Integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management

27 February 2014

This ThinkForest event offered an opportunity to discuss the scientific results on integration of biological biodiversity in forest management with relevant stakeholders and policy-makers at the European level. The event took place on 27 February 2014 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.


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 offered 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).


The latest scientific knowledge was presented at the event and it provided a discussion forum 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 final programme and the list of participants are available here


Presentation 1: Forest biodiversity: managed versus unmanaged forests
Mr. Yoan Paillet, Irstea, France

Presentation 2: Integrating biodiversity into forest management: approaches, trade.offs and potential co-benefits
Mr. Frank Krumm, INTEGRATE Project

Presentation 3: Insights to the EU Policy Framework
Mr. Georg Winkel, University of Freiburg, Germany

More information:

Dr. Marc PalahĂ­, ThinkForest Coordinator,
or Ms. Ulla Vänttinen, Event Officer,