Project "Forest Information System Northern Alps"

The European project “Forest Information System Northern Alps” (WINALP) has adopted as its goal the generation of scientific principles for the sustainable management of, and preventative measures against, natural hazards to the environs of our mountain forests. In the context of the inter-regional collaboration (INTERREG IVA) for this project, reliable surface-area data are being recorded regarding the natural productive capacity of the high-mountain forests of the northern limestone Alps of Bavaria, Tyrol and sections of the “Salzburger Land”.  Additionally, the repercussions from climate change upon the stability and make-up of current mountain forests are being evaluated and assessed. These parameters are urgently needed for:

  • integrated protection against natural hazards,
  • targeted nurturing and development of both the mountain forests and protective forests,
  • adjustment of forestry site development and intensity of use to the natural carrying capacity of the environment, 
  • protection of biological diversity and
  • development of adjustment strategies for the anticipated climate changes.

All data collected for this project are subsequently compiled in a geographical information system and prepared in a user-friendly manner in special digital maps and handbooks, in order to be made available for forest-development planners, and forest workers, e.g. for either site-specific forest management, nurturing and maintenance of mountain forests, or for prognoses regarding the repercussions of climate change.

Project Overview

Project goals and fields of work

Project goals:

  • To make digital maps available (for the wilderness potential) for all forested areas in the Bavarian Alps and north Tyrol
  • Production of a handbook for the site-specific management, nurturing  and restoration of mountain forests
  • Establishment of a geographical information system (GIS), which allows adjustments to be made according to changed climatic conditions
  • Interface-appropriate transfer of the GIS products to forest administrations

Fields of work:

  • Erection of a GIS with high-definition geological maps, digital altitude models and climate maps
  • Definition of user requirements vis-à-vis  the information system
  • Derivation of the ecologically relevant geo-parameters for the whole project area
  • Modelling of the forest maps into scale-size 1:25,000 for the whole project area, including verification and recalibration
  • Modelling of special maps
  • Alternative modelling with climate-change scenarios
  • Development of a handbook for forest-type-specific management, nurturing and restoration of mountain forests
  • Introduction of the system into practical use, information and training of multiplicators  

Target group

The project results aid forest-development planners and forest workers, for either site-specific forest management, nurturing and maintenance of mountain forests, or for prognoses regarding the repercussions of climate change.

BayFOR as a partner

The Bavarian Research Alliance assumes the role of management with this project, thereby assuring a user-friendly treatment of the project results and their communication to the corresponding user groups.

Duration & Funding

This project was funded by financial sources from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) under the auspices of the programme INTERREG IVA – European Territorial Collaboration Germany/Bavaria – Austria.  National co-financiers in Bavaria were the Bavarian Forest Management and the Bavarian State Forests. In Austria, the project was supported by the Office of the Tyrolean State Government and the State Forestry Administration of Salzburg.

Project duration:  1 July 2008 to 30 June 2011


The consortium is made up of seven consortium partners from Bavaria, Tyrol and the Salzburger Land. The scientific content is being coordinated by the “Zentrum Wald-Forst-Holz Weihenstephan” under the direction of Prof. Dr. Jörg Ewald, Professor for Botany and Vegetation Studies at the University of Applied Sciences, Forestry and Forest Management Faculty.

Project coordinator – University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan, Forestry and Forest Management Faculty
Technical University Munich, Scientific Centre Weihenstephan
Bavarian Regional Office for Forestry and Forest Management
Bavarian Research Alliance

Tyrolean Regional Office, Forestry Group
State Forestry Administration, Salzburg

Further information

Your contact at BayFOR

M.A. Verena Bürger

M. A. Verena Bürger-Michalek
Project Manager
Phone: +49 89 9901888-174

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