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    FOREA – Entscheidungswege und Entscheidungsfindung in der Forstwirtschaft: Eine ethnographische Analyse zur Entwicklung von digitalen Lösungswegen

    Duration: 10.2022 – 04.2025

    Founding: BMEL (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft) mit der FNR (Fachagentur nachwachsende Rohstoffe) als Projektträger

    Contact: Max Krüger – Felix Carros

    Homepage: forea.digital

    State of Affairs

    Climate change requires a profound transformation of forest and woodland areas, the like of which has not been seen for over a hundred years: The choice of tree species has to be adapted holistically, so that forest management can be rethought, timber harvesting and logistics chains adapted, and processing operations (e.g. cutting technologies, sorting, gluing, etc.) technically converted. This will result in significant changes in the global timber market-. New approaches are needed for the wood-based bioeconomy, e.g. in timber construction, wood-based materials and wood pulping.

    At the same time, a “forest dieback 2.0” is occurring in Germany, especially of spruce forests, but increasingly also of other forest species such as beech forests. In addition to the serious ecological consequences, this is accompanied by considerable losses in the timber industry. The federal and state governments have already developed various strategies and guidelines to mitigate this problem and adapt silviculture to climate change, which are being communicated to foresters and forest owners through various channels. Ultimately, however, there is a difference between these guidelines or strategies and their implementation in forestry practice. The latter is complex and determined by different actors whose actions are in turn influenced by different sources of information and motivations: For example, there are different exploitation goals, ownership or action relationships, and interests of the private forest (which mainly but not exclusively serves the economic extraction of timber, i.e. a monetary primary interest), the publicly owned forest (which also focuses on goals such as nature conservation and tourism), as well as different forest settings (Natura2000, protection forests, protected forests, etc.). In addition, further incentives for specific implementation measures are developed, such as contract nature conservation, promotion for sustainable forest management or monetization of forest ecosystem services. In addition, there are specific local regulations and circumstances, such as local policy requirements (e.g., the importance of a forest area for tourism, certain ownership patterns, etc.), specific natural conditions, or even inclinations and environmental beliefs of the owners and responsible foresters. Based on the multitude of existing concepts, local conditions and the inherent planning uncertainty due to climate change, we would like to explore how exactly forests are adapted to climate change in practice.

    Aims of the Project

    These complex mechanics and how exactly concepts for forest adaptation to climate change are implemented in specific settings remain largely unexplored from a scientific perspective. Based on the problem described above, we aim to investigate the concrete, situated implementation of adaptation measures in different forest settings in several ethnographic studies. This consideration has two consecutive goals:

    1) to gain a deeper understanding of the implementation of climate-adapted silvicultural concepts in practice and to identify, for example, hurdles in the implementation of climate adaptation strategies.

    2) Based on this, socio-technical intervention options will be identified to improve actual forest practice with respect to climate adaptation goals. Such interventions aim to support e.g. education and knowledge, planning and implementation, policy or financial instruments.

    For these, to be elaborated dimensions, concepts for innovative socio-technical measures are then developed with the help of methodological approaches such as Design Thinking or Participatory Design. Here, digital tools take on an important role, as they support direct planning practice in the forest, improve the transfer of climate knowledge and corresponding educational measures, or provide a planning basis for additional financial incentives (e.g. profits from multifunctional forest use and thus CO2 savings or other ecosystem services provided by forests).

    Cooperations wanted

    We are still looking for stakeholders in the field of forestry. We want to find out together with you what is important for the forest of tomorrow and make sure that all stakeholders are involved. Please let us know if you are interested in cooperating with us and would like to share your experiences or participate in workshops/lectures/interviews on the topic.

    Also theses can be carried out within the project, please contact us if you are interested.