Future-oriented integrated management of European forest landscapes
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
The objectives are achieved by following a research approach with 3 phases: diagnostic analysis of the status-quo (phase 1), participatory development and evaluation of scenarios (phase 2), and problem-solving oriented back-casting for policy development and evaluation (phase 3). The research design will be applied in a total of 20 landscapes in 10 European countries that differ in key characteristics, such as ownership, the importance of forestry and forest-based industries and the priorities of allocation and management of new and existing forest lands. The involvement of national and local stakeholder groups all the way through the project plays a decisive role in the project.
The most important long term impact of INTEGRAL consists of the knowledge and competence base for integrating international, national and local levels in participatory decision and planning processes. This includes the development of manuals for how to conduct such processes, methods for utilizing quantitative decision support tools in the participatory process, and the establishment of a body of knowledge among those participating in the extensive case studies. Thus, the consistency of implemented forest policies can be enhanced.
Almas Alle 8
750 07 Uppsala
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
€ 1 198 011
Ingrid Ragnarsdotter Jajke (Mrs.)
CONFEDERATION EUROPEENNE DES PROPRIETAIRES FORESTIERS ASBL
€ 700 200
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA
€ 268 800
€ 562 200
University of Forestry
€ 175 200
FACHOCHSCHULE SALZBURG GMBH
€ 260 600
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
€ 241 760
INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE AGRONOMIA
€ 417 000
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DEL MOLISE
€ 294 000
JRC -JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE- EUROPEAN COMMISSION
€ 247 200
TECHNICKA UNIVERZITA VO ZVOLENE
€ 252 000
ALEKSANDRO STULGINSKIO UNIVERSITETAS
€ 142 800
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
€ 283 200
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
€ 512 030
INSTITUT DES SCIENCES ET INDUSTRIES DU VIVANT ET DE L'ENVIRONNEMENT - AGRO PARIS TECH
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN
€ 480 600
UNIVERSIDADE CATOLICA PORTUGUESA
€ 268 800
CONFEDERATION EUROPEENNE DES PROPRIETAIRES FORESTIERS ASBL
€ 128 800
€ 80 000
European State Forest Association
€ 78 000
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE
€ 202 000
EUROPEAN FOREST INSTITUTE
€ 205 400
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Towards better forest management
Europe's forests play vital economic, social and environmental roles. However, various EU- and national-level management policies are often ill-conceived, separate and ineffective for all roles intended for forests. The EU-funded INTEGRAL (Future-oriented integrated management of European forest landscapes) project addressed the inconsistencies. The venture introduced a new methodology better able to balance demands concerning use and conservation of forests. The study involved three phases, applied to 20 landscape cases in 10 European countries. The first involved a diagnostic analysis of key socio-ecological drivers of and barriers to integrated forest management. Secondly, the team examined 80 participatory development scenarios exploring possible futures over the next 30 years. The final phase identified roadmaps of management strategies for integrated and sustainable forest management. Results indicated that two key factors affect forest development. Firstly, public or private ownership and the resulting sizes of forest reserves. The second factor was policies and regulations. Both affect forest management directly while also being subject to external factors, including global timber market, population growth and climate change. Other results showed that national-level regulations are the most important for future forest management. Ecosystem services analyses showed that in all but six scenarios the supply of forest goods and services is expected to increase. The conclusion suggested room for several types of ecosystem services. The team compared the current demands for ecosystem services against future demands. In all cases, effective policy would depend on changing the institutional setting and forest management practices. National public entities will have the greatest responsibility, with the EU playing only a secondary role. INTEGRAL's new methodology, combining forest policy analysis with forest management modelling, provides effective management approaches. The outcomes mean better managed and more sustainable forests.
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Discover other articles in the same domain of application
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Final Report Summary - INTEGRAL (Future-oriented integrated management of European forest landscapes)
4.1.1 Executive summary
The European forests have a vital role in fulfilling social, economic and environmental objectives. However, the consistency within and between European, national and regional forest-related land use policies and practices is often problematic. This is manifested at the landscape level, where the policies are finally implemented, as inefficient or misguided management. To diminish such mismatches and support forest policy and management approaches that are better able to balance multiple, conflicting social and economic demands regarding the use and conservation of forest ecosystems at landscape level is the main mission of INTEGRAL.
INTEGRAL was carried out in three interconnected research phases that were applied to 20 landscape cases in 10 countries across Europe with one to three landscape cases in each country. The first phase consisted of a diagnostic analysis of key socio-ecological drivers and barriers of integrated forest management. The second phase included participatory development of scenarios; a total of 80 scenarios that explored possible futures over a period of 30 years were developed in INTEGRAL. The third phase identified, based on the back-casting methodology, roadmaps of policy measures and forest management strategies for integrated and sustainable forest management.
The analysis across all case studies indicates that there are two key factors that do and will play a crucial role for the development of the forests. The first is ‘ownership structure’ which refers to the type of owner (private vs. public) and to the size of the forest area in question (large scale – small scale). The other one is the generic category ‘policies, laws and regulations’. They are regarded to exert a high influence on the complex socio-ecological system of forest management while at the same time they are open for influences by other factors. Other factors such as ‘global timber market’, ‘population’ or ‘climate change’ are also important for the future forest development, but they can hardly be changed by policy actors to the same extent as the aforementioned factors. The national level is the most important driver of future forest management; most key factors have a national background. The ecosystem service analyses show that in all but 6 scenarios the supply of all forest ecosystem goods and services is expected to increase. This remarkable finding indicates that there is room for providing very different baskets of ecosystem services.
The roadmaps were created against visions of desired levels of ecosystems service provision in comparison to the current situation. The focus of the robust policy measures for all the cases concerned changing the institutional setting (e.g. laws and regulations, changes in the sector, etc.), and to a somewhat lesser extent) on forest management practices (e.g. silvicultural practices). There are however many differences between the European regions. Overall, the main responsibility for taking actions to reach the desired future is seen with the public entities (mainly the national government and the forest authority, the EU is mentioned only in one case).
In conclusion the experience of INTEGRAL is that scenario development and back-casting, in combination with forest policy analysis and forest management modelling, offer a sound new methodology for a policy and management approaches that can better anticipate and shape uncertain futures. In this way, scientists, practitioners and decision-makers can better understand and develop responses to the complex and dynamic interactions between nature and society.
The project consortium consisted of 21 partners from 12 countries, namely Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden. Among them, there are 18 research partners, of which 13 are universities and five research institutes, and three Non-Governmental Organizations (FERN, EUSTARFOR and CEPF). The composition of research organization’s equally represented the two main disciplines: forest policy and forest management/modelling.
Project Context and Objectives:
4.1.2 Description of project context and objectives
The European forests have a vital role in fulfilling social, economic and environmental objectives. However, the consistency within and between European, national and regional forest-related land use policies and practices is often problematic. This is manifested at the landscape level, where the policies are finally implemented, as inefficient or misguided management. For example, the majority of the forest habitats protected under the EU NATURA 2000 network policy framework have been assessed as having an unfavorable conservation status. The different dimensions of the problems that INTEGRAL dealt with are summarized in the following five points.
First, there is a large body of Community policies and initiatives that deals with and affect the conservation and sustainable management of forest ecosystems, inter alia, policies for agriculture, rural and regional development, biodiversity conservation, and climate and renewable energy policies. In addition, member states have a long history of national and regional laws, regulations and management strategies that affect forestry. When implemented at the local level, actors could find themselves caught in the intersection between incompatible demands.
Second, it is difficult to arrive at an accepted balance of the diverse forest ecosystem goods and services due to, inter alia, increased uncertainty of trade-offs between services and goods. One example is how climate change in combination with increased demands for bio-energy upsets the relations between productive functions, recreational use, and risk reduction of storms, droughts, avalanches, and damage by insects and pathogens.
Third, there is often a wide gap between the political intentions and the practical implementation of forest policies (see the example of the Natura 2000 mentioned above). Whereas policy-makers typically have only a vague understanding of the consequences their decisions are likely to have for actual forest management practices, forest managers often only fuzzily comprehend relevant policy developments.
Fourth, the aforementioned problems are aggravated by the lack of scientific inputs to address, or at least understand, the problem complex. Whereas research tends to be rather one-dimensional forest management actions give rise to bundles of forest ecosystem goods and services over time and space. There is a lack of software systems – Decision Support Systems (DSS) – that can be used in the policy-making process to show the combined result of forest management actions.
Fifth, the forest policy and management processes have been characterized by rhetoric, confrontation and polarization among land-owners, entrepreneurs, industrialists, decision-makers, environmentalists, scientists and citizens, at European, national and local levels.
In summary, we could identify a discrepancy between the awareness of and actions taken towards the conservation and sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Europe. Available policy and management approaches for dealing with the management of new and existing forest lands had limited ability to meet current, diverse societal demands in an integrative, balanced manner and, furthermore, they seemed unable to respond to unknown future needs. In particular, we found a lack of approaches that integrate policy processes, governance and support tools at the landscape level.
Accordingly, INTEGRAL has focused on the following objectives:
1. To identify and understand ecological, socioeconomic and policy factors (barriers and drivers) and their interplay as regards integrated forest management at landscape level;
2. To explore alternative future developments of the aforementioned factors and their interplay, then to quantify and evaluate their implications for nature and society;
3. To propose recommendations for new coherent policy and socioeconomic frameworks, consistent policy instruments and management strategies as well as decision support tools for integrated forest management.
4. To apply interdisciplinary coordination and synthesis;
5. To involve all relevant groups who have stakes in integrated forest management and disseminate, soundly and broadly, information regarding the project activities and results.
A successful approach to these highly complex issues demands a solid theoretical framework. One basis for INTEGRAL is the ecosystem services concept. The basic rationale is that the ecosystem services concept serves as basis for identifying, accounting for, modelling and displaying the (natural, socio-political, and economic) trade-offs between different land-use scenarios in a given forest landscape. Another foundation of INTEGRAL is the assumption that integrated forest management can best be understood and approached as a system of human-environmental interactions comprised of the following set of factors: (i) dynamic forest ecosystems exposed to changing environmental conditions, (ii) forest governance and management systems (forest-related policy frameworks, institutions, actors, management strategies and techniques) and (iii) broader socio-economic, technological, cultural, political and constitutional developments (Figure 1).
Figure 1. General framework for analysis of integrated forest management (Pistorius et al. 2010, adapted from de Groot 2002).
Figure 2. The three phases of INTEGRAL
This choice of research design is based on the aforementioned theoretical basis as well as the following suppositions:
• By taking related policy sectors – in terms of “integrated policy” - into account when formulating forest policy, forest management will encounter fewer problems and solve more. The integrated policy concept is basic since nobody can fulfill societal demands without knowing whether these demands are realistic with respect to the given ecosystem of a certain landscape while, at the same time, nobody can manage ecosystem services of a forest landscape appropriately without knowing societal demand and without assessing potential use conflicts. Thus, a prominent feature of INTEGRAL is thus the linking of social and nature science knowledge and methods.
• Forest management conflicts can be solved more easily on landscape level than on the national level. On landscape level, impacts of regulations and effects of the applied tools are more obvious and specific, and thus can be better identified and compared with each other.
• Finding solutions for forest management conflicts is easier when problem solving is projected into the future. Future oriented and participatory scenarios building and back-casting are the tools to create this constructive form of interaction. When stakeholders in the landscape have formed an idea of what future problems need to be tackled (Phase 2), the best concrete solutions are crafted by back-casting (Phase 3). Back-casting does here mean that you work backwards from a desired future to see what actions are needed over time to realize a trajectory that connects now with the future.
The research design was applied to a series of landscape cases across Europe. A total of 20 cases in 10 countries were carried out with one to three landscape cases in each country. Each case focused on the issues that were relevant from a policy perspective in the country and involved a range of different stakeholders, primarily, on landscape level but, in most cases, also on national level.
I summary, the activities of INTEGRAL have left the following assets to be the source for improved integrated management of European forests:
• A range of suggestions for policy measures and forest management strategies applicable under different social and geo-physical conditions to meet future challenges.
• Access to a knowledge and competence base for integrating international, national and local levels in participatory decision and planning processes.
• Access to functional DSS’s including social processes and competent researchers that support their use and future development.
• Policy makers and stakeholders will have better understand how to include scenario building and back-casting in participatory processes.
• Generally, an improved understanding of policy formation.
The project consortium consisted of 21 partners from 12 countries, namely Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden. Among them, there are 18 research partners, of which 13 are universities and five research institutes, and three Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The composition of research organizations equally represented the two main disciplines: forest policy and forest management/modelling. Thus, the case studies in the respective national areas were conducted by highly qualified project partners of both fields. Additionally, researchers of the Center for Futures Studies of the University of Applied Science Salzburg were involved as experts in futures research and scenario development, the experts from the Fraunhofer Center MOEZ held responsibility for communication and dissemination and researchers from the Oxford University were leading work on footprint analyses. The NGOs (FERN, CEPF, and EUSTAFOR) played a pivotal role for getting stakeholder input from, activation of, and dissemination to stakeholders throughout the project.
4.1.3 Description of the main S&T results/foregrounds (not exceeding 25 pages)
INTEGRAL has had more than 100 researchers on the pay roll, conducted more than 400 interviews, held some 80 stakeholder meetings in 20 different landscapes, developed a total of 80 scenarios supported by 9 different forest DSS capable of landscape analyses. The result is documented in thousands of pages of landscape and synthesis reports. It is therefore no surprise that, for instance, there are more than 110 scientific articles from the project in different stages of preparation (35 published; a complete list is found in Period report 3). Of course, this material can be described and analyzed from a host of different viewpoints. Thus, the account will here focus on some issues, leaving others to the reader to explore on the material on the project homepage: http://www.integral-project.eu/.
