Metsään meni – into the forest: Finnish delegation visits Bonn

How does the German forest look like for visitors from the north? There are taller trees and the exotic European beech, but the Norway spruce reminds us of home. We exchanged that and some other thoughts with a delegation from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry[1] who visited the Bonn Office on the 29th of August. They were hosted by colleagues from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)[2] who also participated in a field visit to an urban forest in Bonn.

After a brief introduction about the EFI Resilience Programme, we had the opportunity to visit the Jägerhäuschen Marteloscope site, where Uwe Schölmerich, the head of the Regional Forest Enterprise Rhein-Sieg-Erft, kindly guided us.

Despite the obvious differences between German and Finnish forest ecology and management, many of the challenges we face are similar. Bark beetles have been causing damages in both countries for a long time, and the exceptionally hot and dry summer brought forest fires to the agenda in an entirely new way. Halting the loss of biodiversity is also an important part of current forest management and planning even if the systems are different.

Forest managers and other interested groups learn about integrated forest management in both countries. The use of demonstration sites such as e.g. Marteloscopes has proven a valuable tool for educating and creating a dialogue among various interest groups relating to different aspects of forest management. The Finnish delegation at the Jägerhäuschen Marteloscope clearly recognized it. They suggested adding a carbon sequestration component to the I+ software training tool which allows to visualize, how forest management decisions affect the carbon balance of the site and how wood products from harvested wood contribute to store carbon over many years. We thanked the Finnish delegation for this valuable input and expressed our hope that Marteloscopes may also find application in training and education in Finland in the near future.

[1] Juha Niemelä – The Head of the Natural Resources Unit; Heikki Granholm – Forest Counsellor; Teemu Seppä – Senior Adviser

[2] Axel Heider – Manager ‘Forestry Department’; Matthias Schwoerer- Head of ‘International Forest Policy Unit’; Aljoscha Requardt – International Forest Policy Unit

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.

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.

Waldbautraining mit Marteloskopen und moderner IT

Forstfachleute aus acht Bundesländern und aus der Schweiz tauschten sich zu den Perspektiven von IT-gestützten Waldbau-Schulungen aus.

Vom 10.-11.7.2018 trafen sich in Bonn forstliche Fachleute aus zahlreichen Bundesländern, aus der Schweiz und von Hochschulen sowie vom Europäischen Forstinstitut (EFI), um sich zum Stand und zu Perspektiven von Waldbau-Schulungen auszutauschen. Hierbei ging es vor allem um die künftige Rolle moderner Informationstechnologien und um die didaktische Weiterentwicklung von Waldbau-Schulungen. Präsentiert und diskutiert wurden Erfahrungen aus dem von EFI initiierten Integrate+-Projekt (Integration von Waldnaturschutz in die Waldbewirtschaftung und Nutzung besonderer Demonstrationsflächen) und aus den Forstverwaltungen verschiedener Bundesländer. Das Expertentreffen begann mit dem Austausch von Erfahrungen bezüglich der Nutzung von Demonstrationsflächen für die integrative Waldbewirtschaftung, sogenannte Marteloskopflächen, für unterschiedliche Trainingszwecke. Darüber hinaus wurden Beispiele aus der Praxis des Waldbau-Trainings vorgestellt und Entwicklungsperspektiven für die Waldbau-Schulung diskutiert. In Bonn sind die ersten beiden NRW-Marteloskope nach dem Integrate+-Ansatz eingerichtet. Eine dieser Flächen im Kottenforst wurde unter Führung von Uwe Schölmerich und Klaus Striepen von Wald und Holz NRW am zweiten Tag besucht, um den Erfahrungsaustausch im Wald fortzusetzen. Die Exkursion war auch verbunden mit einer virtuellen, von einer am EFI entwickelten Trainingssoftware unterstützten Durchforstungsübung.

Mit deutschsprachigen Forstchefs im Bonner Kottenforst

Am Freitag, den 6. Juli 2018, haben Wald und Holz NRW und wir, das Bonner Büro von European Forest Institute (EFI), für die ForstchefInnen von Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg und Südtirol eine Exkursion in den Bonner Kottenforst organisiert, um uns über das Spannungsfeld Naturschutz – nachhaltige Waldwirtschaft – Nutzung des Waldes für Erholungszwecke auszutauschen. Die Exkursion fand im Rahmen eines Treffens auf Einladung des Bundesministeriums für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL) in Bonn statt, bei dem waldpolitische Fragen diskutiert wurden.

