Jeanette Schrewe is a firefighter in Hessen.

The fourth wave of feminism: women and fire

From Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf and Judith Butler to Malala Yousafzai – the so-called fourth wave of feminism has seen people mobilized through social media. Undoubtedly, many have recognized the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment and assault.

This wave also comes with a claim for cultural products to portray women’s role in history. Long before there was Internet, women in the US were pursuing equal opportunities as they fought wildfires side by side with men in the 1910s. Your Natural Forest magazine recently published “Drawn to Flame: Women Forged by Wildfire”, an article on women who found their way into fighting wildfire.

New paper on Green Jobs in the Urban Forest

European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF)

Officials plant an oak tree at the inauguration ceremony of the EFI Office in Bonn

Inauguratoin EFI Bonn Office (European Forest Institute) 29/08/2017 Credits: Jennifer Zumbusch.

UNECE/FAO published a discussion paper on “Green Jobs in the Forest Sector” . The study provides an overview of existing Green Forest Jobs and identifies possible areas for future activities and jobs in the forest sector, and may serve as starting point for further analysis and discussion on the future of Green Forest Jobs. It offers a framework for classifying Green Forest Jobs under seven thematic work areas, outlined in the seven main sections of the study, with a particular focus on major trends, needs and challenges as well as opportunities and prospects for the forest sector.  Urban foresters will be mainly interested in the work area “Social and Urban Development” (including Urban Forestry, Arboriculture, and a “Culture and Forests” section), but also the section on “Health and Recreation” is a must-read.


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Siberian fire smoke: where does it go?

The European Union’s Observation Programme, Copernicus, and its Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) predicted that in July smoke from fires in the Sakha, far east of Russia, would travel an astonishing 9500 km – across the Arctic Ocean to Alaska, North-West Canada and the west coast of Greenland.

According to a recent press release, “CAMS Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) estimates that between 2003 and 2017 Russian wildfires emitted on average about five mega tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per day. At the end of June this year, the fires suddenly increased in intensity, upping their carbon dioxide output to approximately 20 mega tonnes per day.” This is not new; Siberian summer season is no stranger to wildfires, but being able to predict the movement of the smoke can help to prevent effects of affected areas.

Ways to mainstream Biodiversity and Forest Education – COFO 24

FAO Headquarters held the 24TH Committee on Forestry and the 6th World Forest Week.

After I had my Italian breakfast, with a cappuccino and a croissant, I walked into the FAO atrium and the ambiance was welcoming the international guests into a colorful and ”forested” scenario.

The conference presented a rich programme including the COFO 24th ’s plenary sessions, and the 6th World Forest Week , characterized by high-level dialogues and open-discussions in the side events.

Invitation: Forest Transformation and Conversion


 25 years of pure even-aged Norway spruce stands transformation and Pro Silva principles application within Forest District Kocanda

PLACE: hotel Medlov, Fryšava pod Žákovou horou, Czech Republic
DATE: 25th and 26th October 2018

Even-aged and mono-culture. This is translating into high risk and vulnerability of forest stands and the call of forest research is to transform and convert single-species, even-aged forest stands to more resilient structures. Such stable and more resilient forest structures are promoted for instance by Pro Silva since 1989: The Close-to-Nature Forestry Pro Silva Principles as well as the Guidebook to Continuous Cover Forestry  (now available in French, English and German) describe a forest management approach to more resilient and more bio-diverse forests.

However, across Europe, we are still facing extensive areas where past forest management practices and historical reasons have established those high-risk, even-aged, mono-culture forests.

The Czech republic is just one of many countries with this forestry legacy. Pro Silva Bohemica PSB , in cooperation with the European Forest Risk Facility is happy to invite interested international participants to join a two day event where 25 years of forest transformation can be observed and shared. A truly important experience to share in our journey to more resilient and close-to-nature forestry!

We are looking forward to a pan-European event, discussions and experience exchange!

Waldbrände: Vorsorge statt teurer Löschtechnik

In einem Interview mit der Deutschen Welle betont Waldbrandexperte Alexander Held von EFI’s Resilience Programme die wichtige Bedeutung von Brandprävention im Wald und sagt: “Würden wir unsere Hausaufgaben machen, hätten wir keine Feuer zu bekämpfen, die erstens Menschenleben kosten und zweitens so intensiv brennen, dass wir Ökosysteme über Jahrzehnte zerstören. Doch 90 Prozent des Feuerbudgets wird in die Brandbekämpfung investiert statt in Prävention und Landmanagement.”