22.214.171.124 Implementing the 3-phase research design
To wholly appreciate the results it is important to understand the way that research was conducted. Additionally, the account gives an example how the futures methodology with a 3-phase research design (mapping, scenario analysis, and back-casting) can be implemented. As pointed out above, the participatory process of finding solutions to improved forest management has to rely on data and knowledge from different disciplines. The landscape perspective and the forest focus of INTEGRAL meant that, broadly speaking, the main task of detailing the research process for a landscape was to frame a common and interdisciplinary work program linking natural scientists and social scientists (Figure 3).
Figure 3. The work flow of INTEGRAL (DSS = decision support system; FM = forest management; ES = ecosystem services; DEP = desired end point in year 30)
Phase 1 of INTEGRAL began by describing the case study with respect to geo-physical characteristics and the state of the forest, and, based on that description, assess the potential of the landscape to provide ecosystem services over time. The assessment was conducted with the DSS that had been prepared for the case study area. In parallel, barriers and drivers of relevance for forest management were mapped by identifying structural variables and agent-based factors in the case landscapes. The structural factors included forest-related policies, institutions and rules (e.g. relevant for forest management, biodiversity conservation, climate change, bio-energy development etc.), economic framework conditions (e.g. markets for forest products, goods and services), societal developments (e.g. demography, urbanization) and technological innovations (e.g. timber harvesting and processing technologies, green building). The agent-based factors included political actors’ preferences/interests, knowledge (e.g. ideas, discourses), networks and resources (e.g. money, knowledge/information, decision-making power, supporters). The data was acquired by interviews and desk research guided by a joint questionnaire for forest owners and stakeholders, and a guideline for doing desk research (analysis of statistical data, demographic developments, supply and demand, trade with forest products, official policy documents etc.).
For the scenario process in Phase 2 the key drivers from Phase 1 were input to one or two workshops with local stakeholders (incl. forest owners). In the workshops, 3-7 explorative scenarios were developed regarding what could happen in the future for a period of at about 30 years. The procedure of scenario process made use of an established procedure, adapted to the specific circumstances of the overall research design (Figure 4). The standard procedure for INTEGRAL runs in six steps:
1. Definition of Scenario Space: The first step is to define the scenario space as regards the time scale, the geographic scope and thematic coverage. The result of this step is a precise definition of what the scenarios will be about.
2. Identification and Selection of key factors: In this step, the key factors are identified, selected and displayed in a STEEP-table (Society, Technology, Economy, Ecology, Politics). The process of selecting key factors can be supported by a Structural Analysis and takes the drivers from Phase 1 as the starting point. This research step was often conducted under the participation of stakeholders.
3. Description of alternative future manifestations: Here, possible future values or manifestations of the selected key factors are created. For instance, timber prices up, down or remaining on current level. Only a few are reasonable in the sense that they differ in a meaningful way and are scientifically sound.
4. Combination of factors and assessment of coherence: The next step consists of estimating how well every single manifestation goes together with the manifestations of all the other elements in the scenario (supported by the Parmenides EIDOS software). For instance, how consistent is continued urbanization with increase of forest area (for the particular landscape). This research step was also often conducted under the participation of stakeholders.
5. Clustering of coherent combinations (scenarios): The more or less coherent combinations of manifestations (scenarios) are displayed in a cluster map (supported by the Parmenides EIDOS software). The distribution of scenarios shows how distinct/similar they are in relation to each other and helps, in the end, to select the most consistent scenarios.
6. Elaboration of Scenarios: The scenarios are described in an appealing and compelling form. The means of communication are short stories, comics, illustrations or other forms of ‘story-telling’.
Figure 4. Overview of the scenario processes in INTEGRAL
The scenarios resulting from step 6 were interpreted and operationalized for the DSS analysis. The main purpose of this analysis was to assess to what extent ecosystem services would be provided under each scenario. A scenario at step 6 above was translated into changes in the distribution of forest owner types in the landscape and, for each forest owner type, changes in the distribution of forest management programs. The forest owner types could for instance be family forest owners, companies and government, respectively, and the management programs could for instance be continues cover forestry, rotation forestry with long and short rotations, respectively. The concepts were put together in the so called matrix model of forest behavior, also named FOT-FMA matrix (Table 1). The basis for operationalizing the matrix model was the behavioral models derived in Phase 1 augmented with information derived in the stakeholder workshops.
Table 1. Example of an actor model according to the ‘matrix’ model (FOT-FMA matrix)
% of area under management programs of each owner types
Owner type % of total area Prog1 Prog2 Prog3 Sum
Type 1 50 90 10 100
Type2 30 10 80 10 100
Type3 20 30 70 100
With (i) the specifications in the matrix, (ii) the management programs specified for use in the DSS, and (iii) the current state to the forest sufficiently mapped for the DSS, the development of the forest is unambiguously defined. This means that forest management activities can be simulated, the forest growth and yield models are applied to depict the development of the forest over time, and the resulting ecosystem services output computed as a consequence of forest management activities and the state of the forest as it develops over time. The projection is carried out for 30 years.
With a description of the supply of ecosystem services 30 years from now augmented to the scenario resulting from the 6 step procedure above there is a complete scenario description.
The scenarios developed in Phase 2 of INTEGRAL were “what might happen” (explorative) scenarios without deliberate policy actions to counter unwanted outcomes. To develop these policy actions was the task encountered in Phase 3 and approached with the back-casting methodology. Back-casting “involves working backwards from a particular desired future end-point or set of goals to the present, in order to determine the physical feasibility of that future and the (policy) measures that would be required to reach that point” (Robinson, 2003). The methodology was implemented in INTEGRAL following two main phases:
Developing a shared desired future: The main endpoint shared in all scenarios should be a ‘balanced’ provision of a set of forest ecosystem services. The desired endpoint is related to year 30, it is common to all scenarios and it is the result of deliberations of the local stakeholders.
The construction of the pathway to reach this shared desired future: This phase consists of several steps:
Indicate the obstacles and the opportunities: In this step a direct link was made between the scenarios developed in Phase 2 and the back-casting exercise. During the workshop, stakeholders discussed what obstacles and opportunities arise within a specific scenario that either hinder or enhance reaching the desired future. This is the only step where a link directly between the normative back-casting and scenarios existed.
Define milestones and interim objectives: Once the obstacles and opportunities are clear, the question then is what milestones/objectives need to be reached over time to reach the desired future within the scenario. Stakeholders discussed which interim objectives needed to be reached, answering also the following specific questions: What is the milestone? When does it need to be reached? How does it relate to obstacles and opportunities?
Identify (policy) actions: The ultimate step of the back-casting process is to discuss what (policy) actions need to be taken to reach the specific future, given milestones, obstacles, and opportunities.
Robust strategies: As a last step of the group work during the workshop all (policy) actions distinguished for the different scenarios can be compared. Actions that are used in all scenarios seem much more robust than policies that will only work in one scenario. Are there similarities, actions that need to be taken in most (if not all) scenarios? These actions together form a “draft robust roadmap”.
Figure 5. Structure for the implementation of the back-casting process
Based on the above-described explanation, the overall design guiding the research teams of the case studies for completing the back-casting process is shown in in Figure 5. The starting point is the scenarios (1) developed in Phase 2 of INTEGRAL. They are input for participatory back-casting workshops (2), resulting in a first list of robust (policy) actions, which fit all the scenarios (2a), and which should result in a desired future as regards Ecosystem Services (2b). The list of policy actions (2a) is subsequently the basis for the combined research team to model/formulate the behavioral landscape/FOT-FMA matrix for each scenario (3). With the behavioral landscape/FOT-FMA matrix, model runs are carried out with the DSS (4), resulting in a set of realized ecosystem services for each scenario (4a). These sets of realized ecosystem services are then compared to the desired endpoint (5), which was determined in the participatory back-casting workshop (2a). In case of possible discrepancies between realized and ideal endpoint, there might be a need for some expert consultation (6). Based on this expert meeting, the list of actions or the behavioral matrix can be revisited, or a partial - per action - analysis of the effect of the actions on the ecosystem services are carried out (7). This is a re-iteration that can potentially be repeated, based on resource availability etc. Based on the results of this exercise a set of robust actions (the roadmap) is recognized and bundled within robust pathways, strategies or roadmaps towards integrated forest management within the regional or national forest landscape (8).
The case studies were selected to cover different geo-physical conditions, governance models, and socio-economic contexts. Some basic data are found in Table 2, Table 3 and Figure 6.
Table 2.The INTEGRAL case studies used in this work, selected group affiliations and key properties.
Country Case Study Name Acronym Forest region(*) Dominant species composition Social environ-ment Total area (ha) Forest area (ha)
Bulgaria Teteven TET EE broadleaf rural 27,400 10,100
Bulgaria Yundola YUN EE conifer rural 10,100 3,700
France Potenx POT CWE conifer rural 101,000 66,700
Germany Munich South MUN CWE mixed city near 60,000 43,200
Germany Upper Palatinate UPP CWE mixed rural 300,000 159,000
Ireland Newmarket NEW NWE conifer rural 75,100 13,500
Ireland Western Peatland WES NWE conifer rural 1,000,000 116,000
Italy Asiago ASI SE mixed rural 46,700 30,900
Italy Etna ETN SE broadleaf city near 25,300 7,000
Italy Molise MOL SE mixed rural 600 600
Lithuania Kazlu KAZ EE conifer rural 66,000 36,800
Lithuania Zemaitija ZEM EE mixed rural 38,000 11,700
Netherlands South East Veluwe SEV WE conifer city near 8,000 6,000
Portugal Chamusca CHA SE broadleaf rural 74,600 53,000
Portugal Leiria LEI SE conifer rural 75,200 44,400
Portugal Sousa SOU SE mixed rural 48,900 22,000
Slovakia Kysuce KYS EE mixed city near 152,000 121,600
Slovakia Podpol'anie POD EE broadleaf rural 20,000 10,200
Sweden Helgea HEL NE conifer rural 120,000 96,000
Sweden Vilhelmina VIL NE conifer rural 850,000 530,000
Table 3. Characterization of regions
Forest region Socio-economic context INTEGRAL countries
Eastern Europe Commodity-oriented forestry driven by transition to market economy, moderate role of forest industry and relatively large forest areas Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovakia
Central Western Europe Multifunctional forestry driven by a pluralistic society, market economy, moderate forest areas and moderate role of forest industry France, Germany
North Western Europe Plantation-oriented forestry driven by small forest area and market economy Ireland
Southern Europe Partly low forest management driven by primacy of non wood products and natural risks; partly plantation-oriented forestry driven by property fragmentation, forest industry, market economy and natural risks Italy, Portugal
Western Europe Amenity-oriented forestry influenced by small forest areas und urban society demands The Netherlands
Northern Europe Commodity-oriented forestry driven by strong forest industry, large forest area and globalized wood market Sweden
Figure 6. Locations of all INTEGRAL case study areas (see Table 2 for the full case study names)
To promote SFM and Multifunctional forestry it is necessary to identify what societal forces are driving forest management, what the interests and preferences of stakeholders are, and where we will find the conflicts to be dealt with. More than 400 interviews were made with experts, forest owners, forest managers, and various stakeholders, as well as analysis of hundreds of documents (e.g. statistics, legislation, policy papers, and scientific reports). The material formed the basis for a policy and socioeconomic analysis which in turn formed the basis for the other two phases of INTEGRAL.
Demographic developments play a significant role in many of the studied landscapes. The ageing and urbanization of the general population and forest owners are noted in most countries, particularly in rural areas. Ageing of the population and rural depopulation could lead to abandonment of land, causing a significant expansion of forests and build-up of deadwood, as well as a heightened risk of forest fires, particularly in Southern Europe. Forests have been increasingly used for recreation and tourism in areas with growing populations and levels of urbanization; the increasingly urbanized population does not appreciate the role of forests in timber production, and is expected to demand more nature-oriented forestry for recreational and landscape amenity values. The decline and ageing of the population has led to a decreased availability of skilled forestry workers and an increase in labor costs.
Across all case study countries, public opinion considered rural areas and forests highly important for recreation, nature protection, and wood production. Many case studies have identified a controversy between forest protection and production discourses.
Regarding economic and technological developments, the sawmill industry experienced a considerable concentration and the number of sawmills has steadily declined, but the total amount of processed wood has not. The pulp and paper industry has also experienced considerable consolidation. Over the past few decades, high-technology machines such as harvesters and forwarders have influenced forest management and substituted manual methods in executing forestry works in rural landscapes. Timber supplies for material use (e.g. round wood, industrial wood) have retained their relevance, especially for publicly owned and large forest areas, whereas private and small owners were more inclined to consider energy wood production.
Local economic structures have decreased in importance, while trans-regional forest users’ structures, connections, and economic networks have increased in importance. Forest owners’ associations are able to play a relevant role in wood mobilization processes and the economic development of private forestry. Concerns have also been expressed about the possibility that reduction of public expenditure will result in higher pressure on forests, such as when incomes from timber sales provide financial stability for rural communities, or when wood fuel demands require higher forest use. Moreover, EU subsidies have been a relevant factor influencing forest landscape management choices about afforestation, intensively used forest plantations, the construction of forest roads, and increases in wood mobilization.
