Comparing the potential of Non-Wood Forest Products in different European regions

A Presentation by Harald Vacik

Part of the "Unlocking the Bioeconomy for Nontimber Forest Products" Webinar Series

Oct. 20, 2021 at 9:30-10:30 am EDT / 1330-1430 UTC via Zoom


Forest management often does not give full attention towards the management of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) since wood production is the main ecosystem service provided. In this presentation the future potential of NWFPs for diversifying the forest bioeconomy in different European regions is investigated. The results of several case studies are based on a multi-criteria analysis, including stakeholder interaction and expert involvement. Forest owners who are willing to focus their management on the joint production of wood and non-wood resources will be able to learn about the most successful combinations in a given ecological and socio-economic context. The presentation intends to unravel perspectives for forest owners in particular as they act as main suppliers of NWFP raw materials and thus can be understood as key actors in a forest bioeconomy. Due to the varying socio-economic and ecological environments, there is huge potential to strengthen the economic viability of rural areas and a sustainable co-production may foster the ecological integrity of forest ecosystems across Europe.

Harald Vacik is doing his research on the evaluation of natural resource management in the context of sustainability and biodiversity. Spatial decision support systems for multipurpose natural resource management developed at the Department of Forest and Soil Sciences at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, where he is associate professor of silviculture, are part of his research activities. For almost 20 years he has been actively involved in the development and application of criteria and indicators for evaluating sustainable forest management at the forest level and in national and international contexts. In this context he is providing expert advice in the implementation of scientifically based practical applications of silvicultural know-how and multi-criteria decision-making techniques in Europe and Asia. He is a founder of the Austrian Forest Fire Research Initiative (AFFRI) and the Sub-Regional Euro-Alpine Wildland Fire Network of Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC). He is coordinator of the IUFRO group 4.03.03 “Information management and information technologies” and coordinator of the Community of Practice of Forest Management Decision Support System. Harald Vacik has been actively involved in several European-scale and nationwide research projects and initiatives on the evaluation of management concepts for non-wood forest products and ecosystem services for balancing multiple interests on natural resources.

This webinar series is hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, The Forest History Society, Renmin University of China, and the IUFRO Task Force.

This event is made possible in part through funding from the Lynn W. Day Endowment.

Vacik Harald