Session 5.1 Comparative analysis of policy-making and implementation regarding integrated forest management

Chair:

Hannes Cosyns, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Tobias Schulz, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland

TA: Sabeth

Schedule

8.30-9.45 Presentations

  1. Krzysztof Niedziałkowski: Protecting forest, animals or both? Foresters and wildlife management in Poland
  2. Klaus Pukall, (Kilian Ramisch): Changes of mountain forest policies – results of a survey in the EUSALP region
  3. Hannes Coyns, (Tobias Schulz, Gerhard Weiss, Georg Winkel): Instrument mixes for integrating old- and deadwood in managed forest: a sub-national comparison across Switzerland, Germany and Austria
  4. Agata Konczal, (Jakob Derks, Joost de Koning, Georg Winkel): What drives the integration of nature conservation into forest management? Analysis of practices and driving factors across Europe
  5. Frank Krumm, (Tobias Schulz): Biodiversity protection at the landscape level – comparing objectives, resource deployment and tools employed between forest enterprises across Europe.

9.45-10.00 Joint discussion

The literature on integrated forest governance has established that forest policy integration is sometimes successful but often remains rhetoric due to institutional and conceptional hurdles for effective policy design: policy networks often don’t connect the affected actorssufficiently, knowledge about effective conservation strategies is lacking, financial compensation schemes are insufficient or not designed for integrated approaches, etc. As a result, strategies to integrate biodiversity conservation in forest management, as included e.g. in Natura 2000 management plans, remain vague for practice and this is often why much responsibility is delegated to local foresters. A large share of the implementing actors reject forest management prescriptions that restrict flexibility, and responsibility for forest biodiversity is often assumed by public / state forests. Participation in and compliance with voluntary instruments supporting the integration of biodiversity objectives in private forests is mainly contingent on economic incentives and personal convictions. While a gap hence remains in praxis between what is formulated on paper and actually implemented in the forest, some progress can also be detected. State forest actors have differentiated old- and deadwood concepts, which include different types of deadwood and connecting elements, alternative forest management options such as “sparse forest”, the promotion of historic  types of forest or particular species uses are gaining ground, policy processes are becoming more integrated and scientifically informed and compensation schemes are being improved in some contexts. The panel will thus bring together research that compares across contexts or applications and aims at understanding better the barriers to integrated approaches in policy-formation and implementation but particularly also why innovations in that respect come about. The main focus lies on the integration of biodiversity conservation measures into the managed forest, however, we also welcome comparative research on the integration of other objectives (recreation, hunting, climate change).

Agata Konczal, European Forest Institute Bonn, Germany

What drives the integration of nature conservation into forest management? Analysis of practices and driving factors across Europe

Integrated Forest Management (IFM) is gaining attraction in Europe as an approach to combine multiple forest functions. IFM is a topical issue, but the definition varies quite a bit. While the effects of this management system on biodiversity are increasingly attracting scientific interest, the motivations and possibilities for forest managers and forest owners to actually implement IFM remain less well researched. This paper investigates the factors that – positively or negatively – influence the decisions pertaining to the implementation of nature conservation measures into forest management. More precisely, it does it by addressing the following two questions:
• How do forest managers and experts understand and practice the integration of nature conservation into forest management in different contexts in Europe?
• What is facilitating and what is impeding the integration of nature conservation measures into forest management?
Twenty-eight practical cases in nine European countries were selected in an attempt to understand and map out the current and future ecological, socio-political and economic driving forces of IFM in practice. The selected case studies cover different ownerships structures, sizes and geographical regions. By discussing the collected data, the paper aims in providing an overview of how nature conservation and wood production can be integrated in the same stand under very different conditions, and which are the main unifying factors that hamper or facilitate this evolution.

Hannes Cosyns, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research

Instrument mixes for integrating old- and deadwood in managed forest: a sub-national comparison across Switzerland, Germany and Austria

In regions where wood production plays a prominent role, forest biodiversity targets are rarely met. A well-targeted policy mix is expected to steer the balance between wood production and nature conservation, and across Europe, a variety of policy instruments have been developed with the aim to integrate biodiversity goals into forest management. In our study, we compare seven states across Germany, Switzerland and Austria in which timber production and forest recreation are of a certain importance and thus potentially compete with forest biodiversity. We focus on the integration of old growth forest features (conceptualized as old-growth islands, grouped and single habitat trees, standing and lying deadwood) into the forest managed for commodity production. Our findings show that states’ instrument mixes differ regarding type of instruments (e.g. legal securitization, compensation) and their spatial and temporal focus. Also, important differences can be identified with respect to how explicitly prescriptions for forest management are made or how clearly certain concepts (such as habitat trees) are defined. We further find differences regarding coordination of these policies across levels of government and between administrative sectors (forest and nature conservation), as well as regarding how implementation is organized. We will apply recent conceptual advancements regarding the comparative analysis of instrument mixes to expose strengths and weaknesses of the policies examined. We demonstrate that striking the balance between wood production and nature conservation requires implementing rules that foster the accumulation of strong deadwood in the productive forest without prescribing forest management practices in too much detail.

