From the community

Training forestry professionals – the key to optimise carbon sinks trough adapted forest management

by Živa Bončina, “Forests for Future” project

The “Forests for Future project” consortium organised a series of workshops. The objective of the workshops was to educate decision makers and forestry professionals on the importance of active management in optimising the management of forest carbon stocks and adapting forests to the impacts of climate change. To this end, the project results were presented and a participatory collaboration was initiated to obtain feedback and suggestions for practical application on the field.

The “Forest for the Future” project is coming to an end. In the fall and winter of 2022, 15 workshops were organised throughout Slovenia in each regional unit and in the central unit of the Slovenian Forest Service. In total, more than 330 foresters with different profiles participated in the workshops: heads of the regional units of Slovenia Forest Service, forest managers, district foresters, as well as representatives of various institutions, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, the Slovenian Forestry Institute, etc. The main project results were presented:

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Workshop at Kras, ©Forests for Future


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Active part of workshop in Novomesto, ©Forests for Future

  • Forest sink optimisation models for three different sites (highly productive beech forests on silicate, beech-silver fir-spruce forests on carbonate in the Dinaric Mountains and in the Alps) with three different management scenarios (business as usual, carbon sink optimisation, no management). The models were developed based on forest inventory data by Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources of the Biotechnical Faculty.
  • A digital carbon sequestration tool that is already part of the toolbox for forest managers at Slovenia Forest Service.
  • Guidelines for optimising forest management for carbon sinks, which have been incorporated into the development of ten-year forest management plans for regional units. This plans present strategic legislative foundation for forest management for all, public and private forests in Slovenia.
  • Recommendations for policy makers. Various stakeholders were involved in the preparation of the recommendations. The first draft was developed based on a survey with forest professionals. It was then discussed and refined at an initial workshop in May 2022, attended by all key forestry participants and observers.

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OE Kočevje, ©Forests for Future


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Presentation of forest sink optimization models in Kočevje, ©Forests for Future

We were very pleased with the response. We raised foresters’ awareness of carbon sinks. The participants were very interested and had many suggestions and comments for practical application in the field, which we analysed and included in the project documents.

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Forests for Future