ifoam96.gif (1141 bytes)
Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index

Special Presentations

Forests in ecological development F8

Neugebauer, Bernd1 & Oldeman, Roelof A.A.2

1) Trees for People - Institute for Ecological Landuse, Gerberau 17,D-79098 Freiburg 2) Chair of Silviculture & Forest ecology, WAU-EcologicalAgriculture, Haarweg 333, 6709 RG Wageningen (NL)

See also:
News from:


Principles, values and objectives of forestry are analysed historically. Central European forestry history, today's socio-economical forestry crisis and forest destruction as prevailing in many parts of the world are addressed. The concept of "sustainability" is discussed from this historical perspective in forest management as well as on ethical grounds.

Although the European paradigm of separation between forestry and agriculture was a success story, today it leaves numerous problems without a response. Both the forestry sector and science indeed are paralysed by inner reflection, whereas the real problems await an urgent redefinition of the role played by forestry in post-modern society.

Restrictive forest laws and regulations successfully transformed the European forest destruction of the 18th century into a productive forest economy. Nowadays the world's forest destruction, particularly outside Europe, needs a different motivational and creative approach in order to become efffective. Forestry education, administration and organisation must match this change.

In Europe, forestry needs to develop a transsectoral strategy to resolve ecological, economical and socio-cultural problems. The changeover has already begun. As in agriculture, it must become market-driven to succeed. Suitable mechanisms hence were analysed by Neugebauer (1994), amongst others the certification of forest products.

The above shows the need for a new forestry paradigm. This involves abandoning certain ideological positions, opening up towards holistic socio- economical strategies, integrating nature conservation, promoting cultural and biological diversity, gender specificity and global perception. The markets show promise as carriers of the coming change. Ecological agriculture has a role to play, because of its accumulated experience and for its natural synergetic partnership with forestry.