Considering the actors and their networks within the landscapes, a collaborative relationship network exists within a strong coalition of private and corporate forest owners, forest managers, forest enterprises, and forest administrations. No or rather uncooperative relationships exist between the traditional forestry sector and other actors such as environmental NGOs and/or park, environmental, and agricultural administrative bodies.
The investigation of actors’ political resources indicate that state forest agen¬cies, based on formal authority, are perceived as the most powerful in forest management, followed by forest owners and nature protection administra¬tion. Although forest managers experience a high degree of autonomy, the findings show that they feel most constrained by governmental regulatory policy and law, as well as by markets that often fail to guarantee ‘good’ prices and ‘honest’ competition. About half of the case study areas have an active management for biodiversity, mainly provided by state forestry or-ganizations. Multifunctional forestry is perceived as an important principle in forest management in the majority of landscape case studies. In countries where multifunctional forestry does not play a role, spatial segregation of fo¬rest land-uses prevails.
Forest owners and forest managers in the same case area have different preferences and socioeco¬nomic characteristics. One can find forest owners that are primarily interested in the economic aspects of forestry and others that aim at less intensive, “close-to-nature” or “ecological” forest management. Other forest owners and forest managers put more focus on recreational aspects.
On a broader EU level, forest ownership varies from many very small and fragmented private-owned to large scale state-owned and large estates owned by private companies. The environmental services of forests (e.g. conservation, protection) are perceived as being more significant and more widely acknowledged by the general public than the economic ones. Over the past decades, production in EU forest-based industries grew fairly steadily, although at a considerably slower rate than overall production as a share of GDP. The biggest shifts in forest commodity production and consumption occurred after 1990, in association with the transformation in Central and Eastern Europe and the economic rise of China. The growing competition for wood as a raw material and as bio-energy has accelerated the development of enabling technologies and supply shifts that enable diversification of input materials for processing within EU forest-based industry.
While EU member states have a long history of specific national and sub-national policies and laws regulating forest use and protection, there have been initiatives for a more coordinated EU forest policy through the EU Forestry Strategy (1998) and the EU Forest Action Plan (2005) based on the principles of sustainable forest management, the multifunctional role of forests, and subsidiarity. Aside from the legally non-binding EU forest policy there are several established EU policies that also deal with the sustainable use and conservation of forests (e.g. Rural development regulation, Habitats and Birds directives, EU timber regulation, Renewable energy directive, Biomass Action Plan). This results in a fragmented European forest policy regime.
The EU is a leading global producer and consumer, and also a key player in international forest politics. As a result, decisions about land-use, production and consumption, and forest governance within EU countries leave a significant “global footprint” on land, natural resources, climate, governance, and human welfare elsewhere. These external footprints, in turn, impact EU countries in terms of the overall sustainability and security of their energy, food, and resource use, and their place within the geopolitical world order.
The most pertinent trade-offs between different ecosystem services, as explored in the socio-economic and geo-physical analysis, are given in Table 4. It appears that the most important is balancing concerns the competing land use interests of the material use of timber on the one hand, and biodiversity conserva tion, use of wood for bioenergy, and recreation on the other. In certain localities, demands by agriculture, water management, carbon sequestration, and human infrastructure must also be discussed and balanced with forest management. Forest modeling research confirms that important trade-offs and synergies between different forest goods and services exist in all landscapes. A recurrent theme is that more intensive wood production tends be in conflict with biodiversity in the landscapes.
Table 4. Main trade-offs between ecosystem services derived from case study analyses in different countries
Generally speaking, scenarios were used to depict and describe a spectrum of possible future developments. Starting from a more or less ‘known’ situation in the present, the space for alternative developments opens up and the more uncertain we are about how things will develop the more we move into the future. Given trends change their shape and even the factors that proved decisive until now might change their direction or lose their importance. New and unknown influences appear and change the system under examination. To systematically think of the interplay of influencing factors in a given system is only reasonable when these factors will also be of importance for the development in the future. So, the basic assumption of scenarios is that the factors that drove the development so far will also form the underlying structure for the future development. The constancy of structure over time is the basic assumption of the explorative scenarios developed in INTEGRAL.
The account to follow is to focus on a few of those questions that one confronts with the material from INTEGRAL. The first one is (others indicated in the running text):
Which drivers (factors) have the highest influence on future forest development as well as management in Europe?
Altogether, i.e. in all case studies, there were 546 individual key factors identified in the workshops conducted in the case studies. As some of them differ only in their wording, they were grouped to 102 different categories representing the actual key factors the analysis was based on. If a key factor corresponds to more than one category, it has been assigned to all corresponding categories. Figure 7 illustrates how often each key factor has been selected depending on the forest region.
Figure 7. Frequency of selected key factors by forest region
Table 5 summarizes the most influential factors forming the scenarios according to the sum of so called active values. This means that they influence on other factors the most; they are in some sense the prime drivers of change and for crucial for the future development of the system under study. It is quite clear that from both Figure 7 and Table 5 that the factors identified as central drivers are the same as those identified in the interviews and the desk research of Phase 1.
Table 5. The 10 key factors with highest overall influence
Rank Key factor
1 Policies, laws and regulations
2 Ownership structure
3 Timber market
5 Bioenergy market
8 NWES (Non-Wood Ecosystem Service)
9 Management plans
10 Owner`s norms, values & objectives
Anticipating the future development of forest management decisions or the future development of a given forest landscape, it seems natural to focus on the factors which show the highest active values, i.e. which can be considered to have greatest influence on the future development. However, it might be the case that several of the very important factors all influence directly another factor which thus becomes an important relay variable in the system under study. These don’t have any importance if they prove to be a dead-end, i.e. if they only receive a lot of influence, but do not act on other factors themselves. However, if they have an even mediocre active value for themselves, they might become an important relay variable. These factors might go unnoticed at a first glance, so it is worth to have a look at the first order influences (Table 6).
Table 6. The influence of 8 factors (Policies to Subsidies) on 10 other factors (incl. themselves)
Rank Policies, laws and regulations Ownership structure Timber market Population Bioenergy market Climate Subsidies
1 Subsidies Policies etc. Bioenergy market Ownership structure Timber market Policies etc. Owner`s norms etc.
2 Ownership structure Bioenergy market Wood product dynamics Policies etc. Ownership structure Bioenergy market Policies etc.
3 Timber market Timber market Type of silviculture Public opinion Policies etc. Ownership structure Rural Develop-ment
4 Public opinion Ownership structure Timber market Bioenergy market Manage-ment plans Owner`s norms etc. Bioenergy market
5 Owner`s norms etc. Manage-ment plans Policies etc. NWES Timber processing industry Public opinion Forest road network
6 Owner`s economic situation NWES Ownership structure Timber market Rural Develop-ment Timber market Forest structure
7 Climate Type of silviculture Timber prozessing industry Owner`s economic situation Type of silviculture Forest calamities Owner`s economic situation
8 Bioenergy market Timber processing industry Manage-ment plans Owner`s norms etc. Bioenergy Tech-nologies Subsidies Timber market
9 Nature conservation Harvesting Technology Forest road network Population NWES Nature conservation Manage-ment plans
10 NWES Owner`s economic situation Owner’s economic situation Timber processing industry Owner`s norms etc. NWES Ownership structure
• The key factor ‘Policies, laws and regulations’ influences ‘Subsidies’, ‘Ownership structure’ and ‘Timber market’ above all else but the span of the cumulated influencing active value between rank 1 ‘Subsidies’ and rank 10 ‘NWES’ not high.
• ‘Ownership structure’ acts notably on ‘Policies, laws and regulations’, ‘Bioenergy market’, ‘Timber market’ and ‘Ownership structure’. The span between first and tenth rank is slightly higher.
• The key factor ‘Timber market’ acts strongly on the ‘Bioenergy market’. Other factors, that depend strongly on the ‘Timber market’, are ‘Wood product dynamics’, ‘Type of silviculture’, ‘Policies, laws and regulations’, ‘Ownership structure’ and the ‘Timber processing industry’.
• ‘Population’ influences especially ‘Ownership structure’, ‘Policies laws and regulations’ and ‘Public opinion’.
• ‘Bioenergy market’ influences ‘Timber market’, ‘Ownership structure’, ‘Policies, laws and regulations’ and ‘Management plans’ in the first place.
• ‘Climate’ influences mainly ‘Policies, laws and regulations’, ‘Bioenergy market’ and ‘Ownership structure’.
• ‘Subsidies’ impact mostly ‘Owner’s norms, values & objectives’, ‘Policies, laws and regulations’ and the ‘Rural Development’.
Which domains (society, technology, ecology, economy, policy) are of key importance for forest development as well as management in the future?
The identified key factors were assigned to one of the so called STEEP categories (Society, Technology, Economy, Ecology and Policy). The results show that the domain ‘Policy’ contains the highest number of key factors, followed by the domains ‘Economy’ and ‘Society’ (Table 7). The key factor ‘Policy’ is not only mentioned most frequently in all case studies; it also has the highest overall impact as measured with active values. In contrast to frequencies, the domain ‘Society’ has the second highest impact, followed closely by ‘Economy’ on third place. In this overall assessment, the domain “Technology” seems to be of lower-ranking importance for future forest management in the 20 case study areas.
Table 7. Frequency of key factors
At what level do we find the most important key factors?
The level of influence of the identified key factors having impact on forest development and management can be assessed on the supranational, national, and landscape level. In all case studies areas most of the key factors are of the national origin which is followed by supranational and landscape level. This means that what is currently happening and what is likely to happen in the future in terms of forest development and forest management on the landscape level depends on what is decided, traded, developed and/or wanted elsewhere, and then first of all on the national arena.
Based on the results and analysis of scenarios the following poli¬cy relevant conclusions can be formulated:
• It is crucial who can decide on what and in which policy and institutional context. ‘Policies, laws and regulations’ and ‘Forest ownership structure’ are the two factors that are regarded to exert a high influence on the complex socio-ecolo¬gical system of forest management while at the same time they are open for influ¬ences by other factors. Other factors such as ‘Global timber market’, ‘Population’ or ‘Climate change’ are also important for the future forest development, but they can hardly be changed by a single policy actor or even a coalition of policy actors on the same or different policy levels. Influencing the ‘Forest ownership structure’ and the ‘Policy and institutional’ framework for forest management at European and na¬tional levels seems to be the most promising approaches to steer what is going to happen in the forests at the landscape level throughout Europe.
• The national level is the most important driver of future forest manage¬ment. Most key factors have a national background which is reaffirmed by the ove¬rall influence of factors when they are analyzed by geographical/policy levels. The national level seems to have the highest overall influence on the forest develop¬ments with quite some distance to the European and global levels and then, the local (landscape) level. In the expectations of the local stakeholders the landscape level is of the least importance. This indicates that what is going to happen in the forest landscapes and will be experienced on local level, very much depends on what is decided, traded, developed or wanted elsewhere. Therefore most ‘drivers’ of and ‘restrictions’ to the local management decisions can be assigned to national level irrespective of whether they come from the domains ‘Policy’, ‘Society’ or ‘Eco¬nomy’.
• At the same time, several similarities across countries and differences within countries as regards future forest management can be found. This puts special em¬phasis on the need for effective coordination between the national policy level and its interactions with the European and international policy levels if the overall goal is to contribute to both better implementation of policies throughout the EU.
• ‘Policy’ and ‘Society’ are the most important domains to actively shape future forest management in Europe. In the new EU member states in Eastern Eu¬rope where forestry is today more strictly regulated and public ownership prevails, ‘National policy’ seems the most decisive domain to support sustainable forest ma¬nagement. In Northern, Central and Western Europe where forestry is subject to less rigid and more open regulations, ‘Society’, and to less extent ‘Economy’, are the most important channels to steer towards sustainable forest management.
• ‘Forest owners’ norms, values and objectives’ are found to be important for what is going to happen in the forest. It does not belong to the top ten most important influencing factors, but it is regarded as being strongly influ¬enced by other factors like ‘Policy, laws and regulations’, ‘Subsidies’ and other factors that can be shaped in the future. Hence, another possible approach to actively sha¬pe the actual and future forest development is to focus on the present and future traditions and values of forest owners and forest managers that impact on the fo¬rest management decisions.
Can a given ecosystem service be meaningfully controlled by forest management, and is this different across Europe?
The different scenarios are associated with different assumptions on how forest management will develop in the future as a function of the aforementioned factors and their manifestations. A more thorough analysis of the quantitative DSS results of the scenarios reveals how management intensity and other co-variables affect the provision of ecosystem services. The focus here is to decipher how ecosystem services output depends on forest management aiming at increased/decreased production and how this could vary with European region. The simulation runs with the forest DSS provide information about the most important ecosystem services directly or in terms of appropriate indicators. The ecosystem services are here grouped subsequently (also known as the Helsinki criteria for sustainable forest management): 1 i.e. biodiversity; forest resource; production (wood); production (non-wood); protective functions; socio-economic function.
