ONEforest – for common forest management
The Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences is leading an international project on the future of the forestry and timber industry in the European Union. The aim is to improve sustainability. The project was launched on 1 June 2021. A total of 19 partners from eight countries, primarily universities and colleges, are involved in the three-year project. The overall project is funded by the European research framework programme Horizon 2020 with an amount of around 5.2 million euro.
As Veronika Auer, Deputy Head of the Center for Biobased Materials (ZBM) at TH Rosenheim, explains, “We will analyse the entire value chain of the forestry and timber industry in order to gain insights for its sustainable transformation”. The focus here is on the holistic consideration of the forest ecosystem and economic system. As Auer states, “The forest serves many functions: it offers protection against avalanches, people can use it for relaxation, and forest owners can use it as a source of income”. The main objective of the “ONEforest” project is to combine the various aspects in the best possible way. In various scenario analyses for the next 30 years, the scientists will provide concrete proposals.
Developed in close cooperation with the Bavarian Research Alliance and European partners, the project brings together the expertise of the Centre for Biobased Materials, the Centre for Research, Development and Transfer (Lina Maria Girata Sastoque, Dr. Martin Brunsmeier, Claudia Bayer, Dr. Sebastian Hirschmüller, Jonas Schwarz) and the specialist area of sustainable product development and production (Prof. Dr. Sandra Krommes) on the subject of the timber industry and sustainability.
Focus on sustainable action
"We not only want to look at the forest from an economic perspective, but also focus on the ecosystem functions of the forest. So what benefits and value the forest has for society and for people’s quality of life, as well as for climate and environmental protection,” Krommes explains. Ideally, approaches will be found to evaluate the forest and the forest-wood value chain in a holistic way from an economic, ecological and social perspective.
In order to examine the various functions of the forest in detail, the project team examines four biogeographical model regions in order to take into account differences in climate and forest conditions, forest growth, timber supply and use. The necessary changes to our forests, from monocultures to mixed crops, also play a role, so that they are less susceptible to damage from insects, storms or drought. Mediterranean forests in Spain, Alpine forests in Switzerland, continental forests in Germany and northern forests in Estonia are being examined.
Under the leadership of TH Rosenheim and the University of Trento, the project is also investigating the use of a wood fibre biopolymer composite as a soil covering. “In particular, the effects on soil erosion, vegetation, water storage capacity, microbiological activity and soil stabilisation potential are examined in greater detail,” explains Hirschmüller.
Cooperation with various interest groups
Another important aspect, according to Auer, is to involve all stakeholders and, in particular, the timber industry in the transformation of forestry. "The forest will change over the coming decades, and this will also have an impact on material flows and products. We want to prepare the companies in the value chain for this and develop prospects for the future use of wood together with them."
Project aims and fields of work
The aim of ONEforest is to demonstrate multifunctional and resilient forestry under the increasing changes in climate conditions in the course of climate change, while at the same time enabling optimisation of the wood value chains, taking into account a wide range of stakeholder interests.
Relevant fields of work will be
- Provision of growth simulations for the respective biogeographic regions
- Recommendations of forestry measures for a forest adapted to climate change, taking into account forest ecosystem services and future damaging events in the respective regions
- Strengthening the regional value chain
- Development of a wood fibre biopolymer composite
The various approaches are summarised in a multi-criteria system/programme as a decision-making aid for relevant interest groups in order to be able to show users various scenarios based on the stated target parameters.
The project results are relevant and significant for all participants along the wood value chain. Forest owners in the respective biogeographic regions are shown sustainable management concepts under changing forest requirements and their change in the course of climate change in order to ensure a sustainable and long-term supply of domestic wood.
BayFOR as a partner
The Bavarian Research Alliance provided intensive support for ONEforest, from the drafting of the application to the project launch in June 2021. In close cooperation with the coordinator, it assisted in the conception, design and budgeting of the application. It also assisted all partners with the necessary formalities and advised them on any administrative issues.
As a project partner, BayFOR is supporting the consortium in project management.
The underlying objective is to support activities at an international level and to make the results visible.
From June 2021 to May 2024, the EU will support the research project with 5.25 million euro (Horizon 2020) in accordance with grant agreement no. 101000406.
The ONEforest consortium consists of 19 partners from seven countries.
Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Universita Degli Studi Di Trento, Italy
Libera Universita Di Bolzano, Italy
Univerza V Ljubljani, Slovenia
Graz University of Technology, Austria
Bavarian Research Allaince, Germany
Eest Maaulikool, Estonia
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Switzerland
Consorci Centre De Ciencia I Tecnologia Forestal De Catalunya, Spain
Tartu Ulikool, Estonia
Technische Universität München, Germany
Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, Sweden
Cesefor (Fundacion Centro De Servicios Y Promocion Forestal Y De Su Industria De Castilla Y Leon), Spain
Albert-Ludwigs- Universität Freiburg, Germany
Regione Toscana, Italy
Technical University Dresden, Germany
Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Naturgemäße Waldwirtschaft e. V., Germany
Climate Endowment GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
Prof. Dr Sandra Krommes
Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences
Sustainable Engineering & Management
Faculty of Industrial Engineering
Phone:+49 (0)8031 805-2416