielfältige Nutzung von Waldökosystemen und Biodiversitätschutz in Einklang bringen”, erläutern 7 Wissenschaftler*innen aus 5 verschiedenen Institutionen, darunter Leitautor Mats Nieberg und Ko-autor*innen Trishna Dutta und Andreas Schuck vom European Forest Institute, wie unterschiedliche Bedürfnisse und Anforderungen an Wälder integriert werden können.

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In praise of contrarian thinking

By Sven Wunder, Douglas Sheil & Robert Nasi

Diverging forecasts and climate science

A Danish proverb says: “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future”. More so in a world that seems more uncertain than ever, and where we cannot always rely on the past to infer changes into the future. But how do we societally deal with the inevitable diversity of views about the world’s future? Are we making the best of available intellectual capital to benefit humanity? Or are we, in the name of popular convenience, underutilizing the power of critical reflection and innovative contrarian ideas? Do we need more alternative perspectives to challenge negligent mainstream thinking? These are fundamental questions in addressing major societal crises from global economic imbalances to biodiversity loss, climate change and the approaching tipping points in planetary-wide mechanisms.

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How do you do – forest?

“How do you do?” is a daily way for Lônders in my village of Overloon to greet each other or to start a chat. Usually the quick answer is: “Good.” If the emphasis on the question is slightly different, then there appears to be real interest in how the other person is doing. And usually there is, as they say, ‘some prior knowledge’.

I am regularly asked how the forests around Overloon or in the Netherlands or Europe are doing and the answer then, is not that simple. To answer this, a so-called forest inventory has been carried out in most European countries since the 1980s and in some countries since the 1920s. During a forest inventory, a sampling schedule is overlaid on the map of the entire forest in a country. This is a regular grid with one point every kilometer. A field team goes to each point every 5 years and measures, among other things, the diameter of all trees and the height of some. All kinds of other things are also measured, but for now it’s just about the trees. The Netherlands also has such a forest inventory of more than 3,000 points. It is an extremely small sample of Dutch forests of some 0.03% of all trees which are measured.

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Meet the Integrate Chair 2024!

In a rotating chairmanship, each year, the members of the Integrate Network vote for the chair . This approach provides chair countries, among others, with the initiative to take up relevant topics during their chairmanship and shape the network’s activities. Following Michel Leytem from Luxembourg last year, Georg Frank will chair the Integrate Network in 2024.

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Showcasing Resilience in a cake

Generally, it can be very challenging to communicate recent research advances in an understandable way to the public. To make it a bit sweeter, a bake challenge was held at the University Freiburg where participants were tasked with transforming PhD topics into appetizing creations. RESONATE researcher Julius Willig couldn’t resist the challenge and presented a cake with 2 forest management scenarios.

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When professionals’ experience matters: the launch of ResAlliance Landlab in Portugal

Professionals from the agricultural and forestry sectors responded extensively to the call of the ISA/UTAD scientific research teams in Portugal to share their concerns and experiences, in view of the problems observed in the northern regions of the country.

The European ResAlliance project continues to deploy its tools to improve the socio-economic resilience of the landscape in different countries of the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. On this occasion, the launch of the LandLab in Portugal was the opportunity to address the existing challenges in the northern regions of the country in the field of forestry and agriculture. The event was organised last November in collaboration between the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA) and the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) in the city of Vila Real and laid the foundations for the co-creation of solutions between different Portuguese experts and stakeholders.

The event was attended by 71 participants linked to the agricultural, agroforestry, and forestry sector. These experts included independent professionals, associations and cooperatives, small and large companies, technicians, financial institutions, and representatives of the Portuguese public administration and political parties (Figure 1). As part of the LandLab launch, an exploratory workshop was held to discuss the changes and solutions for the socio-economic agriculture and forestry sectors, considering the effects of climate change and demographic trends in the region.

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Same trees, different perspectives: using a marteloscope to present forests in a new light

What do you see when you look at a forest? The first, obvious answer could be “trees”, but the more nuanced reality is that forests have different meanings and values to different people. Trees provide important habitats to animals, such as cavities for bats to sleep in and branches for birds to build their nests on – an aspect often emphasised by ecologists and nature conservation managers. At the same time, trees offer valuable resources for producing furniture, paper, construction materials and other objects made of wood – a perspective often adopted by forest owners and foresters.

Where these perspectives clash, societal conflicts may arise – a topic that was examined in real life by students of the Liebfrauenschule in Bonn, Germany, involved in the EU-funded project MULTIPLIERS, coordinated by the University of Bonn. From 19-22 February, a group of 55 eighth graders visited a so-called “marteloscope” in Bonn’s Kottenforst nature reserve.

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The future of sustainable forest management grows with TRANSFORMIT

New collaborative project launches to integrate societal demands with biodiversity conservation

Whether we witness branches coming back to life as spring unfolds, observe squirrels swiftly disappearing into the woods, or notice the crisp sound of boots on snow-covered trails—forest experiences hold meaning to us in many ways. But how else can we value forests?

Clean water sources, fresh air, healthy soil, flood control, climate change mitigation, and the survival of wildlife—all of these contribute to the relational value of forests. This goes beyond mere timber; forests embody a wealth of long-lasting socio-ecological benefits. We deeply rely on forests for social, economic, and cultural wellbeing. Balancing the needs of diverse stakeholders and reconciling short-term gains with long-term interests has been a historical challenge in the relationship between societal demands and forest conservation efforts. It is a dilemma that risks fueling environmental conflict and pessimism across the world.

Integrative Forest Management (IFM) emerges as a practical solution to address these conflicts. IFM seeks to harmonize the ecological and socio-economic demands for forests through sustainable forest management, aiming to enhance biodiversity while equally ensuring economic viability. Over the past 13 years, European Forest Institute’s (EFI) exploration and research into IFM through projects like Integrate (2011-2013), Integrate+ (2013-2016), INFORMA (2017-2020), and FoReSite (2020-2022), have been proactive. While the concept of IFM is well-established, it currently lacks operational elements in terms of verification, monitoring, guidance, and Europe-wide implementation. This gap is what led us to initiate the new TRANSFORMIT project. 

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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.

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