Sustainable management of forest ecosystems for the future is becoming one of the most important, yet difficult tasks for societies due to growing environmental problems on the one hand, and increasing needs for energy, raw materials, recreational functions, biodiversity conservation and environmental services on the other. Close-to-nature forestry is one of the principal tools for bridging contrasting demands on forests. In this field Europe has a long tradition and many well-established practices. These practical examples avoid clear cutting, work with natural regeneration and natural processes in general, make use of linkages between forest climate and growing stock, and respect tree individuality and quality. Therefore, they operate with lower costs for forest regeneration and tending, exhibit less risk and more stability and flexibility, and thus they achieve reliable economic returns, which become more and more evident on the long term. Moreover, they demonstrate that conserving and restoring forest biodiversity can be combined with management for social and protection functions with the lowest possible ecological footprint. Pro Silva Europe is a federation connecting foresters, forest owners and forests representing this type of management on a European scale (www.prosilvaeurope.org).
In recent years close-to-nature forestry is becoming more and more recognised by public and NGO’s. However, the percentage of managed forests in this way in Europe is growing relatively slowly. Close-to-nature forestry is often not appropriately acknowledged by governments or included in the legislature. Moreover, in spite of documented success, close- to-nature forestry has limited support from established forestry science. This discrepancy between many excellent practices and relatively low influence on global forestry issues could be attributed to many reasons. Close-to-nature forestry is a complex management paradigm – it is not easy to communicate and support with research, it is labour and thought intensive and often considered as an obstacle for mechanisation. Nevertheless, one of the most important reasons for its slow advancement is a weak cooperation between forestry professionals, scientists, educators, politicians and public. The goal of this conference is to bring experts from different fields of close-to-nature forestry and adjoining disciplines together to discuss gaps in knowledge, means to improve information flux, as well as collaboration among science, practice, education and interested public.
Forest management of the future will be influenced by significant changes of our natural, social and economic environment. Pro Silva Europe is broadening its sphere of activities to significantly support transformation of Europe to a sustainable society.
The conference was attended by more than 120 persons. It started with an impulsive programm of presentatiosn by:
You can download all seperate presentations. The text version is included in the conference booklet.
After the presentations a workshop in three groups was started. Andrej Breznikar, MSc, Slovenia Forest Service gave a "Review of presentations and introduction to the work-shop"
Work in three workshops:
We present the resuls of the workshop groups as an impulse for the future developement of Pro Silva !
An intense conference and post conference excursion programm was offered with choices in different groups:
All details can be found in the conference booklet including all presentations and field guides !