The result is illustrated by so called mosaic plots where the area of a square, or tile, in the plot represents the total amount of observations (Figure 8). Here the area is given by, for each forest region, the number of observations depending on management intensity and the effect on the particular ecosystem service under study. A scenario is termed ‘more intensive’ or ‘less intensive’ if it assumes a more intensive forest management on case study area level compared to business as usual. ‘More intensive’ means that the forest management measures are such that they often yield a higher wood production. This mainly comprises measures like increased felling budgets and rotation shortening which are often accompanied by reduced stand densities, but also indirect measures like increasing the share of more productive tree species in the course of thinning and stand regeneration. Hereby, we made no difference whether this is done evenly on the whole area or by strong treatment segregation on stand level. Besides these scenarios ‘business as usual’, ‘more intensive’, ‘less intensive’, we introduced a fourth group, called ‘near business as usual’. There, we pooled all scenarios which were not business as usual given their policy background and silvicultural details but didn’t meaningfully deviate from it in terms of management intensity. This grouping resulted in 20 ‘business as usual’, 25 ‘less intensive’, 32 ‘more intensive’, and 8 ‘near business as usual’ scenarios (in total 85 scenarios that include 5 scenarios that were not completed but were amenable to this analysis).
Wood production Forest resources
Socioeconomic functions Biodiversity
Figure 8. Treatment sensitivity with respect to ecosystem services group Wood production, Forest resources, Socioeconomic functions, and Biodiversity, respectively, in relation to deviation from business as usual (red = decrease; blue = no change; green = increase) depending on less intensive forest management (less), more intensive forest management (more), and near business as usual (nbu) for different forest regions.
The ecosystem services belonging to the group “wood production” expectedly show a strong dependency on treatment intensity in general. More intensive management leads to marked increases of wood production, less intensive to marked losses. Two exceptions become evident: In the Southern European case studies less intensive treatment leads (like near business as usual) to almost no change compared to business as usual. In Central Western Europe less intensive treatment sometimes leads to increased wood production, the reason being that accumulating standing wood volume due to less intensive treatment may, after some decades, force managers to increase their harvest even in the framework of a less intensive management scenario. In summary, wood production (market wood product provision) clearly increases with management intensity with some region-specific exceptions.
Forest Resources includes all ecosystem services relating to carbon storage and standing volume. Evidently, there is a clear trend which is opposed to wood production related ecosystem services as shown above. More intensive treatment reduces the standing volume and therefore also the carbon storage. There are, however, region-specific differences. Losses overweigh with more intensive treatment for Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Western Europe. Massive gains in forest resources occur with less intensive treatment in Eastern Europe and Northern Europe which are highly contrasting to the losses with more intensive treatment in the same regions. In Southern Europe, there is only a weak trend with no gains at all with reduced management intensity; in Western Europe, we see no trend at all. In Central Western Europe, North Western Europe, and Southern Europe, losses are also possible when management is less intensive. This may be partly due to a more complex approach towards carbon storage in some case studies, where also carbon storage in wood products was included in the assessment. Thus, forest resources are in general reduced with more intensive treatment, and less intensive treatment may lead to considerable gains in some regions.
Besides recreation and tourism the group of socioeconomic functions additionally includes landscape aesthetics and hunting. As the latter are reported from a few case studies only, socioeconomic functions and market services are almost congruent, which is also true in terms of the results we obtain for both groups. Socioeconomic functions were not investigated in the North West European case studies, and only a few indices were reported from Northern Europe and Western Europe. In contrast, a strong emphasis on these functions was made in Southern Europe and Eastern Europe. The results are quite region-specific. Less intensive management does mostly not change socioeconomic functions’ provision in Southern Europe, while in Eastern Europe it leads to no change or an increase in two thirds of the cases. In Central Western Europe, less intensive management even decreases socioeconomic functions more often than not. More intensive treatment drastically decreases provision in Southern Europe, which is not the case in Eastern Europe in Central Western Europe, intensification increased provision in more cases than with less intensive treatment. For the few cases in Western and Northern Europe treatment more intensive management leads to an increase or at least no change in socioeconomic functions’ provision compared to business as usual. In summary, there is a weak general trend that socioeconomic service provision (and therefore also market service provision) decreases with more intensive management. However, we observe strong region-specific differences which could be attributed regional forest history and societal perceptions.
For biodiversity, there seem to be two opposing trends when related to the forest regions. In Central Western Europe and North Western Europe, losses prevail with less intensive management, while no change and increase dominate in other regions. The interpretation is that the former trend is prevailing in regions, where there is a general development from not much treated forests towards more management, while the latter occurs in regions where there is a trend back from more artificial to more near nature forestry. Only the results we obtain for Western Europe are indifferent in this regard.
The previous analyses allow a generalized qualitative ranking of ecosystem service categories in terms of their sensitivity to management intensity (Table 8).
Table 8. Generalized sensitivity of ecosystem service categories to management intensity. The signs + and – indicate whether the correlation with management intensity is in general a positive or negative
ecosystem service category sensitivity to management intensity
wood production / market wood products. strong +
forest resources strong –
biodiversity strong + and – possible
non market services intermediate –
protective functions weak –
socioeconomic functions / market services weak –
non wood production / market non wood products none
Which ecosystem services are conflicting, neutral, or positively correlated?
The analysis of the DSS results above related management intensity to ecosystem services provision. The material can of course serve a comparison of how the ecosystem services themselves are interrelated. Taking a broad outlook over all cases, scenarios and ecosystem services, a prominent feature is that most ecosystem services have a positive development path rather than the opposite. For instance, in all but 6 scenarios is the supply of timber expected to increase. And this goes in many cases hand in hand with the increase of many other ecosystem services. However, interrelatedness between ecosystem services may also concern the rate of increase (or decrease in those instances). Thus there is still an issue of balancing the future ecosystem services basket.
Based on the ecosystem services’ treatment sensitivities listed in Table 8 and the detailed analyses above, an attempt is made for a qualitative summary in terms of trade-off (one ecosystem service can increase at the expense of another ecosystem service) or synergy (two ecosystem services can both increase) (Table 9). Wood production (equal to market wood products) in general stands in a strong trade-off with forest resources. In other words, it is very unlikely to have a high wood production and large stocks of forest resources at the same time. A strong trade-off between wood production and biodiversity may occur as well as a high synergy. As can be taken from Figure 8, this effect is regionally very different. Except for non-wood production (market non-wood production), where there is neither considerable trade-off nor synergy, wood production in general is in a weak (socioeconomic functions / market services, protective functions) or intermediate (non-market services) trade-off with the other ecosystem service categories when treatment intensity is changed. Apart from wood production, most other ecosystem service categories show a weak synergy with each other. Biodiversity, dependent on forest region and history may trade-off against or show synergy with almost any other variable except non wood production (market non wood production).
Table 9. Negative relationships (upper triangle, black shaded) and positive relationships (lower triangle, dark grey shaded) between the investigated ecosystem services categories.
Wood produc-tion Forest resources Socio-economic functions Biodiversity Protective functions Non wood production Non market services
Wood production strong weak strong (possible) weak intermediate
Forest resources strong (possible)
Socioeconomic functions weak weak (possible)
Biodiversity strong (possible) strong (possible) weak (possible) weak (possible) weak (possible)
Protective functions weak weak weak (possible)
Non wood production
Non market services intermediate weak weak (possible) weak
The above analysis leads to (at least) three reflections. First, the tendency to an overall increased provision of ecosystem services points to a likely increase in the importance of the European forest sector addressing sustainability concerns of the bio-based economy, and as a consequence, growing societal claims towards diverse forest ecosystem goods and services. Second, the trade-offs and synergies suggest leverage from pro-active policy and ma¬nagement approaches to strike a balance between different ecosystem services. Third, some interrelationships, and, what it seems, in particular the one between wood production and biodiversity, would demand a landscape oriented and participatory approach to adapt to the particular situation and manage the trade-offs.
What do scenarios look like?
A total of 80 scenarios were developed with between 3 and 7 scenarios in each case. Figure 9 shows a shortened example of a set of scenarios, this one from the Vilhelmina case in northern Sweden.
Scenario 1: Fade Out
During the past decades, many people have moved from Vilhelmina to cities and rural areas are sparsely populated. The public and political interest in maintaining living rural areas have diminished. Inland northern Sweden is facing hard competition from wood production in other parts of the world because of the long distance to industries and consumers combined with high transportation costs. Companies rather invest in carbon storage in the forest and in wind power. There are a number of conflicts over natural resources in the Vilhelmina area, concerning e.g. reindeer husbandry, mining, nature conservation and water power. Natural areas have a strong protection based on international agreements.
Scenario 2: Rural Diversity
Forestry has experienced a paradigm shift towards truly multipurpose forest management, grounded in both the general public opinion and in policy for natural resource use and rural development. This shift is based on ideas about leaving the city for a better life in the countryside, on sustainable use of natural resources, an increasing interest for forest ownership and on a greater degree of self-sufficiency in an economically unstable world. The forestry sector is characterized by a focus on sustainability and considerations to multiple interests on how to use natural resources. The forest resource provides a larger gain for the local community and society in general through a diversification of the output of products and services and more extensive processing locally. This leads to a positive trend where people are moving into the Vilhelmina area and small enterprises connected to nature resources are established.
Scenario 3: Reindeer husbandry
In this scenario, Sweden has signed the ILO-convention No. 169 on indigenous peoples’ rights. Strengthened rights for the Sami people have been defined explicitly, and the effects mainly concern reindeer husbandry rather than the Sami people in general. Forest management is characterised by multiple objectives and large-scale production forestry has diminished in Vilhelmina. Forest companies are focusing on more profitable short-rotation forestry in southern Sweden or abroad. In order to ensure balance between multiple interests, the Swedish state has increased their forest land holdings in Vilhelmina. Forest tourism, reindeer husbandry enterprises and small-scale forestry provide employment possibilities for a small population in Vilhelmina.
Figure 9. 3 scenarios (short version) from the Vilhelmina case in northern Sweden showing illustrations, a short descriptive text of the situation in year 30 and the development of ecosystem services until year 30
Within the overall research design of the INTEGRAL project the final part of the 3-phase project design was to identify and propose robust (policy) actions that promote integrated (i.e. a combination of ecosystem services) and future-oriented (i.e. considering the future generations) forest management in Europe. In every case there was one or more back-casting workshops organized with different stakeholders. Through them, the diversity in views and interests among the stakeholders involved in the debate on the future of forests in the different countries were absorbed. Moreover, shared visions on the future could be created, which might lead to larger support for changes needed and actions to take. More than 200 persons participated in total in local and national workshops and expert meetings.
The account to follow is focused a few of those questions that one confront with the material from INTEGRAL. The first one is (others indicated in the running text):
Future end points: What futures are desired, i.e. what combination of ecosystem services in about 30 years is sought by workshop participants?
In the analysis, ecosystem services were grouped as above, i.e. biodiversity; forest resource; production (wood); production (non-wood); protective functions; socio-economic function. The labelling of the regions is slightly different in this section, compared with above, and follows Table 10. Table 10 also summarizes the ecosystem services prevalent in the different cases.
Table 10. Overview of end points used in the case study areas (ES = ecosystem services)
Region COUNTRY CASE AREA END POINTS (# of endpoints) MEASUREMENT
Atlantic Netherlands South-East Veluwe Wood, recreation, biodiversity, naturalness, CO2 storage, fire safety (6) Relative level of ES (0 lowest, 1 highest possible level of provision)
Ireland Newmarket Timber, deer cover, deer forage, hen harrier, water sedimentation risk, carbon, red squirrel, nesting birds, ground vegetation, recreation (10) Quantitative (e.g. m3 of timber) and qualitative (e.g. scale of 1 to 10 for recreational value)
Central France Pontenx Volume wood harvested for biomass use and timber industry, carbon forests and wood products, share of attractive forest area, level ordinary and level remarkable biodiversity (8) Relative level of ES in comparison to reference situation in 2008 (Klaus storm)
Germany Munich South Wood*, CO2 storage*, recreation*, biodiversity*, ground water protection, resilience of forests, work in forest (7) Quantitative (e.g. m3/ha/yr wood production) and qualitative (e.g. scale of 1 to 5 recreational value)
Conti-nental Slovakia Kysuce Wood/biomass fuel, recreation/tourism /hunting, clean water/CO2 storage/soil protection, biodiversity/nature conservation (4) Relative level of ES (5-point scale, from very weak to excellent)
Lithuania Suvalkija Open to the participants, expressed in three ES: timber, carbon, recreation, soil and water protection, biodiversity (5) Quantitative (e.g. profit from timber supply) and qualitative (e.g. recreation grade)
Mediter-ranean Italy Veneto Firewood, biomass, industrial wood, NTFPs, hunting, shelter activities/ mountain agriculture, forest population biodiversity, land biodiversity, CO2 storage, hydrogeological instability prevention, tourist/recreational services, cultural services (14) Relative decrease or increase of provision of an ES in a 2040 scenario in comparison with the current situation (7-point scale, from much lower to much higher)
Portugal Chamusca Cord, pulp wood, maritime pine saw logs, pine cones, carbon stock (5) Quantitative
Leiria Pine timber, carbon stock, recreation area, protection area (4)
Vale de Souza Pine timber, carbon stock, pulp wood, chestnut wood (4)
Nordic Sweden Helgea Wood harvested, deciduous trees, dead wood, deciduous coarse trees, carbon, leakage of mercury, leakage of DOC (7) Quantitative and relative to BAU in year 30
Vilhelmina Harvested wood, dead wood, area of deciduous forest, old forest, carbon stock, reindeer herding areas, leakage of methyl mercury (7) Quantitative and relative to BAU in year 30
Figure 10 shows to what extent the stakeholders (in all the cases combined) would like to see a higher, lower or equal level of provisioning of the different ecosystem services considered as compared with the current situation or the business as usual (BAU) scenario outcome in year 30. The overall view is that for the majority of the ecosystem services, a higher level of provisioning is desired.
