Kitzbuehel, June 20, 2022 – “By 2030, three billion trees are to be planted in Europe. But it is not enough to just plant them – we need to protect them accordingly. With the TRICO® FORESTRY CAMPUS we therefore want to discuss solutions for a successful and holistic reforestation and sustainable forest management”, Catalina Bardewyk, Head of the Business Unit for Proprietary Biological Solutions at Kwizda Agro. The Austrian family-based company hosted the TRICO® FORESTRY CAMPUS with 67 North American and European experts from a variety of fields related to forestry including research, the timber industry, politics and forest organizations. The keynotes were given by Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, and Hans Grieshofer, Head of the Resource Policy Department at the Association of the Austrian Paper Industry (Austropapier). Their speeches as well as the panel discussions and presentations, moderated by climate expert and journalist Andreas Jäger, sparked a number of ideas and conversations surrounding the strategy of integrated reforestation. Kwizda Agro will continue to promote and expand the network created during the event to support the exchange of ideas and enable joint projects.
“The world is in danger and so are our forests. We need a collective response to the current and future challenges. That’s why we hosted the TRICO® FORESTRY CAMPUS and set the motto ‘grow together’. It’s all about using the knowledge and know-how of different stakeholders, partners and people, to connect them and develop holistic strategies and solutions for a successful reforestation and sustainable forest management,” says Catalina Bardewyk. "The discussions showed us three things: Firstly, we still think too much in silos instead of a systematic way of thinking. Second, all stakeholders have more in common than what separates them. Thirdly, the respective background of the individual no longer matters because we cannot afford not to act.”
Simard: “We need to learn from indigenous forest management practices to ensure the future of forests”
Suzanne Simard sees the need to give the different ecosystems and forests more support in adapting to climatic changes: “We need the forests to be healthy. To achieve this, we should learn from the practices of indigenous people in order to rejuvenate the forests naturally. Since climate change is happening faster than forests can adapt, we should also intervene when necessary and bring in migrated species to support the forests”. Her research findings show that leaving behind old trees, or “Mother Trees”, in forests increases the survival chance of seedlings between 10 to 30 percent. These old trees comprising the forest canopies facilitate the growth and development of the younger ones via underground networks. “Forests are complex adaptive systems with animals, bacteria, plants and people. All parts interact with each other. Keeping these relationships strong is keeping our forests resilient,” says Simard.
Successful reforestation needs a combination of measures
In the subsequent keynote by Hans Grieshofer and in the two panel discussions, Peter Mayer (Federal Research Center for Forests, BfW), Sabrina Dietz (European Association for Hunting and Nature Conservation, FACE), Florian Noll (Bavarian State Forests Company), Brian Roth (Forestry Advisor from North America), Tom Fox (Fox Forestry), Uwe Sayer (FSC Germany) and Anna Treschow (Policy Expert at the Association of Swedish Family Forest Owners) discussed measures for successful reforestation and future forests. In order to achieve healthy forests as a common goal and to contribute to the fight against climate change, the participants defined various fields of action:
Forest management: In addition to diversity and naturalness, modern forest management should also follow economic goals and ensure productive forests. The challenges in creating strategies however, are the conflicts of interest, design and objectives of the different forest stakeholders. "We have to identify and make trade-offs – and that is very often missing in the debate. We need to work together and find synergies. All stakeholders should be aware that there are conflicting goals that cannot be fulfilled at the same time," says Peter Mayer.
“It is not hunting against other protective measures, it is hunting with other protective measures,” says Sabrina Dietz on the subject of deer management. She advocates for a stronger dialogue between forest owners and hunters, as both sides are permanently engaged in protecting the forest. Some panelists also stated, that especially repellents like TRICO® contribute to a natural protection of individual trees without leaving a plastic footprint in the form of protective covers in the forest.
Scientific support: In order to build climate- and future-fit stands, foresters and forest owners need support in their choice of trees. For this purpose, Peter Mayer presented a traffic light system from the BfW. The system incorporates assumptions on the further development of climate change and facilitates the selection of tree species for specific locations. Intensive cooperation between science and applied practices was also called for by all participants.
Regulatory measures: Foresters and forest owners need more adaptable and streamlined regulations, as well as subsidiary opportunities to innovate. This would also be a solution for EU-wide policy-making and legislation that needs to address the challenges of different ownership types and sizes as well as laws and regulations. Most participants agreed that while the current EU proposals are ambitious and needed, the proposed methods and policies also create barriers and put small forest owners at risk. In addition, further discussions should be had on the conflicts of interest between hunting and forestry law.
Subsidies and other incentives: Through monetary support and special allowances, various forest services could be specifically promoted in order to create an incentive for forest owners. Incentives would make it easier to implement forest management practices in the sense of the different services of future forests and of the common good including the promotion of water quality, soil protection and biodiversity.
"Forests alone will not be able to solve all the world's problems – but they are a substantial part of them," Peter Mayer emphasized. The participants argued that carbon storage must be thought through further. After all, carbon is also stored when wood is used as a raw material in buildings or in packaging. Innovative thinking, resource efficiency and closed cycles are the most important aspects to contribute to a sustainable society.
Open dialogue: In reforestation and forest management, the interests and ideas of all stakeholders must be brought together to resolve the different areas of tension. A balance of interests, clear common goals and a coordinated approach are needed. To this end, the TRICO® FORESTRY CAMPUS was a first step to connect stakeholders and create a network for the exchange of ideas. The goal for the future is to further promote the network, to develop projects together and – analogous to the forest – "grow together".
More information, pictures and videos of the TRICO® FORESTRY CAMPUS are on the website.
About Kwizda Agro
Kwizda Agro GmbH is one of the leading suppliers of chemical and biological pesticides in Austria. Kwizda Agro is part of the Kwizda group, consisting of the business areas pharmaceutical, pharmaceutical trade, agro and sealing systems. In total, over 300 employees work at the various Kwizda Agro locations. The head office is in Vienna. There are sales locations for crop protection in addition to Austria in Hungary and Romania, and for the biocides sector also in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The New Tech division concentrates on the development and international sales of proprietary and innovative biological products for forestry as well as special crops and arable farming.
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