Krzysztof Niedziałkowski, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Protecting forest, animals or both? Foresters and wildlife management in Poland

Forests play a crucial role for sustaining of biodiversity, including populations of large, charismatic wildlife species. Forest managers need to balance sustainable forestry with the requirements of wildlife, managed either as game or as protected species. However, reconciling these two objectives may sometimes be problematic and can lead to social conflicts. In my paper I explore tensions connected with protecting large mammals in forests by investigating disputes over the management of three wildlife species (the moose, the European bison, and the wolf) in Poland. My research is theoretically informed by new institutionalism, particularly its discursive and historical strains, and the Advocacy Coalition Framework. Data collection was carried out between 2015 and 2019 within a larger project on wildlife management and involved desk research and 42 semi-structured interviews. I suggest that each of the analysed species involved a different dilemma for forest management. The wolf was protected in Poland since 1998, mainly as a result of the lobbying of environmental NGOs that highlighted its role in regulating wild game and reducing damage to forests. Some foresters were critical of the protection regime though and highlighted its negative effects. In the case of the European bison, the State Forest Holding had been involved in the restitution of the species and its management. In recent years, however, it became increasingly criticized by environmental actors for the lethal control of bison populations, which allegedly violated the EU Habitat Directive. The moose is a game species, but since 2001 moose hunt has been suspended and foresters are trying to restore it because of damages the increasingly numerous species does to the forests. I argue that disputes over wildlife management reveal a wider struggle for a control over institutions regulating wildlife management in Poland between coalitions of actors representing utilitarian and ecosystem-oriented beliefs and values.

Frank Krumm, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Biodiversity protection at the landscape level – comparing objectives, resource deployment and tools employed between forest enterprises across Europe.

Forests in Europe are the result of the legacy of past management. A multitude of management systems have emerged across Europe over time and with that a multitude of demands. Having a better understanding on the diversity of responses while facing similar situations and challenges is therefore of central interest. As forests have a multitude of functions, many different viewpoints and interest groups are touched by developments in forests, no matter if naturally driven or human induced.
In order to contribute to that aim the project oFOREST has inductively identified best available concepts and practice examples in the context of challenges in forest management. The selection of topics is based on key issues for a Central European perspective, many of which find correspondence or similarities also in other parts of Europe. This “Tour de Europe” presents various approaches to similar challenges and thus may serve as an input for developing, adjusting and broadening management toolboxes of forest managers. Specific attention is given to forest ownership and cultural history as they are highly diverse in Europe.
This synthesis of the oForest cases will establish opportunities not only for forest practice but also for policy makers. It helps identifying policy tools and management practices that can be assumed to be effective under similar or predicted environmental and social conditions. At the same time the comparison of cases helps identifying ineffective policy approaches due to other influences having stronger local impacts. The book will further provide a toolbox for silvicultural decision making in the European context and will reach a broad audience as it is tailored for the complete set of stakeholders.

Klaus Pukall, Technical University of Munich, School of Management, Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy

Changes of mountain forest policies – results of a survey in the EUSALP region

The EU ARPAF-Project REDIAFOR, which was initiated by the task force “Multifunctional Forests and Sustainable Use of Timber” of the EUSALP (EU-Strategy for the Alpine Region), aims to promote cooperation in the Alpine forestry sector and initiate future dialogue as a path to overcome tensions arising from divergent interests. Central work package was an online survey of 624 forestry, natural hazards, nature protection and hunting actors (response rate nearly 30%) in all 50 EUSALP regions.
On the basis of a literature review and the expert knowledge of the project partners a list of 16 policy issues was developed which are relevant in the Alpine region. The respondents assessed the importance of these issues, the quality of the existing policy programs and policy change regarding these issues.
Overall, climate change mitigation and adaptation, disasters in forests, protection forest management und hunting are evaluated as the most important issues. Regarding differences between regions and countries no clear patterns could be observed. The main exception is Italy – the issues agroforestry, non-wood-forest products and increase of forest area are higher ranked than in the other countries.
The issues of large carnivore management, nature protection, hunting and recreation are characterized by influential interest groups and conflict. Especially in Germany and Austria the high influence of nature protection actors on these topics are mentioned – in this countries nature protection actors are also seen as very important also for ecomonic issues like the profitability of forest enterprises and the mobilization of timber for the wood industry.
The issues of climate change adaptation and mitigation are hampered by a lack of political will in the view of the respondents. Good practice examples like the Bavarian „mountain forest offensive“ or a regional network actor, which brings together communities, industry and forest owners to implement climate change mitigation measures in mountain forests could be used for policy learning across the EUSALP regions.