Support for Austrian forest owners in promoting biodiversity in their forests.
Forest ecosystems are hot spots of biodiversity because forests are home to the highest number of species of all terrestrial ecosystems. The increasing rate of species extinction worldwide and the inevitable impact of humans on biodiversity have increased calls for conservation, restoration and sustainable use of ecosystems. The WÖP project is therefore concerned with the implementation of measures to promote biodiversity within the framework of sustainable forest management.
Forest ecosystems are of central importance for the conservation and improvement of biodiversity in Austria, as almost half of the national territory is covered by forests. Austria is thus one of the most densely forested countries in Europe. Against this background, forest owners and managers are asked to better understand and evaluate their contribution to biodiversity conservation.
Forest management plans support a sustainable and focused management of forests according to the current state of technology and knowledge. The Forest Ecology Service Platform is therefore a contact point for forest operators, forest owners, experts and service providers and develops forest ecology planning as a supplement to the existing economic planning instruments. This is now a prerequisite for forest owners with 100 ha or more in order to maintain funding eligibility for some measures. The aim of this forest ecological planning is to promote biodiversity on the sites and to support Austrian forest owners in implementing international and national climate policy requirements.
In addition to this service for forest companies and forest owners, the Forest Ecology Service Platform also helps to promote the dialogue between forestry and nature conservation and also provides citizens with knowledge and information.
The project Forest Ecological Service Platform is a cooperation between BIOSA, Land&Forst Betriebe Österreich and Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW). BIOSA is a voluntary association of owners of agricultural and forestry land. As the project executing agency, BIOSA is responsible for the administrative and content-related project management. Land&Forst Betriebe Österreich is a voluntary association representing the interests of Austrian land managers. The aim of Land&Forst Betriebe is to create optimal economic and legal framework conditions. Their function in the project is to provide technical and practical support. BFW takes care of all forest-related issues and is responsible for the operational implementation of the agreed project steps.
Results and outputs
The establishment of a forest ecology service centre is intended to serve the restoration and optimisation of biological diversity in the long term and to promote sustainable and nature-oriented forest management. Furthermore, the platform is a contribution to international and national forest and climate policy demands and serves to increase acceptance towards planning in the area of forest biodiversity.