ALTERFOR International Workshop in Dresden

The ALTERFOR consortium organized an international workshop in Dresden, in conjunction with the Annual Congress held by the German Forest Association (Deutscher Forstverein) and attracting more 1000 participants. ALTERFOR organized two conference sessions on 9-10 May 2019 followed by excursion to the ALTERFOR case study area in Brandenburg on May 11.

The workshop focused on the potential to implement multiple silvicultural alternatives for different case countries in Europe, to meet the challenges under the expected climate and market scenarios. On the first day, Dr. Peter Biber (Technical University Munich) and Professor Max Krott (University Göttingen) delivered presentations overviewing the key findings of ALTERFOR research up to date. The session attracted more than hundred participants, including, among others, representatives of forest authorities and enterprises, nature conservation groups and scientists. It was recognized that current and future challenges in forest management due to uncertainties of climate change or market pressures cannot be approached using a one-fit-all solution. The diversity of forested landscapes and forest governance in Europe is large and that´s why differentiated policy measures are needed, respecting the national and local contexts.

Further insights into the case study research were provided on the second day. Project partners from nine countries highlighted that a great number of local forest stakeholders were involved in ALTERFOR work, e.g. through discussing the provision of ecosystem services under various forest management alternatives. Dr. Mirjana Stevanov overviewed the systematic work with stakeholders and specific measures foreseen to foster that implementation of alternative forest management models in practice. In the session „Forest development scenarios within ALTERFOR“, Isak Lodin (Sweden), Anders Ekstrand (Sweden), Peter Biber (Germany), Mauro Masiero (Italy) and Uzay Karahalil (Turkey) showed the results of landscape simulations in different case study areas. Dr. Anu Korosuo presented the ongoing work on carbon accounting in the frame of LULUCF (Land Use and Land-Use Change and Forestry) in the European Union that will potentially have significant implications on forest management in the Member States. Finally, Associate Professor Vilis Brukas, the scientific coordinator of ALTERFOR, underlined the importance of linking the research to the actual political processes and utilizing large-scale Horizon 2020 projects as a suitable platform for learning between science and practice and across the national borders.

The excursion on May 11 focused on forest fire that presents and increasing risk for forest management as confirmed by large-scale fire damage on the ALTEFOR case study area in Brandenburg. The work of fire prevention and control is there confounded by a number of factors, such as the area’s previous use for military training that left large amounts of “littered” ammunition; arid soils with prevailing Scots pine stands; and the area’s importance for recreational use. Excursion participants had a unique opportunity to get acquainted with a well-functioning system of voluntary fire-fighting teams in German, including demonstrations of the fire-fighting infrastructure and machinery. The hosts presented new challenges of coordinating the work of different institutions (including local teams of fire-fighting, Ministerial authorities and German army) in tackling large-scale forest fires. The organisers from the State Forest Enterprise Brandenburg than presented the approaches to managing the state forests, where the management goals had been shifted radically over the last decades. The key challenge is to raise the share of broadleaf forests that is pursued by several measures including large-scale underplanting of oak, favouring broadleaved species in thinnings.

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