Auf der Basis von seiner langjährigen Tätigkeit als Waldbrandmanager u.a. in Florida, Kalifornien und Südafrika beschäftigt sich Held zum Beispiel mit “Pflegefeuern”, die die Artenvielfalt erhöhen, und mit kontrolliertem Brennen, um Brennmaterial präventiv zu entfernen und damit große und schwer kontrollierbare Flächenbrände zu vermeiden. Der Berater kritisiert, dass es für Präventivprojekte zu wenig politische Unterstützung und demzufolge keine Finanzierung gibt. Wenn es dann aber brenne, sei genügend Geld für Löschflugzeuge vorhanden, so Held.

Warum Mischwälder feuerfester sind, welchen Nutzen langfristige Forschung zu Waldbrandschutz und -bekämpfung haben könnte und was die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels zu den aktuellen extremen Wetterlagen beitragen, kann man im DW-Interview “Waldbrandmanager empfiehlt: Vorsorge statt teurer Löschtechnik”, das von der Journalistin Karin Jäger geführt wurde, lesen.

“Close-to-nature” fire prevention

Targeted or tactical grazing for fire prevention is nothing new, but worthwhile to be highlighted again under the current wildfire situations across Europe.

Personally, I am a believer in large scale prescribed burning as an effective and nature friendly prevention tool. But I have to admit that the idea of producing steaks, chops and sausages through fuel load reduction grazing is also very appealing to me indeed! And it can be applied all year round! And as always, to manage fire we need a toolbox with many different tools! Prescribed burning is one, grazing another. The recent BBC report on “prescribed grazing” says it all.

Foto: Manfred Witz

Marteloskop – ein „Simulator“ für die integrative Waldwirtschaft

Von Katharina Rohde und Gesche Schifferdecker

Die Entscheidung zu treffen, welcher Baum als Zukunftsbaum im Wald belassen wird und wachsen darf, und welcher Baum entnommen wird, ist nicht immer einfach. Schließlich spielen neben ökonomischen Parametern wie der Holzqualität und der Wuchsform auch ökologische Parameter, so genannte Mikrohabitate, wie beispielsweise tote Äste und Rindentaschen, bei der Entscheidung eine wichtige Rolle.

Um nachhaltige Forstwirtschaft und Naturschutz sinnvoll und anschaulich miteinander verbinden zu können, ist am 4. Juli 2018 das erste rheinland-pfälzische Marteloskop „Viergemeindewald“ eröffnet worden. Auf einer ca. 1 ha großen Waldfläche sind hier alle Bäume ab einem Brusthöhendurchmesser von 7 Zentimetern erfasst, vermessen und fortlaufend nummeriert. Zusätzlich sind für jeden Baum die ökonomischen sowie ökologischen Parameter aufgenommen.

Resilience or stability: which is best for forest management?

Recently, the idea of resilience has started to dominate thinking about all sorts of biological and social systems. It is, in fact, quite an old idea, first introduced in 1973 by C.S. Holling, an ecologist himself. Based on his first seminal paper, Holling and others later extended the concept of resilience to a wide range of systems that include aspects of social and ecological sciences. But what is resilience? And how does it differ from stability?

Holling distinguishes resilience and stability as two opposite characteristics of ecological systems. Stability is the ability of a system to return to the same equilibrium state after a temporary disturbance. “Resilience, on the other hand, is the ability of systems to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables.”

Fighting fire by the book

Euronews featured a comprehensive article with interviews from our European Forest Risk Facility experts, Alexander Held (EFI) and Marc Castellnou (Pau Costa Foundation) on how to tackle wildfires, aiming at summarizing the lessons learned of fighting wildfires.

Castellnou emphasizes that all the related research helps them predict how the fire will develop and make an effective use of resources. Held explains the three main factors to consider when assessing a fire: wind, terrain and the direction of the blaze. He then elaborates on dry firefighting tactics for preventing the fire to spread, such as digging channels along the flanks of the blaze and removing vegetation with prescribed burns.