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Upcoming ThinkForest event: Integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management

The protection of forests is receiving more attention as result of the increasing political efforts towards biodiversity and nature conservation derived from European policies (Habitat Directive and Biodiversity strategy) and International conventions (Convention on Biological Diversity CBD). Biodiversity issues can be addressed in both, set aside protected forest areas or in commercially oriented forests where biodiversity conservation is integrated as a goal in forest management. However, there is an increasing awareness that both approaches are necessary to conserve existing forest-related biodiversity.

In segregative forest management systems, strictly protected areas are embedded in a matrix of intensively managed forests or plantations. In integrative systems management of biodiversity is part of close-to-nature silvicultural principles with high forest management standards. The positive or negative impacts of forest management practices and the question whether biodiversity in multi-functional forests can be better enhanced by integrative or segregative approaches are subjects of ongoing debate.

In this context, the European Forest Institute initiated a collective scientific assessment, the INTEGRATE project (which was finalized in 2013), aiming at giving insights on the potentials of integrating nature protection measures to forest management while addressing other forest functions/services.

This event will offer an opportunity to discuss the results of the INTEGRATE project with relevant stakeholders and policy-makers at the European level in order to better understand the trade-offs between different biodiversity conservation approaches in view of ongoing political discussions related to both biodiversity and sustainable forest management (e.g. European Forest Convention, the EU Forest Strategy, the EU Biodiversity Strategy, as well as the discussions on sustainability criteria for biomass, and the guidance document for forestry in Natura 2000 areas).

This event will present the latest scientific knowledge and provide a discussion forum with relevant stakeholders on the following questions:

  • What is the current scientific knowledge on biological diversity in unmanaged and managed forests?
  • How much nature conservation can be achieved in forests while maintaining their multifunctional roles and what are the possible trade-offs? 
  • the EU biodiversity and nature protection policy framework: implications and impacts for forest owners and managers.

A draft programme of the event can be found here. Participants are invited to register by using the online registration form by 20 February. There is no registration fee but participants are requested to arrange their own travel and accommodation. More information on practicalities related to the event will be soon available.

More information:

Dr. Marc PalahĂ­; ThinkForest Coordinator, marc.palahi(at)efi.int
or Ms. Ulla Vänttinen, Event Officer, ulla.vanttinen(at)efi.int.

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