Forestry and Nature Conservation Experts Discussed the Impact of Climate Change on Forests

 The impact of climate change on Forests was discussed at the opening conference of the CLIMAFORCEELIFE project on 26 October in Bratislava and online. The conference was organized by the Slovak EUSDR Presidency and WWF Slovakia as part of the 10th EUSDR Annual Forum.

 Over 130 forestry experts, scientists, corporate and NGO representatives from Central and Eastern Europe gathered at the conference to present the latest findings about the impact of climate change on forests and showcase potential solutions. Speakers included university professors, ministry, forestry authority, EU, NGO and business representatives.

Speakers agreed that proactive forest management and active adaptation should be an appropriate solution to mitigate the effects of climate change in the forests of Central and Eastern Europe. In the applied forestry measures resistance and resilience should be the top priority. In order to prepare our forests to be resilient to climate change, forestry experts recommend the enrichment of structural diversity of forests, the current tree species composition, and the experimentation with different tree species, and, because a more diverse forest is more able to react to the challenges caused by climate change.

The conference examined the potential benefits of the different forest management techniques from the perspective of climate resilience. Shelterwood regeneration may provide better alternative to clear-cut management resulting in more resilient scots pine stands, especially when evaluating the vitality of the seedlings. Accoridng to experts, close-to-nature forest management could be a viable solution how to actually implement climate smart forestry measure requirements. It is also an economically feasible alternative to current conventional forestry.

At the conference relevant best practices were introduced on alternative silvicultural methods in pine forest stands from the Czech Republic, close-to-nature forestry measures from Slovakia, water retention measures from Hungary, potential silvicultural measures for forest adaptation from Bulgaria and different sustainable forestry examples from Romania.

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