Navigating Forest Disturbances, Restoration, and Adaptation
In our upcoming Forest Restoration Webinar with IUFRO‘s Task Force ‘Transforming Forest Landscapes for Future Climates and Human Well-Being’ on 13th December 4pm CET, our speaker Christina Dollinger (Technical University Munich) will introduce us to her research related to the Restoration of mountain forests in the Berchtesgaden National Park. Christina will elaborate on short- and long-term success in the face of climate change and share insights from her research combining field data and simulation modelling.
From October 24th to 27th, SUPERB’s Judit Torres (CESEFOR) attended the conference, representing the Spanish demo in the session “Forest Landscape Restoration: resilient socioecological landscapes in the making”. The session explored solutions for designing, implementing, and monitoring forest restoration in collaboration with stakeholders from academia, NGOs, government, and the private sector.
Rural abandonment in the SUPERB Spanish demo, located in the region of Castille and Leon, has led to insufficient forest management and landscape degradation, resulting in scrubbing of the landscape, homogenisation of the territory and increased forest fire risks. This situation also poses a significant threat to the recovery of the Cantabrian brown bear, a highly endangered species in Europe, due to loss of habitat. At the IUFRO conference session, Torres shared insights into the project’s progress and lessons learned while addressing these interconnected issues, focusing on topics such as stakeholder engagement, improvements in interactions between residents and the environment, and possibilities for upscaling forest restoration.
She shared the round table with three other speakers: René Zamora Cristales (World Resources Institute), Alejandro Huertas Herrera and Mónica Toro Manriquez (Centro de Investigación En Ecosistemas De La Patagonia). The session was moderated by John Devaney (Maynooth University), Anna Barbati (University of Tuscia), and João Azevedo (Instituto Politécnico de Bragança).
You can learn more about the SUPERB demo in Spain and their restoration measures here.
SUPERB Demo area – North Rhine Westphalia – SUPERB (forest-restoration.eu) lead Catharina Schmidt introduced the project work on October 30th and 31st in Arnsberg, Germany, to a group of ca. 40 scientists and practitioners from various organisations based in NRW. Aim of the “Forest Research NRW“ event was to discuss the latest scientific results and practical challenges related to how we can better prepare and adapt our forests in times of climate change. The agenda of the symposium included topics such as the opportunities of digitalization in the forest for climate change adaptation, the performance of forest soils, questions of forest governance as well as reflections on how to combine climate protection and timber construction. The event was organized on the initiative of the NRW Ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Protection with the objective to establish a new forest research network in NRW, formally announced by NRW Minister for Agriculture and Consumer Protection Silke Gorißen on October 30th.
The workshop also included an excursion to SUPERB’s demo sites in Arnsberg, where participants learned about ongoing forest restoration measures: reforesting beetle-infected spruce forests into more diverse, mixed-forest ecosystems by using a combination of natural regeneration and replanting.
You are welcome to register for specific sessions of interest.
SUPERB is a Horizon 2020 research and innovation project launched by the Europe Commission and led by the EFI.
The SUPERB Restoration Project Festival will be the opportunity for European forest restoration specialists to come together to:
Contribute to forging a common pool of effective forest restoration solutions and making them available across Europe.
Hear from innovative approaches and initiatives in this field.
Join a growing network for knowledge sharing and cooperation for forest restoration practitioners that is being built by SUPERB.
During the event, you will make your input together with representatives of around 40 other European forest restoration initiatives. Most of the festival’s sessions are hybrid, and the highlights include:
In the end of September 2023 the Swedish SUPERB demo colleagues Åsa Granberg and Anders Esselin contributed an excursion with the advisory board of the regional forest program. The advisory board consists of representatives of a wide range of forest stakeholders, from NGOs in nature conservation and outdoor life, private forest owners, politicians and researchers to heads of forest management in the large forest companies in the region. It was an inspiring day with a lot of interesting discussions and meetings, starting with a visit to a field trial of chess board cutting, a version of continuous cover forestry. At site, Charlotta Erefur and Ida Rönnqvist, researchers at SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) told the colleagues from the Swedish demo about the trial and encouraged to discussions. With such diverse group of stakeholders the discussions immediately started, covering things like potential benefits of the method, for example for biodiversity and recreational values, but also potential drawbacks, for example lower profitability and issues with regeneration.
The excursion ended with a visit in in the SUPERB restoration site Ume Älvdal, where municipality ecologist Marlene Olsson and SUPERB-member Åsa Granberg told the advisory board about the planned restoration activities in the area and about the SUPERB project. And despite pouring rain, the audience were really interested and gave their different views on the planned restoration actions. All in all – a really nice day!
Presenting a much-needed approach to repair damage to Europe’s forests, the proposed EU Nature Restoration Law (NRL) is an unparalleled opportunity to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss across Europe. Still, it doesn’t come without challenges. One of the challenges for decision-makers, forest managers and stakeholders is to navigate the complex environment of forest and forest-related policies at the EU level. Other challenges come with the integrability of the provisions made by the proposed NRL with diverse national policy and legal frameworks of the European Member States.
This upcoming Forest Restoration Talk will explore policy coherences and incoherences between the Nature Restoration Law and other pieces of legislation, debating the main synergies and trade-offs that are likely to affect stakeholders and competing demands for a variety of forest ecosystem services. The discussion will be based on an analysis of multilevel and cross-sectoral policy coherence conducted as part of the SUPERB project and building on an extensive mapping of forest restoration-related policies in Europe.