Figure 10. Desired development of Ecosystem Services over all case studies
Turning this overall picture into numbers, we have the following result:
• In 9 of 15 (3 case studies not covered in this comparison which also involved DSS analysis in a further step) the desired end point was was higher in most ecosystem services and no no decrease accepted in any ecosystem service, also termed “more of everything”.
• In 6 of 15 comparisons decreases were accepted in one ecosystem service
o Biodiversity – 2 cases
o Biodiversity and recreation – 2 cases
o Harvest – 1 case
o Harvest and carbon – 1 case
When comparing the desired levels of cases for the different European regions (Figure 11), one can identify the two regions differing the most; the Central region, with mostly higher levels of provisioning, and the Continental region, where socio-economic and biodiversity functions can continue as it is (Lithuania) or be brought – according to the stakeholders involved – to a lower level (Slovakia). These trade-offs are necessary to make the higher level of provision of the other functions possible.
Figure 11. Desired development of the ecosystem services provisioning by region
Conclusions on desired end points:
• Overall, increase in desired levels of ecosystem services provision in comparison to current situation desired
• Some regional (country level) differences seen:
o Central: all ecosystem services equal or higher level of provisioning than now
o Continental: trade-offs between biodiversity and socio-economic functions in favour of wood production and protective functions
o Atlantic, Nordic and Mediterranean: some trade-offs in some of the ecosystem services
Actions: What kinds of robust (policy) actions are to be taken in order to reach the desired future?
A total of 194 actions were suggested in the back-casting workshops. They were classified in 8 different categories, which were inductively generated (not presented in any specific order):
1) Forest management practices (e.g. setting up forest management plan, carrying out silvicultural measures, preventing forest fires, zoning activities, hunting)
2) Professionalization and capacity building of forest owners and forest managers (e.g. improving innovative and entrepreneurial attitude, knowledge improvement, training, education)
3) Institutional changes (e.g. political reforms, sector reforms, laws and regulations, ownership/tenure, cooperation and collaboration, access rights)
4) Market developments (e.g. new products, supply chain activities)
5) Societal and public awareness (e.g. education of the public, campaigns)
6) Capital and financial support (e.g. tax reductions, investments, subsidies, incentives)
7) Research and (technological) developments (e.g. ICT, Remote Sensing, genetics)
The weighted frequency distribution of the different categories of actions is displayed in Figure 12. It clearly shows that one category features prominent in the actions: institutional change (35%). A clear second, but less prominent category, is the forest management practices group of actions (18%). Together these categories capture more than 50% of the actions distinguished. Interestingly enough, the capital/financial category (e.g. subsidies, financial support) finishes last.
Figure 12. Weighted frequency distribution of robust actions per category (# of actions = 194, # of cases = 18)
Differences of categories are substantial between the European regions (Figure 13). Actions related to forest management practices are part of the robust strategies by all regions (varying between 10 and 22%), but that is where the similarities end. The Continental region (Slovakia, Lithuania) has a strategy that is strongly focused on changing the institutional settings (e.g. changing forest laws and regulations). The Central region (France, Germany) shows a very balanced strategy; encompassing different categories in more or less the same distribution. In the Nordic region (Sweden) the focus is clearly on professionalization and capacity building of forest owners and forest managers. In the Atlantic (Ireland, Netherlands) and Mediterranean (Italy, Portugal) region, forest management practices in combination with institutional change dominate. In the first case, capital/financial actions are very low, in the latter case there is especially limited attention for professionalization and capacity building of forest owners and managers. For the Atlantic region, the institutional focus is completely the result of the Irish cases, as the Netherlands did not have any action in this category.
Figure 13. : Weighted frequency distribution of robust actions per category in the different European region (# of actions = 194, number of cases = 18)
The task of the DSS analysis was to hep divicing policies that promoted achievment of the desired end point. First, a look at the cases where the desired end point represeted “more of everything” (i.e. no ecosystem service would be allowed to decrease compared to the current or the BAU situation). In none but two cases was policy actions found that would lead to such an outcome, despite the rather unrestricted nature of the policy effect modelling procedure. Instead, the proposed policy actions changed the reference provision in a way of increasing the provision of some ecosystem services while decreasing the provision of some other ecosystem services. This has two important implications. Firstly, it can be seen as an indicator that the procedure applied for inferring the impacts of policies on forest management is not as discretionary as it could be feared, i.e. wishful thinking did not prevail or was limited. Secondly, it is indicator that the forest use in the studied landscapes is somewhere close to the present technologically determined production possibilities (“more of everything” is impossible with the presently available technology). From that it would follow that in most cases there are no present policies or other socio-economic factors that hamper the efficiency of forest land use to any considerable degree. The only two cases were “more of everything” was both desired and hypothetically achieved (the two CSA’s in Lithuania) support the reasoning above; it is known that in Lithuania the legal regulations prescribe management which is considerably less intensive than in neighbouring Sweden and Latvia.
In the cases where a decrease was accepted in at least one ecosystem service compared to reference 2 of the 6 cases found policy actions that met the desired end point. Still, the rather large proportion of the cases in which this was not achieved indicates that the reference trade-offs of the ecosystem services are often determined by factors that are difficult to affect by the actions considered here.
Conclusions on robust actions:
• The focus of the robust actions is for all the cases combined on:
o changing the institutional setting (e.g. laws and regulations, changes in the sector, etc.), and
o (to a somewhat lesser extent) on forest management practices (e.g. silvicultural practices)
• There are however many differences between the European regions, and sometimes even within the European regions:
o Atlantic and Mediterranean region: actions focus on forest management practices in combination with institutional changes
o Nordic region: actions dominated by actions in the professionalization and capacity building of forest owners and managers
o Continental region: actions focused on institutional change
o Central region: diversified view
• No differences can be found between rural versus urban cases.
• A majority of cases are in a situation where no actions can be found that fully satisfies the desired end point.
Responsibilities: Who is responsible for taking these robust (policy) actions to reach the desired future?
What Figure 14 clearly shows, is that the main responsibility is put with the public entities. To gain a better understanding of these public entities, the figure shows subgroups of public entities and the share between these subgroups. Clearly, stakeholders strongly focus on the national government (almost half) as responsible to undertake actions; in second place are the forest authorities (which are in some countries part of the national government). The figure shows clearly that stakeholders see no responsibility for actions at the EU-level.
Figure 14. Share of responsibility within the public entities group for the robust actions
Conclusions on responsibilities for actions:
• Overall, the main responsibility for taking actions to reach the desired future is seen with the public entities
• The public entities as main responsible group is seen in all the regions and in all the rural-urban cases
• These public entities are mainly the national government and the forest authority, the EU is mentioned only in one case
• Actions related to institutional change and financial/capital input are almost the sole responsibility of the public entities; in the other categories also other groups have a responsibility which is in the majority cases a shared responsibility
• Independent from the share of responsibilities, the main responsibilities of the different groups are as follows:
o Forest owners: forest management practices
o Public entities: institutional change
o Private sector: market development and capacity building
o Research and development: capacity building, R&D, and society awareness
o Society: societal awareness, and forest management practices
What more general inferences can be drawn out of the back-casting material?
The results reveal common patterns across Europe despite different case studies and countries. It is strikingly evident that a combination of different forest ecosystem services and their multiple uses are desired by stakeholders in all countries.
A majority of the desired endpoints represents a “more of everything” situation and the rest accepts only reductions in one ecosystem service to achieve increases in the rest. Three possible explanations are available. One is that the questions of technological limits or production possibilities were paid little attention at the workshops. Another is that the participants were conscious of limitations but considered the current management or the management embedded in scenarios inefficient. Third, the participants somehow considered technological development as a necessary part of the desirable future. The low weight given technology as driver and the high weight given to institutional change as robust action clearly indicates a belief that management could be promoted to be more efficient in relation to the desired composition of ecosystem services.
In most of the cases it has not been possible to find policies or packages of actions that fully meet desired end points. Unless desired end points are beyond reach this observation indicates that the forest systems operate close to production possibilities. Subsequently it becomes important to face the challenges associated with managing trade-offs between multiple forest ecosystem services including for example timber production, biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and recreation.
The findings show that the future desired end points of forest ecosystem services are to be approached through a variety of actions that differs between European regions. Envisioned futures in the Atlantic and Southern regions are expected to be achieved mainly through forest management practices whereas in the Nordic region, professionalization and capacity building of forest owners and managers would be the most effective strategy to reach the desired forest ecosystem services. Institutional and policy changes were found as the most suitable actions in the Eastern region. A mix of informational, economic and regulatory instruments was proposed for the Central European region. Still, across all countries and regions, policy and institutional changes were identified as the most appropriate means to achieve future ends in terms of forest ecosystem services.
Public organisations and institutions are considered to be of key importance when addressing current and future forest management practices in all EU countries. In this context, the main responsibility for action is granted to national/federal governments and state forest authorities.
Important insights are gained concerning stakeholders’ preferences for multiple use forestry at landscape level. At the same time, our findings show no indications of preferences for multifunctionality at the forest stand level. This can be explained by expectations that multiple forest land use at the landscape level is compatible with both integrative and seggregative forest stand management approaches. It also appears that future shifts towards more seggregative landscape management are as frequent as the shifts towards more integrative. “Green” and “production oriented” scenarios were found to have relatively high proportion of seggregative forest management approaches at the stand level.
126.96.36.199 Auxiliary analyses
Three major studies were done that were not applied on case study level and, subsequently, did not follow the 3-phase study design. However, they all furnish valuable material to the case studies, bringing in a solid basis for constructing scenarios and building policy packages. Their main content is indicated here.
/Included in D3.3 and D3.4/
In today’s globalized world, a sustainable forest sector requires the integration of global with local stewardship. The above national and local level analyses of the INTEGRAL case study countries illustrate both the importance, and the complexities and trade-offs involved in any attempt to do so. Despite this complexity, it is possible to identify a number of key questions that a footprints perspective raises regarding what should be produced and consumed where, and who should be involved in making these decisions. Below are summarized a number of insights that can be gained by analyzing the INTEGRAL case studies with these questions in mind.
Who should produce forest products, where?
The case studies of the Netherlands, Italy, and Ireland serve well to highlight the issues of scale that arise in thinking about integrative forest management from a footprints perspective. All three countries have a per capita forest area of less than 0.2 hectares. If we consider that other countries, such as Sweden, are heavily forest endowed and consume only about 16% of their own forest biocapacity, and we also consider that the Dutch, Italians and Irish value their forests and rural landscapes for much more than timber, it is easily justifiable that these countries rely heavily on imports for their wood supply. However stakeholders in these countries aiming to ‘act locally and think globally’ would do well to prioritize sustainable product sourcing in ways that are coherent with efforts to conserve their local landscapes.
The INTEGRAL case studies help identify ways in which this type of global-scale integrative thinking could be achieved. In all three of these cases, there was support for some level of wood product production. This local production could play an important role in fostering ‘local stewardship’ in the form of raised awareness and local responsibility about the link between production and consumption. The proposed ‘buy Dutch wood’ policy action in the Netherlands, for example, is well aligned with this way of thinking. However, linking could also be taken one step further, if local stakeholders were to consider how the forest values they identified were impacted by their wood product imports. For example, the Italian stakeholders placed strong priority on the conservation of rural cultures, landscapes and livelihoods. This would then beg the question of whether the large volume of wood that Italy imports from the tropics, Russia and elsewhere, are produced in a way coherent with these values.
Considerations of scale in these countries also provided other, less intuitively evident insights. For example, the Irish case study of the Western Peatlands was one of the few INTEGRAL case studies to set a desired endpoint of decreased wood production. This might appear desirable from a global and national footprints perspective as well, since the region is not highly suited for timber production and peatlands offer many other forest and carbon benefits. However in this case the robust policy actions that stakeholders identified to improve water quality were predicted to yield a net increase in the volume of wood available for timber harvest. This highlights how locally integrative land use planning can identify synergies that are unlikely to emerge through sector-specific plans and targets set at international or national levels.
How much should be consumed, where?
The INTEGRAL countries of Lithuania, Sweden, and Slovakia all have per capita forest footprints that exceed per capita global biocapacity to support them. That is, it would not be possible to sustain the world’s forests if everyone consumed wood at the level of the average Lithuanian, Swede or Slovakian. At the same time, wood consumption in these countries is well within the national biocapacities of these countries to produce it. In fact, as discussed in the previous Section IV of this chapter, the fact that forests are relatively plentiful in these countries may also help explain the high levels of consumption.
Clearly the assessment of whether or not consumption is sustainable depends on the scale at which one measures it. However a holistic footprints perspective also needs to pay heed to the local context and trade-offs involved in decisions about resource use. For example, if Lithuania were to reduce its forest footprint by replacing wood with steel, cement or PVC, this could prove less sustainable from the standpoint of energy use and waste disposal. It could also change the local aesthetics and culture around wood use, depress local wood prices and incentives for active forest management, and have a range of other indirect and spillover effects. This leads to our next key theme, the issue of trade-offs.