Um die Integration der verschiedenen Waldfunktionen Nutz/Schutz/Erholung aus forstpraktischem Blickwinkel betrachten zu können, haben wir mit den Forstchefs die Marteloskopfläche „Jägerhäuschen“ besucht und gemeinsam mit Uwe Schölmerich, Leiter des Regionalforstamtes Rhein-Sieg-Erft, vorgestellt. Marteloskope sind Waldflächen, in denen alle Bäume genau vermessen wurden. Baumart, Durchmesser, Holzwert und ökologischer Besonderheiten wie Spechthöhlen oder Rindentaschen sind erfasst und in einer digitalen Karte dargestellt. Anhand dieser Beispiele können ForstmanagerInnen und Studierende, aber auch PolitikvertreterInnen und die interessierte Öffentlichkeit mithilfe einer Tabletsoftware im Wald selbst simulieren, wie man Naturschutzaspekte und wirtschaftliche Erwartungen miteinander in Einklang bringen kann.

Primary forests in Europe, seriously?

“Where are Europe’s last primary forests?” asks a study, recently published in the journal Diversity & Distributions, and answered it with the most comprehensive compilation of knowledge to date.

Primary forest, old growth forest, primeval forest, virgin forest – different terms are used to describe forests without (or with very limited) human influence. Primary forests refers to naturally regenerated forests of native species where there are no clearly visible indications of human activities and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed.

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.

 “We must act to halt and reverse the unsustainable use of nature” – Now

By Theresa Frei & Johanna Strieck

“We must act to halt and reverse the unsustainable use of nature – or risk not only the future we want, but even the lives we currently lead”, says Sir Robert Watson – chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This is but one somber, yet realistic conclusion drawn from the most recent reports on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

By the end of March, IPBES approved four landmark science reports on biodiversity and ecosystem services for different regions of the world and published a report on land degradation and restoration worldwide. These reports, comparable to the IPCC reports on climate change, result from three years of work, involving more than 550 leading scientists from over 100 countries to assess the state of worldwide biodiversity and ecosystem services. The main findings draw a gloomy future, however not without mentioning the one or the other ray of hope.

Balancing ecological, economical and social interests in European forest

“How are different European countries dealing with Integrated Forest Management and which role do questions like tree composition, forest ownership, and expectations with regards to timber production play? What are the challenges regarding effective funding schemes for Integrated Forest Management, and why do we need payments for ecosystem services? How can we better communicate the advantages of Integrated Forest Management? Which tools can be used to further educate foresters, policy makers, and other relevant stakeholders? Following the invitation of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, we discussed these and more issues in the framework of the second meeting of the European Network INTEGRATE from 19-21 March 2018.

Together with more than 40 representatives of ministries, state forests and private forest owners, researchers and practitioners from 10 European countries, we spent three inspiring days in the Czech Republic. Most of the participants came from Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Croatia, Austria and  of course  the Czech Republic, and Italy was represented by a new network member from the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. Joining INTEGRATE for the first time, policy makers from Finland, Latvia and Belgium shared their countries’ approaches to forest management and the integration of nature protection in forest policy.

How to integrate nature conservation and forest management in two days

Wrapping up the results of the InForMAr kick-off meeting

By Johanna Strieck & Laura Nikinmaa

European Forest Institute’s (EFI) Bonn office hosted a two-day’s workshop to kick off the project Integrated Forest Management Learning Architecture (InForMAr). The project aims at conveying existing knowledge related to the implementation of integrated forest management, in order to spread cases of success as well as to address and to fill potential knowledge gaps. To get a background as inclusive as possible, around 30 European policy stakeholders, scientists and practitioners joined the workshop to discuss (and co-design) the research approach of the InForMAr project, and to connect to the project’s networking and policy/practice support activities.

Head of EFI’s resilience program Dr. Georg Winkel introduced the project and drew attention to its integrative character from the beginning: “The main aspect is to create learning sites for policy, science and practice to connect, to enable the identification of driving forces, so to understand and to demonstrate successful cases for adaptation in all contexts.”  Specific training sites, called Marteloscopes, already enjoy great popularity. According to Andreas Schuck, Senior Researcher within InForMAr, stakeholders from all over Europe already express high interest – from practitioners over policy stakeholders to universities.