Date and time: 18 October 2023 at 15:00 CEST
Metodi Sotirov, Senior Researcher & Assistant Professor in Forest and Environmental Policy,University of Freiburg
Simon Fleckenstein, Project Researcher and PhD Candidate in Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg
Ana Rocha, Director – EU Agriculture & Forestry policies, European Landowners’ Organization (ELO)
Old-growth forests are vital for biodiversity and climate change mitigation, a key focus of the EU’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. This strategy aims to protect 30% of EU land, with 10% under strict protection, including old-growth forests. However, defining old growth forests remains challenging due to data limitations and variations in characteristics, which will be discussed in the international conference “Old-growth forests in the context of climate policy: what is and what is not an old-growth forest?” organized by the Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava as part of the FORWARDS project. Latvia has studied old-growth forests since 2016, assessing both tree species and climate impact. This conference is designed to foster the exchange of cutting-edge knowledge and research on old-growth forests, with a particular focus on the challenges of defining old-growthness in various forest ecosystems.
The conference takes place on October 12, 2023 from 9:30 am – 15:30 pm (CET) as a hybrid event. You can check out the programme here.
Following the conference, in-person participants can join a field visit to old-growth forest sites in Latvia (October 13, 2023).
The conference is open to all interested parties and is free of charge, and the working language is English. For virtual participants the online link for the conference will be sent shortly before the event.
To confirm your participation and express your interest in the field visit, please respond to the provided email address: daiga.zute[at]silava.lv by October 10, 2023.
The conference promises to be a vital forum for researchers, policymakers, and conservationists to engage in meaningful discussions on old-growth forests and their role in climate policy.
Join our upcoming SUPERB/IUFRO Forest Restoration Talk, co-hosted by the European Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration!
The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) has co-authored a new set of “Standards of Practice to Guide Ecosystem Restoration”, launched this year in partnership with the FAO and IUCN-CEM as a contribution to the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Furthermore, various principles and standards guidance have been released or are under development since 2019, including the WWF-SER Mediterranean forest project certification standards, aiming to verify the quality of field-based restoration projects, providing guidance, structure, and an auditing process for ecological restoration.
In the next SUPERB/IUFRO Forest Restoration Talk, organised in collaboration with SER, George Gann, SER’s International Policy Lead, will present an overview of the new Standards of Practice including insights from the Mediterranean project, discussing how these can support the design, implementation, and funding of restoration actions.
He will be joined by Dr Michael Kleine, Deputy Executive Director & Coordinator at IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities, who will provide views from a science and training perspective with reference to existing forest-related restoration guidelines and share experiences with implementing some of these on the ground.
George Gann, International Policy Lead, Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)
Michael Kleine, Deputy Executive Director & Coordinator, International Union of Forest Research Organizations, Special Programme for Development of Capacities (IUFRO-SPDC)
Magda Bou Dagher-Kharrat, Principal scientist at the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute and coordinator of the SUPERB project
Andreas Bolte, coordinator of the IUFRO Task Force “Transforming Forest Landscapes for Futures Climates and Human Well-Being”
In our upcoming Forest Restoration Talk with IUFRO on 20 September 2023 4pm, we will discuss public perceptions of Forest Landscape Restoration in different regions of the world. Our first speaker, researcher Moses Kanzungu (WSL), will present results from a study on public perceptions of forests they conducted as part of the SUPERB project. Moses comments: “While the perceptions remained consistent across the study regions, the interviews unveiled two distinct classifications of forests. On one hand, forests were recognised as intricate and multifaceted entities, embodying a sense of ‘everything.’ On the other hand, an equally compelling perspective emerged where forests were cherished as unique and isolated havens. This duality in perception provides a fascinating glimpse into how individuals perceive and connect with these vital ecosystems.”
Our second speaker is Vianny Ahimbisibwe (Thünen Institute), a specialist in land use potentials and ecosystem restoration in Africa. In a recent paper, he analysed the gap between restoration intentions and actual behaviours at the farm level. He emphasises that landscape implementers and facilitators need to work hand in hand for the effective implementation of FLR activities. Vianny will share experiences and lessons-learned from the FLESRA project, focusing on the performance of different silvicultural techniques, their cost-benefit structures and mismatch in actor values and beliefs in the FLR realm.
Finally, Åsa Granberg from the Västerbotten County Administration (Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten) in Sweden will share insights from SUPERB’s Swedish demo, which she is leading as a project manager. In this demo, the local team fosters natural forest configuration and forest connectivity on a landscape scale, improving conditions for biodiversity and indigenous Sami community reindeer husbandry. Their landscape approach also addresses governance challenges linked to the multiple ownership of land, including public, private, forest company and non-industrial private ownership in large- to small-scale gradients.
What can restoration practitioners learn from activity around forests and forest restoration on the web and social media? In our upcoming session of the Forest Restoration Webinar series on 14th June 4pm CET our SUPERB colleagues Jonathan Gray, Senior Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies, and Liliana Bounegru, Lecturer in Digital Methods, King’s College London, as well as Rina Tsubaki, Communications Manager with European Forest Institute discuss how we use online data and humanities-based digital methods to explore how restoration and other forest-related issues are engaged with on the web, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. We discuss examples on a variety of forest-related issues and practices, including forest fires, forest bathing, rewilding, and forest restoration. Are you intrigued? Register here!