FW-R-6: Forestry information on adaptation

The picture shows a man standing in a mixed forest taking notes on a paper. Click to enlarge
For the contribution to climate-friendly forest conversion, private forest owners need expert advice
Source: Photograph: © Robert Crum / stock.adobe.com

2019 Monitoring Report on the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

Table of Contents

 

FW-R-6: Forestry information on adaptation

It is therefore impossible for private forest owners to access any collective information ,’bundled’ on a nationwide basis regarding the form, extent or depth of summarised forestry advice. The increasing number of articles published in the practice-oriented journal ’AFZ DerWald’ on climate change conveys a rough idea of the intensity of relevant discussions among forestry professionals.

The column chart shows the number of articles on climate change in the forestry magazine "AFZ - DerWald" from 2002 to 2017. The time series shows a quadratic decreasing trend. Until 2011, the number increased with a smaller dip in 2009 and 2010, decreased again until 2015, then increased again. There were the most articles in 2017.
FW-R-6: Forestry information on adaptation

The column chart shows the number of articles on climate change in the forestry magazine "AFZ - DerWald" from 2002 to 2017. The time series shows a quadratic decreasing trend. Until 2011, the number increased with a smaller dip in 2009 and 2010, decreased again until 2015, then increased again. There were the most articles in 2017.

Source: Thünen-Institut für Waldökosysteme (analyses of the journal AFZ - DerWald)
 

Forestry information on adaptation

In view of climate change forestry will be confronted with immense challenges in the next few decades. Numerous practical development and management issues will arise in connection with the adaptation of forests including the choice of tree species, the technical implementation of forest conversion and the adoption of suitable measures for a targeted approach to tending forests. Action is required not only in state and corporation forests but also in private forests as the latter comprises approximately 48 % of Germany’s entire forest area33.

Private forest owners often have small forests averaging a surface area of less than 10 hectares. These owners have their focus mostly on matters not pertaining to forestry thus managing their forests very much on the basis of their own individual and rather disparate objectives. In most cases, the commercial incentive to engage with silvicultural concepts and to acquire the appropriate knowledge is rather scant. Such unfavourable conditions for tending and developing forests, in view of demographic changes and structural changes in rural areas, are likely to get worse34.

Any forestry advice given to private forest owners therefore plays an important role in these circumstances. Such advice must be able to create the prerequisites for the management of private forests to make its own useful contribution to the adaptation of forests. In this light it is essential to be aware that it is not possible to transfer the cultivation procedures created for and applied in extensive, self-contained and intensively managed state-owned forest complexes in exactly the same way to private forest management, because the baseline conditions are often very different. For example, spruce-dominated stands are often particularly unstable owing to a lack of appropriate thinning. In view of the small size of forest area and the unfavourable development of stands, protective measures against browsing by game, such as fencing are usually too labour-intensive and too expensive. Besides, many forest owners find it hard to part with their traditional spruce cultivation or they simply lack the knowledge or time to consider any options of site-adapted forest cultivation.

Silvicultural advice is provided by numerous different organisations. The individual Länder have e.g. state forest administration authorities, state forest management offices and forestry associations as well as forest owner associations with the remit to impart such advice. Generally speaking the entire field of forestry consultation is as diverse as it is confusing. It is therefore impossible for private forest owners to access any collective information, ‘bundled’ on a nationwide basis regarding the form, extent or intensity of forestry advice.

An important organ for the dissemination of relevant information is magazines or journals which are read in particular by forestry practitioners. One of these forestry journals is the ‘AFZ Der-Wald’ which has concise articles in German and is therefore most effective in terms of reaching the public. Articles published in this journal on the subject of climate change and relevant adaptation are read by a very wide readership who engage with forestry management issues.

In the years between 2000 and 2011 the number of articles dedicated to grappling in a critical manner with the subject of climate change has definitely increased. After a temporary decline in the years up to 2015, this number has increased again in the years up until 2017. As a rule, it is not possible to differentiate strictly between subjects dealing with protection from climate change and subjects dealing with adaptation. The data make it possible to infer that issues concerned with climate change have entered increasingly into practice-oriented discussion by circles of forestry professionals. At the same time, it is not reasonable to infer to what extent such discussions and recommendations are followed up by an actual tangible implementation into practice.

33 s. Endnote Nr. 31
34 BMELV – Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz (Hrsg.) 2011: Waldstrategie 2020 – Nachhaltige Waldbewirtschaftung – eine gesellschaftliche Chance und Herausforderung. Bonn: 13

 

Objectives

Information deficits should be eradicated at both Federal and Länder level in order to persuade 1.8 million forest owners of the necessity to carry out adaptation measures. (DAS, ch. 3.2.7)

In view of the increase in social, climate-political, ecological and commercial demands made on forest management, the relevant consultation services for small private forests should be enhanced and adopted as a public duty in the sense of safeguarding future livelihoods and in the interest of the public good. (Waldstrategie 2020, p. 14)

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 adaptation to climate change  KomPass  monitoring report  forest information  forest magazine  forest owners  forest conversion