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Tag: Integrated Forest Management

Old-growth forests, new policy implications

EFI report contributes to debate on how to achieve old-growth forest protection targets in the EU

If you ask stakeholders all over Europe “How should we address the remaining old-growth forests?”, you can expect eyebrows to be raised. Most of us agree that despite covering only a small fraction of Europe’s land area, old-growth and other primary forests play an important role in biodiversity conservation and in the provision of other ecosystem services. But other aspects of the topic are constantly debated. Discussions of old-growth forests also have new policy implications, as the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets the target to strictly protect all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests. This is part of a wider objective to strictly protect 10% of EU land area.

However, the path to protection is not so straight forward. It starts with questions continuing to circle at policy level and in academia on how old-growth forest should be defined. Similarly, we face unresolved issues on how to implement the targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Aiming at informing discussions related to these questions, European Forest Institute (EFI) recently released a study titled ‘Protecting old-growth forests in Europe – a review of scientific evidence to inform policy implementation’.

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Forests as critical infrastructure? Integrated Forest Management and recreation for forests and people – Virtual Excursion during the Urban Forestry Days 23-24 March

How to bring more than 600 policy planners, decision-makers, practitioners, researchers and urban forestry enthusiasts into the forest in times of social distancing? The first day of the Urban Forestry Days (23 – 24 March 2021) held a special highlight for the participants, who joined from over 68 countries all around the globe. The two-day collaborative event of integrated Urban Forestry activities was hosted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) and the Horizon 2020 CLEARING HOUSE project.

“Public involvement and engagement bring valuable information to decision-making processes”,

Renate Späth

After a day packed with the latest urban forestry developments, insights on integrated forest management and lively discussions about the role of urban forests for co-creating more sustainable cities, a virtual excursion brought the participants right into Kottenforst. Located in the southwest of Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia, the 4.000 hectares peri-urban forest area serves as a stage to enjoy nature, recreate, meet people and engage in discussions. A group of urban forestry experts accompanied the visual experience. While live-commenting the virtual excursion, they shed light on environmental education, microhabitats, marteloscopes and the importance of enabling and enhancing dialogue about forests and forest policy. As part of a Q&A session, facilitator Maria Schloßmacher (EFI) encouraged participants to share their thoughts and ask questions directly to the experts.

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Register now: Integrate Communication Workshop on “Building a Narrative” on 21st May 2021

How should we best manage our forests? This is the guiding question behind the virtual communication workshop series the secretariat of the European Integrate Network is initiating. Being aware that there is no single answer to this question, in our first training on “Building a Narrative”, we would like to engage with you to develop narratives for your proposed solutions and effectively communicate with those who might have different perspectives. The workshop will provide the opportunities for exchanging perspectives and listen to the stories others tell to define the best communications approaches to respond to the guiding question.

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Webinar “Policy challenges of integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management – the way forward”

On March 30, the European Network Integrate hosted the webinar “Policy challenges of integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management – the way forward”, gathering over 100 attendees. The webinar brought together forest policy experts from the French, German, Italian and Swiss governments to compare country perspectives and lessons learned on how to advance forest biodiversity conservation in Europe, in relation to the new EU Forest Strategy.

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“Dialogue with interest groups in the forest needs to be intensified” – an interview with Thomas Haußmann

Thomas Hausmann, who has a background in forestry and is working with the the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture since many years, was one of the initiators of the European Network Integrate, which is connecting people from forest management, and nature conservation, science and
policy-making to overcome political polarization and limited dialogue between sectoral silos. With almost 20 member countries and more than 100 demonstration sites, the network promotes the integration of nature conservation into sustainable forest management. We have spoken with Thomas about the history of the network, challenges faced and future perspectives.

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Uwe Schölmerich: a tribute by EFI Bonn

In January 2021, our esteemed colleague Uwe Schölmerich, Head of the State Forest Enterprise Rhein-Sieg-Erft from the regional forest service “Wald und Holz NRW” retired. This blogpost is a retrospective on our fruitful collaboration with a forest manager who was rightly described by his colleagues as “deeply dedicated to both the forest and people”. 

When EFI opened a new office in Bonn in 2017, the few employees had little to no affiliation to their new surroundings, let alone to the forests in that region. As the former capital of Western Germany and a bustling hub of international organisations, Bonn was a strategic location more than anything else. 