What should be produced? - Footprint Trade-offs
Footprints thinking demands attention to trade-offs, in terms of land use as well as product substitutions. The issue of trade-offs was particularly apparent in the French and Italian case studies where there was disagreement among stakeholders about the relative priority to be placed on energy production (biomass, wood fuel) versus timber and more value-added wood products. From a global footprints perspective, it could be argued that biomass production should be a priority to the extent it reduces reliance on fossil fuels – global fossil fuel consumption is driving climate change, which is arguably the single largest human-induced environmental threat facing the planet. However, from the perspective of local stewardship, intensive biomass production is less compatible with the local values and priorities expressed by many INTEGRAL stakeholders. Many stakeholders in France and elsewhere voiced local support for longer-rotation, value-added forest production, payment for ecosystem services, and other less intensive land uses. This highlights tensions between global and local priorities and the need to navigate the question of who decides (discussed further below).
The Issue of Investment
A common theme across a number of the case studies and European regions was the desire to maintain vibrant, resident rural communities in the face of rural depopulation and/or a lack of knowledge and interest among landholders in active forest management. This highlights the social and stewardship value of rural production, and strong local desire to attract greater investment into the forest sector. It also highlights the importance of financial resources and incentives in achieving footprint goals.
The Issue of Economic Development
The emerging economies of Eastern Europe are undergoing the most rapid rise in their ecological and forest footprints. The local INTEGRAL stakeholders in this region appear supportive of these trends, with their relatively strong emphasis on increasing profits from timber production, along with improvements in governance and technical capacity to support this. The emphasis on forest zoning in this region, together with a strict separation of production and conservation areas, does not align very closely with the INTEGRAL objective of ‘integrative’ forest management. However when viewed in country context, this raises the question of how levels of economic development may shape stakeholder priorities for integration versus economic and technical efficiency.
Our examination of the INTEGRAL case studies from a footprint perspective highlights the many trade-offs involved in pursuing globally to locally coherent resource stewardship. It does not, by design, prescribe any one approach to addressing these trade-offs. Rather the goal is to make them more legible and transparent in a way that could enable stakeholders to be more aware of these trade-offs and hence make better informed choices.
That said the issue of how stakeholders should decide among themselves is itself a challenging one. The INTEGRAL back-casting efforts varied in the types of stakeholders they engaged, including a different balance of interest groups, a different balance of national to local level actors, etc. In some cases, such as Vilhelmina in Sweden, the issue of public participation was itself prioritized as a key policy action. But, other than the proposal to enforce international policy on free, prior and informed consent from indigenous Sami herders in the Vilhelmina case, none of the cases addressed how such participation should be organized or used to make land use decisions.
From a footprints perspective, it is particularly important to consider strategies for balancing interests across scales. It cannot be expected that local value-setting processes will fully accommodate global concerns, e.g. in regards to biomass production, or reducing consumption, when the benefits of such actions may be more global than local. Rather promoting sustainable resource management requires a careful balancing of decision-making across scales, sectors and interests.
Most importantly, there is a need for further attention to, and research on, the connections between sustainable production and consumption. In a globalizing world, such awareness is becoming increasingly essential for designing forest policies that are more environmentally effective, politically coherent and socially justifiable.
Report: Impact of selected structural factors on the forest-based sector in the European Union
/To be found on the project homepage http://www.integral-project.eu/; references removed and found in the report/
Overview of EU policy and socioeconomic factors of forest management
The study provides an overview of changes of selected structural factors at the EU 27 and (if reasonable) global levels that have affected the development of the forest-based sector in Europe over the last six decades (if reasonable). Due to the fact that the European Union has undergone several enlargements in the last 50 years, the provision of systematically collected statistical data based on standard definitions was often not possible for all EU member states. In these cases, the data are limited depending on availability. The main aim of the study is to supplement the findings of the case studies at the landscape level and to identify and describe the relevant consequences of demographic, economic, technological, and political development, forest-related discourses and changes of the ownership structure and perception of forests by the public on forestry and forest-based industries at the macro level.
Demographic changes that affect forestry include primarily changes in population size, composition, structure, and distribution. More detailed, the following tangible critical factors have been identified: population growth, ageing, international migration, and rural-urban distribution (especially internal migration). Europe´s population has grown over the last 60 years, having the strongest annual population growth (over 3 million persons) in 1960. Since then, the rate of growth has slowed. The developments in EUs population composition are predominantly determined by natural population change and migration. The natural change has remained low over the past 50 years, showing a declining trend, whereas migration (especially labor and student migration and refugees and asylum seekers) has become the main driver of population increases in the past decade. The rural population share has been falling continuously in the EU 27 since 1950; in 2011 about 56 percent of the population lived in rural areas, which cover 91 percent of the overall territory. Demographic changes have a slow dynamic influence on forest management practices and long-term transformation of wooded landscapes, and work through “mediating factors,” such as geopolitics, markets, climate change, or technology.
International migration reinforces existing urbanization patterns, as most immigrants tend to settle in urban areas. The major trends of internal migration over the past 60 years are the movement from rural to urban areas and counter-urbanization. Migration of young working-age people from rural to urban areas has led to land abandonment followed by natural afforestation of agricultural areas in many European countries (e.g. in the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Romania, Portugal and Spain). The extensification of agriculture and industrial forestry as a consequence of the depopulation of rural areas can be found in other European countries (e.g. in Central Sweden, Eastern Finland, Eastern Germany, Italy, Hungary or Eastern France). Increasing urbanization has in turn accelerated the establishment of urban forestry and the subsequent development of corresponding new forest management practices. The main functions of urban forests are usually limited to protection, recreation, and nature conservation, while productive functions are mainly of secondary importance. On the other hand, in the 1970s, some urbanized regions started to experience a population turnaround and urban decline. This so-called counter-urbanization is defined as population flow out of urban areas and into accessible rural areas (made possible by new transport and ICT infrastructure), contributing to countryside gentrification and regeneration of rural areas. This trend, started in the 1970s, can be observed particularly in older EU-member states (e.g. France, Spain, Italy and UK). Demographic changes are also widely recognized as key drivers for wood consumption and markets for forest products and services. Both population growth and ageing affect forest product markets, as total population growth causes increased demand for timber, fuel wood, and other forest products and forest services. On the other hand, changes in relative affordability may lead to changes in the composition of consumption. In general, in many of the wood product markets, market shares have been stable or increasing in the past decades. However, in recent years, the economic and fiscal crisis has worsened the competitive position of wood-based industries in Europe. Population ageing induces the emergence of the so-called “silver economy” – “when the growing share of gray-haired elderly with strong purchasing power becomes major actors in the economy”. FAO outlines “a historical trend towards greater public interest in forest services” that is likely to grow as the population ages, becomes wealthier, and demands more non-wood forest services (e.g. recreational services). The increase in the number of people of older age groups clearly affects residential construction, resulting in declining demand for new housing. Similarly, the growing number of households in Europe (due to changing family structures and family lifestyles enabled by an improving economic situation after 1950) cause growing demand for housing and furniture.
Public opinion and discourses
Since the ‘argumentative turn’ in social and political sciences, it has been widely acknowledged that ideas and discourse are just as relevant in political processes as actors, institutions, and interests. Despite many attempts to create an international (and European) legal framework for forests, no agreement has been reached thus far. Moreover, the word “forest” is not integrated in the titles of policy plans and programs dealing with forests. The semantic change as well as discursive shift, which also occurred on the level of European member states, has gone hand-in-hand with policy changes and focused attention on biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development. Further sectors in Europe, as well as their respective policies and discourses, have had a continuous influence on forests (e.g. environmental policies like Natura 2000 and rural development policies).
The process of societal development within a region, country, or on a broader international level is often accompanied by social research in order to consult and to consider the society at large in the decision-making process. In particular, within the topic of the environment and management of natural resources, attention is devoted to participatory elements (e.g. 1992 Rio Declaration or Aarhus Convention 1998). The bottom-up approach therefore plays a significant role with regard to the concept of sustainable forest management, including ecological, social, and economic needs of society. In this context, studies conducted on the public’s perceptions or opinions are of relevance since they analyze the public’s values, preferences, and wishes. Four comprehensive studies on public opinion have been conducted on a broader European level in the past decade. The first study, “Perception of Wood-Based Industries”, sought to analyze and understand existing perceptions and identify how forest industries are perceived by the population of the 15 “old Member States” of the European Union. The most complete work summarizing social forest studies in the European Union was conducted by Rametsteiner and Kraxner in 2003, and included 47 representative surveys from a majority of all European member states (“Europeans and Their Forests”). The study “Europeans and wood” followed four years later, followed by a synthesis of the work “Shaping forest communication in the European Union: public perceptions of forests and forestry” at the end of 2009. Due to varying methodological tools questions, and criteria that were used in these four studies, an accurate, precise, and fully detailed summary has not been possible. Nevertheless, some of important findings of the four studies are summarized below.
The topic of forests evoked emotive reactions from many European citizens. Particularly in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Austria, forests and the forest industry are among the most important sectors of the economy and society. The public’s perception of the role of forests has been changing in other European countries: the example of France reveals that while forests seem to be losing their prominent socioeconomic role, they are growing in importance in the fields of ecology and the environment. In this context, and on a broader European level, the environmental functions of forests are perceived as being more significant (and are also more known) by the public than the economic ones. The most important function of forests is therefore thought to be conservation and protection. In this context, a link to the 1980’s, when forest dieback was the main concern in Central Europe can be established. In the UK, the public is increasingly sensitized towards forests and forestry issues, which are perceived as having a growing media presence over the past years. However, there is an issue to be aware of: the European public rates its own knowledge about forests between good and very good, although only in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Austria, Germany, and the UK does the public in fact have good knowledge of these issues. Moreover, different forest-related issues such as forest resources, biodiversity, forest use, wood production, and sustainable forest management were mentioned within the reviewed studies in relation to the topic of climate change. Therefore, the role of forests in global climate change was considered by the general public to be among the most important ecological functions. Only the issue of conservation of biodiversity was ranked higher. This perceived (and actual) correlation and increasing significance is revealed in surveys conducted in the UK: over a five-year period, awareness of forests and forestry’s connection to and role in tackling climate change increased. Moreover, densely forested areas are thought to be preferential with regard to the impact they have on climate change. Generally speaking, however, the European public was rather ambivalent in supporting the opinion that using wood helps to mitigate climate change. The majority of the English, Scottish, and Welsh public thought that using wood for fuel might even accelerate climate change, although with lower intensity than fuels such as coal and natural gas.
Economic and technological developments
Economic and technological developments significantly affect the provision of products which are obtained from forest ecosystems. Since wood-based industries in Europe have experienced the same increase in direct and indirect independence of economic activities as all other globally operating industries, a global view was chosen for the analysis of the main products, markets, and producers in the last 6 decades. In this period, production in forest-based industries grew fairly steadily, although considerably slower than overall production as measured by GDP. The biggest shifts in production and consumption occurred after 1990 in association with, first, the transformation in Eastern Europe and, second, the economic rise of China. Production as well as consumption declined considerably in Eastern Europe which was and still remains one of the major wood producing areas in the world. China, however, which was still an economically minor power in 1990, grew to become the second biggest economy in the world. Its forest- and wood-based industries grew accordingly, although primary wood production in China is still comparatively low due to few natural wood resources. Both of these developments caused substantial changes in global trade patterns in wood and wood-based products.
Until now, the big wood producing countries in the developed world, as well as Russia, exhibit growing forests with increasing wood densities. These countries are also the major producers of industrial roundwood and further processed wood products. In contrast, most tropical countries exhibit decreasing forest areas and densities. The main forest product in these regions is fuel wood, which is almost exclusively consumed locally. Even though total wood removal in these countries is as large as in the developed world, its respective economic value represents only a negligible fraction of the economic value of wood removal in developed countries. This might change in the future, when these countries’ economies reach the level of today’s middle per capita income countries – similar to the development in China.
In Europe, development of the fuel wood sector might influence forestry and wood processing industries in the future. During the 2000s, growth in fuel wood production and consumption reached heights not foreseen in previous decades, primarily because of the presumed carbon neutrality of wood as fuel compared with fossil fuels. Given the increase in price of wood residues in Europe, it is not clear if this trend towards increased usage of wood fuel will be maintained in the future. Up to now, EU 27 countries followed policies to increase the share of wood as a renewable energy source. Trade-offs between forests as sources for fuelwood and as carbon sinks are already recognized as well as the competition between material and energy uses.
In general, advances in technology such as mechanization of harvesting operations have led to increased productivity and efficiency of wood processing and a consequent reduction of the workforce required for such tasks. The growing competition for wood as a raw material has accelerated the development of techniques that enable diversification of input materials for processing. In the pulp and paper industry, for example, the supply of virgin fibers have started to shift from northern European and northern American countries toward countries of the southern hemisphere, partly because modern techniques have allowed better utilization of hardwood fibers. The utilization of recovered wood and fibers has been significantly increased due to improved collecting and sorting systems and treatment technology. However, at the same time, there is growing competition for these materials with the bioenergy sector. Since pulp and paper production is highly energy- intensive, scientific and technological research have concentrated on increasing energy (and material) efficiency. Due to increasing awareness for environmental concerns of customers and reflected in policy regulation, the reduction of negative environmental impacts of processing has been another focus of process development. The industries in the forest-based sector have increasingly made use of enabling technologies (ICT solutions or industrial biotechnology techniques), but radical innovations usually have taken place outside the sector. The better integration of enabling technologies into the production of value-added products still remains a challenge.
