Forest Alliance

In addition to many positive developments, the current National Forest Inventory also highlighted risks and future challenges. The BMEL is aware that there is a need for action and takes up these challenges.

To initiate the "Forest Alliance", Federal Forestry Minister Christian Schmidt has invited all interested parties to discuss the relevant topics with the BMEL in a constructive dialogue involving all societal stakeholders, to develop and assess solutions, to fund these and to accompany them with targeted communication measures. The goal is to preserve the value of our forests for society, the environment, climate, economy and forest owners for the benefit of the coming generations.

The results of the 2012 National Forest Inventory (NFI 2012) and the forecasts of the Projection modelling of forest development and timber harvesting potential (WEHAM) offer the necessary basis to enter into a knowledge-based, objective dialogue with stakeholders representing forest ownership, forestry, nature conservation, business, science and civil society.

Upon the initiative of Federal Forestry Minister Schmidt, the "Forest Alliance" is preparing a set of actions for the coming years which focusses on the forest policy priority issues of the Forest Strategy 2020 ("Forest nature conservation and biodiversity", "raw materials, use and efficiency", "ownership, labour and income") without neglecting the other issues.

Under the "Forest Alliance" the BMEL also issues invitations to different dialogue fora. Building on the results of the National Forest Inventory in early June 2015, the first event of this series looked into the subject of "forest nature conservation and biodiversity". In late November 2015, a dialogue forum was dedicated to timber as a renewable raw material, building material and energy source, and in April 2016 the third dialogue forum was held under the slogan "Forest - recreation, leisure time and health".

Projection modelling of forest development and timber harvesting potential

For the next four decades the raw wood potential is assessed at 77.7 million cubic metres solid volume per year, with the forest becoming older and stronger in volume. The results database of the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute for Projection modelling of forest development and timber harvesting potential was activated in late June 2015.

How could the forest develop in the coming 40 years and how could we use it? Under the scientific guidance of the Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems, experts from the federal and Länder governments developed a scenario called "Projection modelling of forest development and timber harvesting potential (WEHAM)".

Experts assess the average potential stocks of raw wood over the years from 2013 to 2052 to amount to 77.7 million cubic metres per year (m³/a) timber under bark or 7.2 cubic metres per hectare and year (m³/ha*a). The spruce timber species group is the biggest contributor to the timber harvesting potential (44 percent), followed by the beech (29 percent), pine (20 percent) and oak (8 percent) timber species groups.

The Projection modelling of forest development and timber harvesting potential assesses the development of the forest and the timber harvesting potential for the next decades. For politicians, associations, scientists and the forestry and forest-based industries it is a tool for checking silvicultural goals and for planning the use and processing of timber as a raw material and for investments in this area.

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