After spending the first few months in a temporary location, EFI Bonn moved to its final premises on the Platz der Vereinten Nationen in 2018. From the first floor hallway of this building, many new employees caught their first glimpse of the forest embracing the city’s Western boundaries. What initially was no more than a background scenery, quickly turned into an impactful presence in our everyday work, as EFI Bonn slowly started to spread its roots into the fertile soils of the Lower Rhine Bay and its adjacent hills. 

The forest that they saw on the western horizon, the Kottenforst, turned out to be managed by a wise, dedicated and friendly man and forester named Uwe Schölmerich.

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Once upon a time… there was a marteloscope.

Stories of integrated forest management in Luxembourg

During times when polarisation seems to be on the rise on many levels, a growing number of forest managers is choosing to do the opposite and to bridge differences instead. The Integrate Network has since 2016 been exchanging information on forest management ideas that combine wood production with nature conservation, a feat which may sound contradictory to some but in many cases offers plenty of advantages compared to a segregated approach. The members, governmental organizations from 18 different European countries, reflect a diverse view on forestry, characterised by a variety of factors that differ from one region to another. The common theme is the belief that production and protection do not have to exclude each other, quite the opposite.

The open exchange of experiences in the Integrate Network is increasingly attracting interest, not only from policy makers but also from practitioners. The network of marteloscopes serves to demonstrate and visualise potential trade-offs between economy and ecology on a stand level, allowing on-field training for everyone with a professional or non-professional interest in forest management.

It is always exciting when new marteloscope sites are added to the steadily expanding list, but even more so when a new country decides to join the network. This was the case for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 2019. ProSilva and the Nature and Forest Administration of Luxembourg contacted EFI to set up its first marteloscopes. As a Belgian I had been in Luxembourg several times before but still the beauty and the diversity of the landscapes of this small country never seize to amaze me.

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Will 2021 be the year for forests? Implications of the upcoming EU Forest Strategy and other frameworks on forest ecosystem services

As the days grow shorter and colder, we are reminded that the final days of 2020 are just on the horizon, leaving us to reflect on the past year and make our hopes and aspirations for the following. But because we are people with a shared passion, we also make reflections and aspirations for our forests. With recent key EU policy frameworks such as the new Green Deal, Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 and the upcoming Forest Strategy, some questions might be on our minds. What are the implications of these new policies for the provision of forest ecosystem services (FES)? And what do representatives from policy, research, nature conservation as well as forest owners and managers consider to be essential in the Forest Strategy? On 7th December, the SINCERE Talks series jointly with the European Integrate Network produced the webinar “Towards an EU policy framework for forest ecosystem services – reflecting on 2020, exploring 2021” which provided a unique and exciting space to discuss these topics.

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“Naturschutz geht nicht ohne den Verzicht durch den Menschen” – Interview mit Förster Andreas Pommer

Andreas Pommer ist Leiter des Forstrevier Eibenstock im Staatsbetrieb Sachsenforst. Das Revier Eibenstock ist ein Mittelgebirgsrevier im Erzgebirge mit einem Fichtenanteil im Oberstand von über 90%, mit einer leidvollen Geschichte, die durch die Rauchschäden und durch das Rotwildstaatsjagdgebiet der 1970er–1980er Jahre und einem hohen Schadholzanteil in der Vergangenheit geprägt wurde. In “seinem” Wald hat es sich Andreas Pommer seit etwa 15 Jahren zum Ziel gemacht, Waldwirtschaft und Naturschutz miteinander zu vereinbaren – mit naturgemäßem Waldbau, Waldumbau hin zu strukturreichen, gemischten Wäldern. Eine wichtige Rolle spielen auch Totholz, Biotopbäume, Hochstubben, Moorrevitalisierungen, Bachtalrenaturierungen, Anlage von Kleingewässern, Waldinnen- und -außenrandgestaltung sowie Nisthilfen. Teilweise nutzt Pommer auch innovative Methoden wie Marteloskope, um für Naturschutz zu sensibilisieren. Deswegen hat die Zeitschrift “Forstpraxis” ihn auch für 2020 für den Titel “Förster des Jahres” vorgeschlagen. Wir haben mit Andreas Pommer ein persönliches Gespräch über Herausforderungen für die Forstwirtschaft in Zeiten des Klimawandels und wachsender Erwartungen an den Wald geführt – und über potentielle “integrative” Lösungsansätze, wie wir möglichst viele Waldfunktionen integrieren und unseren Wald langfristig und gesund erhalten können.

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