Forest ownership structure and tenure arrangements
An understanding of different tenure arrangements in the EU 27 is essential for the sustainable management of forested landscapes. It is a prerequisite for avoiding and resolving tenure-related conflicts and is important as a basis for policy formulation related to the social and economic elements of sustainable forest management. Despite the relevance of forest tenure for all involved actors – governments that seek to promote sustainable forest use or combat illegal logging; local communities which want legal recognition and broader political participation; private industries requiring reliable sources of timber and fiber; or environmental NGOs that seek conservation – there is still a lack of comprehensive data and information on the past development and current state of the forest tenure situation in the European Union.
The EU’s forests vary from small private to large state forests, and from small family owned holdings to large estates owned by companies, many of which are used as part of industrial wood supply chains. Generally, the number of holdings of forest and other wooded land in private ownership is much higher than that of public holdings, and the average size of public forest holdings is considerably larger than the average size of holdings of those in private ownership. Ownership of forests might influence forest management, environmental performance, and the production of timber and other forest products and services. How the size and ownership of forest holdings influences forest management on the EU 27 level has not yet been investigated, but there is evidence on the global level that private forests provide more market-based goods such as timber, while public lands produce proportionally more fuel wood and multiple-use goods and services. The privatization of formerly state-owned forests and other wooded lands (e.g. as part of the transition process in countries formerly under centrally planned economies) is often associated with the fragmentation of forest holdings. Currently, throughout the EU 27, private forest ownership is mainly characterized by small-scale forest holdings, and the number of small forest owners has been increasing in recent years. These forest owners are a very heterogeneous group with a wide variety of goals regarding ecosystem services. There are an increasing number of “new” or urbanized forest owners in the EU 27 that no longer live close to their forests and do not have adequate knowledge of forest management. Recognition of the ongoing process of fragmentation of forests and other wooded lands has in recent years led to several private forest owner typologies, which have been built to account for diversity and reveal their relationship. For example, Mutz identifies the following types of forest owners in Germany:
• the economy-oriented forest owner (importance of economic aspects, like preservation of capital, revenue, etc.);
• the ecology-oriented forest owner (important to own, shape, and use a piece of nature; mostly less profitable forests);
• universally oriented forest owner (equal importance of economic and ecological aspects).
An increasing number of surveys on small-scale private forest owners have been conducted in the last two decades throughout Europe. Fragmented forest ownership has been identified in the social sciences and forest policy as a challenge in increasing mobilization of wood from forests. The fragmentation of forest ownership is an important obstacle to innovation, as analyzed in the report Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Forestry in Central Europe by Ewald Rametsteiner and Gerhard Weiss, and may represent a potential problem to sustainable forest management, especially when it comes to maintaining a certain level of production and employment.
Forest policy regime
The responsibilities for forest policy within the EU lie with the Commission (DG Agriculture, DG Environment) and its Inter-Service Group on Forestry, in the Parliament and its respective Committees and Intergroups, in the Council of Ministers and its Council Working Party on Forestry, and in the Standing Forestry Committee representing the forestry administrations of the EU member states. There are several European forest-related interest groups, including the Confederation of European Forest Owners, European State Forest Association, the European Federation of Municipal Forest Owners, the Union of European Foresters, the European Network of Forest Entrepreneurs, Prosilva Europe, FERN and other European eNGOs, the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries, and the Confederation of European Paper Industries.
These stakeholders support and participate in EU forest policy processes through the Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork under the DG Agriculture and Rural Development, the Advisory Committee on Community Policy Regarding Forestry and Forest-Based Industries (ACCFF) under the DG Enterprise and Industry, or the “Habitats” and “Ornis” Committee. The European forest owners' movement and individual member states (Austria and Finland), as well as the European forest industry (esp. CEPI), are seen as very important actors in influencing the establishment of some form of formal forest policy. Forestry and forest-based industry actors also use the EU’s instrument of Technology Platforms to wield influence. Environmental institutions and NGOs are thought to be rather strong at the EU level. A prime example is Natura 2000, where environmental NGOs successfully used their influence.
Forest policy coherence
Beside forest policy itself, there are several different forest-related measures that result in a fragmented EU forest policy, namely in the fields of agriculture and rural development (CAP), environment/biodiversity (e.g. Natura 2000, Water Framework Directive), energy/climate change (e.g. Biomass Action Plan, accounting rules on greenhouse gas emissions and removals), and industry/trade (e.g. Timber Regulation, procurement policy). The different policy measures are partly incoherent both within forest policy itself and between the different forest-related policies, resulting from regional, social, ecological, and economic differences, lack of interest, and institutional competition, among others. The first forest-related policy measures – mainly under the CAP – were developed unsystematically between 1964 and 1988, and a more coherent approach with featuring the first forestry action program was developed between 1988 and 1992. EU forest policy entered a more ambitious phase after 1992 with the strengthening of forest protection measures, the establishment of aid schemes for forestry, and other forest-related policies.
Since 1998, there have been initiatives for a more coordinated EU forest policy through the EU Forestry Strategy that advances the application of Sustainable Forest Management, the multifunctional role of forests, and the principle of subsidiarity. The EU Forest Action Plan from 2006 aimed at transforming Forestry Strategy into a dynamic process, and building a framework for joint activities mainly in the fields of coordination, communication, and research. However, these were perceived as political compromises with rather little impact. In 2010, the Commission published a Green Paper stressing climate change and forest protection issues as well as the need for better forest information. The Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe that has developed different pan-European (legally non-binding) guidelines, criteria, and indicators for sustainable forest management since 1993 launched negotiations in 2011 on a Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) on Forests in Europe. The ratification process is expected to take place in 2014. In conclusion, dealing with forest issues within established EU policy frameworks is a challenge, especially when considering responses such as regulation, framework-setting or voluntarism, and policy instruments.
Report: Societal transformation and the private forest sector. Insights from Bulgaria, Lithuania, and the Slovak Republic
/To be found on the project homepage http://www.integral-project.eu/; references removed and found in the report/
With the breakdown of the former Eastern Bloc and the collapse of the Soviet communist system in 1989-1991, an intense debate about transformation processes evolved in the 1990s. The momentous changes were triggered, at least in part, by “the economic failure of central planning”. The transformation of socialist economic systems to democratic, market-based economies has been a task not only economists and politicians were relatively unprepared for. There was a wide consensus concerning the components and institutions necessary for an efficient functioning market economy. How-ever, there was much disagreement about the course of individual steps to be taken as well as the speed of stabilization, liberalization and privatization processes.
After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, western scholars were asked to help transform the newly industrializing countries into productive market economies. A problem was – and still is – the “lack of a disciplined language” (Ostrom 2005: 181: Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press). “[Instead] of an open, competitive market, the rules proposed by policy analysts generated commercial monopolies, massive corruption, and little economic growth. […] [The] recommendations of policy analysts were accepted and yet did not produce the predicted results.” (ibid.) According to Ostrom, this was partly due to slogan words such as “decentralization” and “privatization” that were used without specific rules.
The forest sector is but one sector that has been affected by the transformation process in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). This study will give an insight into the trans-formation process, focusing on the privatization of forests in three post-socialist countries, namely Bulgaria (BG), Lithuania (LT), and the Slovak Republic (SK). Despite the importance of institutional factors like forest tenure and forest ownership, these factors have only recently received the attention of the European research community, and there is a lack of available information and data as only few countries keep accurate tenure data. These issues are addressed within the project Future-Oriented Integrated Management of European Forest Landscapes (INTEGRAL). The study shows how private forest ownership emerged in CEECs after the collapse of the Soviet communist system and how new modes of ownership (like private ownership) developed in Bulgaria, Lithuania, and the Slovak Republic. It will help to understand who the new forest owners are and what main challenges they are facing.
The overall transformation process in Central and Eastern European Countries after the collapse of the Soviet communist system in 1989-1991 and its interplay with the economic, political and social sector is well documented, but impacts on the forest sector are rarely analyzed. Besides, forest tenure and data about forest ownership and management status are very contextual, as national and local laws use unique terms and rights. This study will show that the transformation process has an impact on the private ownership structure of forests.
Pistorius, T.; Schaich, H.; Winkel, G.; Plieninger, T.; Bieling, C.; Konold, W.; Volz, K.-R. 2010: Making multifunctionality marketable? A comparative analysis of the current international debate on forest ecosystem services and the historic German debate on forest functions, with a special focus on REDD+. Conference paper, presented at scientific conference during CoFo, FAO, Rome.
De Groot, R.S Wilson, M.A. and Boumans, R. 2002. A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services. Ecological Economics 41 (2002) 393–408
Robinson, J. 2003. Future subjunctive: backcasting as social learning, Futures 35(8): 839‐856
4.1.4 The potential impact, main dissemination activities and exploitation of results
The intended impact of INTEGRAL was to foster a change in the management of forested landscapes in Europe towards a more integrated approach based on proactive and comprehensive consideration of trade-offs and synergies between environmental, socioeconomic, and political aspects in time and space. By developing and testing the methodology and techniques of this concept through relevant interdisciplinary knowledge and transdisciplinary experience within the INTEGRAL research, integrated forest governance processes were supported. The members of the Scientific Advisory Board assessed INTEGRAL impacts as unique case of large-scale “laboratory experiment” with potential great impacts on both scientific community and practice. However, the project’s entire impact on both scientific community and forest policy and management on the ground will take time that goes beyond 2-3 years of research. The rationale is that scientific impacts usually are delayed by few years before scientific papers are published, assimilated and discussed. Regarding practical impacts, changes in mind-sets and practices, as the INTEGRAL research itself shows, takes usually more time, usually 10 years and even several decades. This is as policymakers and practitioners usually stick to the status-quo as well as to their pre-existing beliefs, vested interests and traditions. It hence remains to be seen, how the INTEGRAL methodology and ideas will unfold and impact on science and practice in the coming years. What is clear is that INTEGRAL has initiated a large-scale societal discussion about further improvement in the way forests are managed today. Furthermore, many local, national and EU experts found the INTEGRAL methodology very interesting, helpful and relevant for their daily strategic and operative work. All of this is an important precondition to expect promising policy and behavioral changes in the future. What counts is to continue the discussion and experimental process beyond the 4 year time, probably by focusing more on demonstration and implementation activities. The latter however go beyond the scope of INTEGRAL activities.
In the following, an assessment of the outcomes of the project in the sense of direct benefits for defined target groups, in connection to the concrete outputs, is given (for details se 4.2 “Use and dissemination of foreground”, 4.3 H “Use and dissemination”, and, 4.3 I “Media and Communication to the general public”). As target groups, a) regional forest owners, managers and stakeholders, b) (sub)national forest related policy makers (government, parliament, civil servants, associations), c) EU policy makers (European Commission, European Parliament, other EU forest-related institutions, associations FERN, EUSTAFOR, CEPF and their members and partners) and d) the related scientific community can be distinguished.
This is in line with the INTEGRAL communication and dissemination. Each of the target groups in policy, science, economy or civil society has received tailor-made information materials according to the respective main interests. On this basis, most of the deliverables have been spread to specific target groups.
For communication and dissemination tasks, the following target groups were distinguished:
1. Government and public authorities (relevant ministries and other public authorities; inter-institutional networks/associations)
2. Professional organizations (industry organizations, employers association and trade unions, enterprises and other organizations with an economic interest)
3. Research and academia (universities and R&D organizations, technology platforms, think-tanks)
4. Civil society (NGOs, environmental associations and other interest groups not under 2.)
5. Practitioners as forest owners, forest and environmental managers and certifiers
6. Media and opinion leaders as TV, internet, newspapers, bloggers.
In order to collect assessments as regards the gain and added value of the research work, an online survey was conducted amongst the INTEGRAL consortium in June 2015 (project month 44). While everyone in the consortium agreed that the research design was complex and demanding around 82% of all respondents thought that the applied approach was worth the efforts. That is, the complex and demanding research design led to new insights and results that justified the time and resources invested. A major finding of this survey is that regional stakeholders and political decision makers at national level are considered as the target groups that are supposed to gain the most from the research conducted in the second research phase (scenario-development). Members of the INTEGRAL consortium considered scientists as a target group nearly as relevant, too (see Table 11).
Table 11. Answers of the INTEGRAL researchers to the question „Who could be the users or addressees of the scenarios which have eventually been produced in Phase 2? This question refers to the value of the whole procedure.” Note: multiple answers were possible.
Scientists 29 14,9%
Individual forest owners 15 7,7%
Regional decision makers 32 16,4%
Decision makers in state forestry 23 11,8%
Politicians and decision makers at national level 31 15,9%
Politicians and decision makers at EU level 20 10,3%
Regional stakeholders 31 15,9%
Community workers 10 5,1%
Others, namely: 4 2,1%
total 195 100,0%
In sum and in full accordance to the Description of Work (DoW, p. 58-59), the participatory research process in the case study areas gave the local actors the opportunity to improve their knowledge on their landscape and on the relations between their actions and the landscape’s ecosystem services. National, regional and local actors (i) were contacted and interviewed as regards forest management in the context of different the policy and socio-economic framework conditions; (ii) contributed to and utilized the applied forest growth model and its connected behavioural model; and (iii) participated in the scenario development and back-casting exercises. This led to a better understanding and awareness of important trends and possible changes at different levels and in different spheres (ecology, economy, technology, society, policy) that affect the forest landscape where these actors have a stake or hold an ownership. The back-casting exercise especially improved the understanding of policy effects and furthermore stimulated to take action. The case study results were also communicated to ‘higher’ policy levels, leading to a better knowledge on these interconnections and effects also among (sub) national and EU policy-makers and stakeholders.
