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Latest ThinkForest policy brief on biodiversity conservation released at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

28.02.2014


The protection of forests is receiving more attention as result of increasing political efforts towards biodiversity and nature conservation derived from European policies and international conventions. 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.

ThinkForest event held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 27 February offered opportunities to discuss the results of EFI’s INTEGRATE project, and better understand the trade-offs between different biodiversity conservation approaches in view of ongoing political discussions related to both biodiversity and sustainable forest management. The event was hosted by Ms. Elisabeth Köstinger, Member of the European Parliament, and it gathered participants representing policy-makers, stakeholders and research institutions.

Representatives of the state forest administration in Catalonia, Bavaria and Sweden provided their views on implementation of the EU conservation policies at the event. Ms. Tarja Cronberg, Member of the European Parliament, advocated for an integrated approach to forest and nature conservation policies and Ms. Köstinger emphasised the EU Forest Strategy as an opportunity for implementation of these policies.

The ThinkForest policy brief Integrating biodiversity conservation in forest management by Daniel Kraus, Frank Krumm, Marc Palahí and Andreas Schuck was launched at the ThinkForest event. It is based on the work of the INTEGRATE project, which ran from 2011-2013, and investigated how to integrate nature protection in forest management, and its relation to other forest functions and services. The policy brief sets out the four main pillars which integrative approaches to biodiversity conservation in forests should follow: using a conceptual framework, retaining key biodiversity elements, demonstrating success with indicator species groups, and identifying key challenges such as climate change or invasive species.

Policy recommendations include:

  • Using indicators to monitor the impacts of biodiversity policies - combining the monitoring of species, forest structures and habitats is important.
  • Combining integration and segregation approaches for the successful conservation of biodiversity.
  • Noting the importance of deadwood in forest ecosystems.
  • Adapting conservation policies and management approaches - climate change will affect the suitability of forest habitats of various species.
  • Valuing forest biodiversity - harmonized valuation frameworks and the development of suitable financial incentives to integrate biodiversity conservation into forest management need to be urgently adopted.

Further info is available about the event here.
Download the policy brief here.