History: from Integrate to INFORMAR
EFI started working on integrated forest management in 2010 with the Integrate project, focussing on the Integration of Nature Protection in Forest Management and its Relation to other Forest Functions & Services. The geographic scope of the project was primarily the Central European region. Integrate gave scientifically based input to the discussion on the topic of ‘protection through management’ related to the forest sector. This resulted in a set of country reports and a peer review paper. the Integrate ‘book project’ (2011 – 2013), constitutes a comprehensive assessment of the latest scientific knowledge on biodiversity in managed and unmanaged forests. It aimed at providing a basis for discussion by informing the ongoing debate on how biodiversity can be best preserved in commercially managed forests of Central Europe and beyond. The book entitled Integrative approaches as an opportunity for the conservation of forest biodiversity is also available in Germanand French. The projects was supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). They were implemented by Daniel Kraus, Frank Krumm, Andreas Schuck and other team members at the former EFI Regional Office EFICENT office in Freiburg. Special thanks goes to the extensive network of experts who contributed their knowledge, experience and scientific expertise to the publications. and an assessment of the latest scientific knowledge on biodiversity in managed and unmanaged forests, summarised in the book Integrative approaches as an opportunity for the conservation of forest biodiversity, also available in Germanand French.
The success of the Integrate project elicited a follow-up initiative in 2013: Integrate+. This was a demonstration project funded by BMEL to establish a European network of demonstration sites for the integration of biodiversity conservation into forest management. It did this by building on a network of practitioners and research partners with a focus on the implementation of integrative management and enhancing transnational exchange of experiences. The main outcomes of this project were the set-up of the Marteloscope network, the creation of the Catalogue of Tree Microhabitats and, as icing on the cake, the award-nominated film Wise use of our forest: the integrative approach, now also available in German and French.
Given the extremely valuable outputs of the two aforementioned programs, it was considered crucial to preserve the knowledge gained by Integrate and Integrate+ and to maintain and expand the network of forest policy experts and forest practitioners. INFORMAR does precisely that. Apart from managing the European Network Integrate and the Integrate Practice Network, the third focus of INFORMAR lies on research on integrated forest management on a European scale, with all its challenges and opportunities.