In Lithuania, the workshops scored four points out of five; the participants were very happy with the opportunity to have an open discussion. Other INTEGRAL-teams also received „positive feedback“, e.g. in Italy and Sweden, and a „good response“, e.g. in Slovakia. In Germany, the feedback was also very positive; the mixture of the group and the variety of opinions was valued, the discussion of concrete issues and how these were connected or integrated into one result. The workshop was said to have led “to new ideas that one alone would not have thought of”. This is also what the Dutch participants experienced. Participants stated that they had the feeling “not to be powerless in face of all the uncertainties in the future”. In Bulgaria, the INTEGRAL methodology stimulated a new way of stakeholder engagement and communication between policymakers and scientists. In general it can be said that the INTEGRAL workshops have been carried out in an open and a collaborative way and valuable input from local practitioners could be received. All participants - including the research teams - have highly appreciated the process.
These inter- and transdisciplinary case studies had also effects on national or sub-national policy makers and stakeholders. For example, in Lithuania, the project helped to discuss for the first time publicly challenges of forest management, a real breakthrough in the forest policy process. In the Netherlands, a ministry adopted the back-casting methodology for own projects. In Germany, the modelling approach gained wider application due to the efforts within the INTEGRAL project while the futures research methodology was assessed to have a promising potential for strategic development and communication of public forest enterprises. In Bulgaria, the INTEGRAL methodology will be translated and incorporated into university curricula and practice-oriented guidelines to support strategic business development and forest policy in the country.
The INTEGRAL consortium itself represents a considerable part of the European community of forest scientists. During the whole duration of the INTEGRAL project around 100 scientists from 13 EU countries and dozens leading universities were actively involved, amongst them many professors, post-doc and doctoral researchers. Several researchers of the INTEGRAL consortium were able to use their project-related work to write a PhD-thesis and to gather international experiences. The unique setting INTEGRAL provided was a venue of inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas and joint development of new knowledge across many EU countries, contexts and cultural backgrounds. So, the influence of the research and the findings of the INTEGRAL project on the scientific community in Europe have been of direct and great significance.
What is more, INTREGRAL has made a direct impact on the broader scientific community outside the project. A variety of scientific publications and presentations has been elaborated during the project’s life time. The diversity of the different fields of science represents the complex interdisciplinary research conducted within INTEGRAL. INTEGRAL scientists are producing more than 110 peer-reviewed scientific publications in highly rated journals such as “Forests” or “Land Use Policy” based on the research findings in INTEGRAL. Out of these, 35 were published at the project ending date. The majority of the remaining publications are submitted and yet a few others are under writing. Two special issues in high impact journals in the main domains of research and practice relevant to INTEGRAL research have been initiated and peer-review and preparatory work are progressing. These leading journals are “Land Use Policy” and “Forest Policy and Economics” whose target audience are scientists, practitioners and decision-makers. The maintenance of the project website for at least one year after the project closure ensures further access to comprehensive information on the project findings such as the scientific reports and the target groups specific policy documents (policy briefs and the European Policy Paper). Additionally, more than 200 dissemination activities were registered. Lists of publications and dissemination activities are included in the third periodic report.
Newsletters & Policy briefs
As a regular source of information on the project progress, seven newsletters were released during the project implementation in order to address policy makers at European, national and regional/local level, practitioners, forestry associations and employee representatives, the civil society, and research and academia. The newsletters were published in May and October 2012, April and October 2013, October 2014, April and October 2015. The newsletters informed about the latest project findings, scientific articles as well as about events which were organized within the project. In order to ensure that the newsletters reach a broad audience, they were distributed via email by using the contacts in the frequently updated target group database and additionally, they can be downloaded and subscribed on the project website. More than 800 persons representing policy makers and relevant stakeholder organisations at the local, national and EU level received the newsletter issues. Furthermore, three project flyers, three project fact sheets, press releases and posters were delivered by WP 4. The printed dissemination materials were used in the case study workshops and other occasions like conferences in order to provide a first overview about the project goals and activities and awaken interest also for the future results.
The general purpose of policy briefs is to outline a particular policy and management issues and suggest alternative or course of action in the context of a current policy debates. In INTEGRAL, the briefs focused directly on providing sound analysis of the issues at stake and suggesting arguments and ideas for the adoption of solutions and alternatives for addressing the issues (researchers as “advocates”) based on the project findings. The goal of the policy briefs was (1) to convince the target audience of the urgency of the current problems and (2) suggest the adoption of preferred course of action and therefore, act as an impetus for action and change. The policy briefs were published and distributed after completion of each research phase and were targeted at policy decision makers, forest owners and forest managers, and stakeholders at EU, national and regional/local levels. Additionally, they were used to support broader advocacy initiatives targeting also administrators, researchers, journalists, and diplomats. A total number of four policy briefs were generated by June 2013, May 2014, July 2015 and October 2015. They were/are distributed both by email using the target group database and made available on the website. They also are used as information material by external- and open-project events. The non-academic partners representing stakeholder organisations and an environmental NGO have supported and/or commented the development of the policy briefs to make sure that the addressed issues meet the actual information demands of policy makers and stakeholder groups. Still, the final responsibility for the content and ideas of the policy briefs remained with the responsible scientists. Both aspects secured policy relevance, validity and credibility in the communication of the main INTEGRAL research findings and ideas.
Additional activities on EU policy level
On the EU level, a science-policy dialogue was uphold to inform relevant decision making bodies and stakeholder groups about the policy-relevant project outcomes on a regular basis and get feedback on the latter. The main project partners responsible for the active dialogue with European decision makers are the scientific coordinator and the overall coordinator of the project, supported by the leader of WP4 and the non-academic partners. Different dissemination materials, in particular the policy briefs have facilitated the provision of targeted information. In addition, personnel face-to-face meetings, oral presentations to EU policy makers and stakeholder workshops took place throughout the project implementation. An important dialogue platform to discuss the main policy-relevant project outcomes outlined in the draft EU Policy Paper was the closing conference of INTEGRAL (June 2015).
On 27 September 2013 Ola Eriksson, Project Coordinator, and Metodi Sotirov, Scientific Coordinator, presented the INTEGRAL project to the Standing Forestry Committee (SFC) which is composed of delegates from the EU Member States and the Commission services responsible for forestry matters. Following the presentation the SFC members stressed the importance of the case study and foresight research in INTEGRAL and discussed in particular the possible policy implications from the project results. The Commission suggested and partly implemented already the possibility to use the INTEGRAL methodology in its further work on green infrastructure, assessment of forest ecosystem services, and evaluation of sustainable forest management on the ground level in member states.
In order to gather feedback from stakeholders on EU level, the INTEGRAL scientific coordinator and project leader invited representatives of the European Commission, research organizations, forest-related interest groups and environmental NGOs to a workshop on forest policy in Europe on 15 October 2013. Twenty-four participants discussed the new EU Forest Strategy (adopted on 20 September 2013) and the proposed Legally Binding Agreement on forests in Europe. Valuable inputs were given on how the research findings of INTEGRAL could best support these policy developments. Most of the workshop participants agreed that the expected results in INTEGRAL could be well used for exploring future challenges and opportunities of managing forested landscapes in Europe and for making transparent existing trade-offs of diverse eco-system services. Furthermore, the project coordinator and the scientific coordinator met with DG Agriculture and DG Environment to explore and discuss possibilities to utilize the INTEGRAL approach in their work. Related to this, the scientific coordinator attended the EU Commission ad-hoc working group on “Natura 2000 and Forests”, jointly coordinated by DG Environment and DG Agriculture between 2013 and 2015. In a result, key INTREGRAL insights and suggestions were integrated into the new Guidance document on “Natura 2000 and Forests” which suggests ways and means to better integrate nature conservation and forestry for timber production through an integrated approach of Natura 2000 management in forests. On 30th April 2015, the scientific coordinator gave a key note speech to the EU FLEGT/EUTR Committee and working group which consisted of members of the EU countries and EU Commission services. This speech summarized INTEGRAL research on the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation within and beyond the EU as well its perception by various stakeholder groups and countries. This largely helped the Commission and member states in their ingoing evaluation process of the EUTR/FLEGT.
The INTEGRAL final conference took place on the 24th/25th of July 2015 in Brussels and was attended by 110 participants from 16 different EU countries and Canada. While many INTEGRAL scientists attended, about half of all participants were composed of representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission (DG Agriculture, DG Environment, DG Energy, DG Growth, DG Research), European interest group associations (CEPF, EUSTAFOR, FERN); as well as national and subnational experts and practitioners from several EU countries. During the conference, the participants caught upon the research findings and discussed the different EU forest-relevant policy areas. The conference was appreciated as a unique platform for dialogue and information exchange and managed to bring regional, national and European actors and their respective forest policy perspectives together. To share insights, leading scientists and EU policy experts gave key note speeches which stressed different challenges and opportunities of forestry issues and the integration of forest-related policies on the EU level. Key speakers were Prof. Jeremy Rayner (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), Paul Brannen (MEP), Pia Bucella (EC, DG Environment), Dr. Maria Gafo Gomez-Zamalloa (EC, DG Agriculture), Roland Beck (Bavarian Forest Administration) and Dr. Doru-Leonard Irimie (DG Research), displaying a range of perspectives and delivering an interesting input to the conference participants and debate in the panel session.
The INTEGRAL findings were presented in two ways. First, the scientific coordinator, Metodi Sotriov, and the work package leaders Ola Sallnäs, Elmar Schüll, and Marjanke Hoogstra-Klein presented the main research results of the INTEGRAL project. Second, two interactive formats were organized to exchange knowledge and experiences. The first was a “Mini Europe” session, held to present the findings of 20 case study areas from 10 different countries. The conference participants were able to attend and contribute to three out of the five country groups (Lithuania/Sweden, Slovakia/Bulgaria, Italy/Portugal, France/Ireland and Netherlands/Germany). Here, scientists held poster presentations and participants were able to discuss the recommended courses of actions in small groups. A common outcome of the case studies was that the participatory method was perceived as very useful because it gave the stakeholders of the landscape level a voice, stimulated the interaction and built trust. Results of the Mini Europe session could be feedback to the local stakeholders of each case study area. In addition to the presentation of the main scientific findings from the landscape studies in parallel sessions, particular attention was paid to the policy level during the second interactive format, namely working groups focussing on policy fields. Here, the participants attended one of eight working groups about the policy fields of Bioenergy, Nature Conservation, Water and Soil, Climate Change, EU Timber Regulation, ecosystem services and bioeconomy. Each session was introduced either by an EU policy expert and/or an author of the INTEGRAL policy paper. All groups had lively discussions and it was noticeable that several working groups suggested useful means to tackle the challenges (mainly informational and collaborative measures). In the plenary also the trade-offs and challenges were discussed, e.g. that the bioeconomy path could lead to new market power dynamics.
With its innovative, dialogue-based format and the pooling of interdisciplinary persons and contents from the regional, national and EU level, the INTEGRAL final conference can be seen as major one step into the direction towards a better multi-level coordination of the forestry sector in the EU. The follow-up activities concentrated on the rapid dissemination of the (political) conference results. Wide-ranging information is available on the website regarding the contents (presentations and documentation) and outcomes of the conference.
Finally, an EU policy paper on integrative and future-oriented forest management in Europe (deliverable D4.17) was provided by September 2015 to relevant policy makers. Its purpose is to support decision-making and policy formation for an integrated approach through profound recommendations regarding all forest-related EU policy fields (forestry governance, rural development, nature conservation, water & soils, bioenergy, climate change, bioeconomy and others). It is based on the overall findings of project and informed by contributions of stakeholders and policy makers during the working groups’ sessions in the final conference.
List of Websites:
4.1.5 Address of the project public website and relevant contact details
List of beneficiaries
N° Acronym Participant organisation name Country
1 SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SE
2 ALU-FR University of Freiburg DE
3 UNIPAD University of Padua IT
4 WU Wageningen University NL
5 LTU University of Forestry Sofia BG
6 FHS Salzburg University of Applied Sciences AT
7 UOXF.AF University of Oxford UK
8 ISA Instituto Superior de Agronomia PT
9 UNIMOL University of Molise IT
10 JRC Joint Research IT
11 TUZVO Technical University Zvolen SK
12 LZUU Lithuanian University of Agriculture LT
13 TUM Technische Universität München DE
14 FhG-MOEZ Fraunhofer Gesellschaft DE
16 NUID UCD University College Dublin IR
17 UCAPOR Portuguese Catholic University PT
18 CEPF Confederation of European Forest Owners LU
19 FERN Stichting FERN EU
20 EUSTAFOR European State Forest Association. EU
21 IRSTEA Inst. nat. de rech. en sci. et tech. pour l'environ et l'agri. FR
22 EFI Atlantic European Regional Office – EFIATLANTIC FR
Coordinator contact details
Project coordinator: Ljusk Ola Eriksso
Address: SLU, 901 83 UMEÅ, Sweden
Phone: +46 90 786 83 78
Home page: www.slu.se/srh
The public website is accessible through: http://www.integral-project.eu/
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Deliverables not available
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601
Grant agreement ID: 282887
1 November 2011
31 October 2015
€ 8 845 326
€ 6 998 601