The Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) has published the Austrian Forest Report 2023 on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management.
With a forest area share of about 48 percent, which corresponds to about 4 million hectares, Austria is one of the most densely forested countries in Europe. The Austrian forest is a true multi-talent and has an influence on all our lives with its multitude of effects. It protects against natural hazards, offers recreation and secures jobs. It provides the renewable raw material wood and thus contributes significantly to climate protection and the energy transition. As a climate protector, it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it in the renewable raw material wood, which is used in long-term wood products. This unique product and its processing secure income and jobs in our regions and are the basis for a profitable value chain.
Forests are complex ecosystems with a multifunctional character and exhibit a rich biological diversity. Of all habitat types found on the mainland, forests harbour the highest biodiversity – i.e. the highest “diversity of life”. Experts estimate that around two thirds of all native species are found in forests. However, the effects of climate change are not sparing our forests: long periods of drought, strong storms and heat waves are affecting them and making it easy for pests such as the bark beetle to multiply and attack them. We are faced with the major task of making our forests climate-ready for the future. To this end, the Federal Government has provided rapid support in the form of numerous packages of measures for forestry in recent years with the help of the Forest Fund.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management.