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.
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.
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.
This is a report made by three representatives from the International Forestry Students’ Association during their voluntary work for the HLPD 2023 organization.
On November 9, government representatives and practitioners from all over Europe came together in Berlin for the second FOREST EUROPE High-Level Talks to address one question: How can sustainable forest management help make Europe’s forests more resilient to the consequences of climate change?
For those who don’t know, FOREST EUROPE is a pan-European forest policy process at the ministerial level in which guidelines, criteria, and indicators of sustainable forest management are developed. And we had the opportunity to be the youth representatives.
What have we seen? What are the bullet points we, the Youth, take from this day full of panel discussions? This is our perspective on the topic of „growing healthier forests“ and the efforts the government representatives make in their countries.
The FireWise communities are an inspiring example of good practices applied in the Mediterranean context that help us defend ourselves against the consequences of forest fires. These practices are being documented by the ResAlliance project to promote knowledge exchange across the region.
When a house, a garden, or private land burns down, it is not just property that burns. What goes away are the daily lives of entire families and communities, which subsequently have to try to get back on their feet with great difficulty and after a long time. All this happens every time a forest fire breaks out.
The European project ResAlliance is collecting good practices to improve land resilience in the context of the Mediterranean basin, especially those necessary to deal with the consequences of climate change, such as prolonged periods of drought and forest fires. These include those related to the increase in the number and intensity of forest fires, which are increasingly frequent and intense and with whose risk we must learn to live with now, not ‘tomorrow’.
The participatory approach of EUC-CERIDES (Centre of Excellence in Risk and Decision Sciences of the European University of Cyprus) for the Cyprus LandLab has been an opportunity to lay the foundations for an integrated landscape resilience strategy in Cyprus, under the kind auspices of the Honourable Commissioner for Environment of the Republic of Cyprus; Dr. Maria Panagiotou.
The Centre of Excellence in Risk and Decision Sciences of the European University Cyprus, is the Cypriot Partner of the pan-European Consortium project “ResAlliance – Landscape Resilience Knowledge-Alliance for Agriculture and Forestry in the Mediterranean Basin, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by EFI – European Forest Institute, with a strong Euro-Mediterranean emphasis.
ResAlliance’s “LandNet” is a Mediterranean alliance on landscape resilience for forestry and agriculture. By engaging and training farmers, foresters, and other key stakeholders, the LandNet will continuously identify new cooperation and networks to improve and increase knowledge and good practises while also delivering an extensive range of easy-to-access material. Through the LandNet, ResAlliance will engage and train farmers, foresters, and other key stakeholders for the knowledge transfer of managerial, technological, financial, or governance solutions.
By Alberto Pauletto, FSC Italia
At the end of October 2018, tropical storm Vaia brought heavy rains and winds of up to 200 km/h to Northern Italy, killing 37 people and unleashing damage estimated at almost 5 billion euros. Vaia also affected parts of France, Croatia, Austria, and Switzerland, but Italy sustained the worst forestry destruction in its recent history, with more than 14 million trees felled. The Asiago Oltre Vaia project was an initiative of the Municipality of Asiago – with the support of numerous entities such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Italia, Treedom, and the University of Padua – designed to draw lessons from the catastrophe to create more resistant and resilient forests for the future.
The first of the five LandLabs planned by the ResAlliance project across the Mediterranean was launched successfully on 28 September 2023, in the region of…
On 15-16 September 2023, I joined and contributed to the third and final CLEARING HOUSE (CH) co-design workshop, which took place in the case study City…
In this interview, David Martín, Project Manager at Pau Costa Foundation, explains the organisation’s role in the EU-funded ResAlliance project and gives his own point of view on some aspects of landscape resilience in the Mediterranean.
A key feature of ResAlliance is the LandLabs. These are programmes of activities and networking platforms in five Mediterranean regions that seek to engage farmers and foresters with a variety of stakeholders and practices in landscape management so that they can gain insight into innovative solutions. David Martín and Mariona Borràs, from the Fundació Pau Costa (Pau Costa Foundation, PCF), are Resilience Ambassadors of the LandLab in Catalonia and the general coordinators of all five LandLabs.
David Martín has been working at PCF since 2019. Educated in environmental science and biodiversity conservation, he became involved in the wildfire domain after working as a volunteer looking into the impact of wildfires in Lithuania in 2011. After this, he worked as a consultant in Spain and a researcher at the University of Greenwich, in the UK. He remembers his time doing research as very fruitful for his career. In fact, it allowed him to develop his current role as Project Manager. Now, he is mainly involved in European Union-funded projects and exploring the potential to address biodiversity and conservation criteria in more holistic wildfire risk management.