First Aerial Ignited Prescribed Fire in Europe

Note: The articles on this blog make no claim to completeness and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the European Forest Institute.


May 2018

I am happy to share some great news with you.  For the first time in Europe, a prescribed burn was implemented using Aerial Ignition with the Raindance R3 Aerial Incendiary device (Aerial Ignition has been used in Australia since the 70’s, but for Europe this was the first time). We are indeed proud that we played a vital role in facilitating this burn, bringing the right people and the right environment together. A real “research-to-practice” and “collect-connect-exchange” (the motto of the European Forest Risk Facility) for risk reduction and mitigation of the impacts of unwanted fires. I truly hope it is influencing a little bit the fire policy making.

Prescribed Burning is the careful and planned application of mild, low-intensity fire to reduce available fine fuel / fuel loads (i.e. burnable vegetation) in a safe way to reduce the negative impacts of unwanted fires and their severity. Prescribed Fire does not avoid wildfires, but it does make them less intense and safer to control. It helps to avoid disaster fires.

South Caucasus – Forest Resilience in Georgia

The World Bank contacted the European Forest Risk Facility to provide experts for an assessment mission to Georgia to consult with the World Bank on possible areas for activities and cooperation.

Between 1 and 9 May 2018, we had the opportunity to travel across the forest landscape of Georgia (Overview of Forests and Forest Sector of Georgia). We assessed the current forest risks and overall forestry situation to identify gaps and challenges for the forestry sector. Based on our experiences we will formulate a report on our findings with recommendations for action. These are then available for the active International Organisations in Georgia.

Increasingly, Georgia’s forests are affected by natural disturbances like fire, wind, pest and disease. Changing climate in combination with land-use, illegal logging and overall high levels of poverty in the rural areas are the driving forces.

Costa Rica: First Central American satellite to monitor forest growth

The Central American Association for Aeronautics and Space (ACAE) and the Costa Rican Institute of Technology (TEC) successfully launched the first CubeSat technology satellite to daily monitor carbon fixation, biomass and environmental variables in a beechwood tree plantation in the northern region of Costa Rica.

Daily tree growth is measured with electronic dendrometers. This information is synchronized with a data aggregator that stores the information to be transmitted to the satellite. This includes weather, solar radiation and soil moisture conditions. This then reaches the ground station, mission control, and a data visualization center, which processes the scientific data to make it available to the public.

Proyecto Irazú was supported through sponsoring companies, government contributions and donations received through Kickstarter. TEC students worked hand in hand with scientists from NASA, the Kyushu Institute of TechnologyDelft University of Technology and Ad Astra Rocket.

Read the full article here.

Forest Policy means Resilience – Wageningen Meeting

What do we mean when we talk about forest policy and governance? We also mean resilience. The Second International Forest Policy Meeting has presented it quite clearly.

More than hundred participants from 20 countries attended the Second International Forest Policy Meeting which took place in Wageningen between 11th and 13th of April. During the event, participants discussed four main themes: 1. Forest governance, 2. International policy&politics, 3. Community&society, and 4. Conflict&control. They could undeniably experience that forest policy is way more than the actions of powerful actors operated within an institutional structure and enhanced by bureaucracy.

When Marteloscope managers meet. Succesful workshop in the Steigerwald

By Jakob Derks and Andreas Schuck

The Steigerwald, one of Germany’s largest deciduous forest, was almost in summer attire when a group of forest experts from 12 different countries met for a workshop, organized by Andreas Schuck and Jakob Derks from the European Forest Institute and Daniel Kraus from the Bavarian State Forest Enterprise. No less than 45 participants gathered to exchange experiences related to the use of Marteloscopes in the Ebrach forest district. The group was composed of forest and nature conservation managers, forest administration and ministry representatives as well as scientists from different disciplines. Norbert Vollmann from the newspaper Mainpost wrote an article in German about the workshop.

When a fire starts to burn

Rachel MacManus, Head of Content at Green Lady Media, has gathered insightful information in her article The growing problem of wildfires in Britain and what to do if you see one for the latest edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine. It discusses the different causes, consequences and ways to tackle this problem. “Aside from the cost of tackling these blazes, and resources diverted from emergencies like traffic collisions and house fires, the damage to the natural habitat can be catastrophic,” Rachel explains.

Totgeglaubte leben länger: Warum Totholz so wertvoll ist

Der Landesbetrieb Forst Brandenburg und die Design Akademie Berlin haben ein spannendes Konzept entwickelt: In vier Kurzfilmen zeigen sie die Bedeutung von Biotopflächen im Wald — mit dem Fokus auf Totholz als wichtiger und einzigartiger Lebensraum. 

Das Projekt Methusalem 2.0 des Landesbetrieb Forst Brandenburg soll die Förderung von Biotopbäumen und Totholz im Landeswald in den nächsten zehn Jahren durch die Einbeziehung von Baumgruppen und Arealen alter, absterbender und toter Bäume erweitern. Der Landesbetrieb strebt damit eine Integration von Naturschutzbelangen in die Waldbewirtschaftung an.

Hier klicken und Videos ansehen!

Can forests be legal entities?

It seems obvious to most of us that specific species, animals, and plants, are protected by special laws and regulations. However, it is getting less natural when we talk about rivers, forests or trees as legal entities. Or maybe rather opposite?

The Guardian has recently published an article “It’s only natural: the push to give rivers, mountains, and forests legal rights” where author Jane Gleeson-White describes a recent tendency in the Western environmental legal system. “This new approach to environmental law was introduced in the US by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, whose first success came in 2006”, writes Gleeson-White. The discussion about legal rights for the environment and its elements, during last ten years, has exceeded debates within environmental philosophy and anthropology and happened to be a focal point of many social movements.

EoE Forest with Belarus – Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Forest Risk Facility

EoE Forest: Storm, Risk and Forest-Resilience management across Belarus-Germany-France-Basque Country, 15-21 April 2018

This EoE was facilitated by the European Forest Risk Facility, hosted by EFI´s Resilience Program. It was supported by the World Bank and financed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)

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Out of office: marteloscope training in Bonn

The network of marteloscopes, which was started during the Integrate+ project, is continuously expanding in terms of sites and users. On April 12th, Andreas Schuck from European Forest Institute led a marteloscope exercise in the Jägerhäuschen marteloscope in Kottenforst near Bonn, assisted by me. The training session was organised in cooperation with the local forest district Rhein-Sieg-Erft. Most of the twelve participants work for the BfN, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, but there were also two representatives of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.