Oct 17, 2016

Discussing innovative approaches on the integration of biodiversity conservation into forest management in Krivoklat forest


The Strategic Dialogue between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Czech Republic concluded with a high level political event in Prague from 4-5 October 2016 with the participation of both Ministers of Agriculture of the two countries. Numerous activities around the topic of integrative forest management were implemented during the last one and a half years facilitated by the Integrate+ project. These activities emphasized on providing input to establishing four Marteloscopes in different forest types in the Czech Republic for silvicultural training, and expert exchanges for sharing knowledge and experiences on biodiversity conservation in managed forests.

During the first day an excursion took place to Krivoklat forest where the “Trittstein concept” was demonstrated to about 60 conference participants. The innovative concept applied in the Bavarian State Forest Enterprise Ebrach was established in Krivoklat forest as a demonstration activity. The concept successfully combines wood production and biodiversity conservation with the result of ensuring economic return while enhancing species richness and distribution. It builds on the designation of tree groups displaying high ecological value, individual habitat and veteran trees and actions for both conserving and accumulating deadwood within a managed forest area. The “Krivoklat Trittstein” site was established jointly by Ulrich Mergner, Head of the Ebrach State Forest Enterprise, the Czech Forest Service and Czech Forest Management Institute and the Integrate+ team. The plan is to use the site as a showcase for education and training and as stimulus for investigating viable integrative forest management concepts for Czech forests. Thus the exchange of knowledge and experiences is serving as bottom-up policy support!

In the adjacent Marteloscope the Integrate+ team presented the tablet based training software for performing virtual tree selection exercises.  
On the second day in the course of the conference Federal Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt and his counterpart Marian Jurečka, Czech Minister of Agriculture highlighted the importance of forests and the multitude of ecosystem services they provide. They emphasized the value of cross border co-operation in the forestry sector as a means for knowledge transfer. Director of the European Forest Institute, Marc Palahí stated that sustainable forest management plays a dual strategic role: supporting both the development towards a bio-economy by providing wood resources while enhancing biodiversity.

Following a set of high level conference presentations from research and practice the ministers signed the “Prague Declaration on Forest” which emphasises the continuation of the dialogue between two countries and welcomes continuous support by the European Forest Institute. Thomas Hauβmann from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Tomas Krejzar from Czech Ministry of Agriculture having coordinated the strategic dialogue activities in collaboration with the Integrate+ project from the European Forest Institute drew a positive conclusion of the last 1.5 years’ collaboration. They thanked the Integrate team for the excellent work and emphasised that they and look forward to continue on the basis of these achievements.

Further the activities between Germany and the Czech Republic stimulated cross border networking between research, forest administrations and forest managers as well as with experts from other countries. Such is at the heart of the Integrate+ project and its constantly growing network.



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