About Us

What is the Integrate Network?

The Integrate Network Multi-Donor Trust Fund – short: Integrate Network – is an alliance of representatives of different European countries that promotes the integration of nature conservation into sustainable forest management at the policy, practice and research level. Forest management challenges related to nature conservation are rather similar across Europe. The Integrate Network promotes the exchange of successful management practices and experiences amongst its Members. The European Forest Institute (EFI) accompanies the process in its role as secretariat and by gathering scientific and practical evidence on the successful application, training, and communication of integrative forest management approaches.

History

The Integrate Network was initially brought into life in 2016 by the German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, and his Czech colleague, Marian Jurečka (see link on the left for Prague Declaration), and subsequently supported by the European Commission’s Standing Forestry Committee. In May 2022, the Integrate Network became the Integrate Network Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

Secretariat

Bernhard Wolfslehner

Bernhard Wolfslehner

Head of Secretariat

Dr. Bernhard Wolfslehner is the Head of Governance Programme of the European Forest Institute (EFI) and has more than 20 years of research experience on sustainable forest management. Among other tasks, he is leader of the EFI FOREST EUROPE team and Head of the Secretariat of the INTEGRATE network.

Maria Schlossmacher

Maria Schlossmacher

Communications Officer

Maria Schloßmacher has been working in communications at the European Forest Institute since 2019. Before joining EFI, she worked in areas of international cooperation, policy-making and sustainability which sharpened her view of the principal role of the local level and the importance of integrative approaches in a global context.

Andreas Schuck

Andreas Schuck

Senior Researcher

Andreas holds an MSc in Forest Science from Freiburg University, Germany. He has been working on forest biodiversity conservation, forest risks caused by natural disturbances and forest resilience management.

Gesche Schifferdecker

Gesche Schifferdecker

Communications Manager

A passionate and experienced science communicator, Gesche Schifferdecker joined EFI’s Bonn office in 2017 to lead the Communications Team. She is responsible for managing dissemination and communication activities for international, European and national research projects and engaging with diverse stakeholders from science, policy, forestry practice and society. Gesche is a political scientist by background and started to work in science communications more than 15 years ago.

Chairs

The rotating chairmanship provides chair countries with the initiative to take up relevant topics during their chairmanship. A core activity of the network is to invite members to the host country for meetings and visits to the forest. The voluntary approach allows each member country to gear up or down according to relevance and resources thus, creating a dynamic network facing current discussions and actions on forest biodiversity in different corners of Europe.

  • Current Chair

    Austria (2024)

  • Future chair

    Ireland (2025)

  • Former chairs

    Luxembourg (2022-2023)

    Spain (2021-2022)

    Switzerland (2020-2021)

    Denmark (2019-2020)

    Poland (2018-2019)

    Czech Republic (2017-2018)

    Germany (2016-2017)

Former Projects

FoReSite (2020-2022)

The project – Managing Forests for Resilience and Biodiversity – Bridging Policy, Practice, Science and Education (FoReSite) had as main aim the further consolidation and visibility of the Integrate Network within Europe. FoReSite targeted to develop the Networks’ strategic profile as a nucleus for topics around integrative forest management and most importantly seek options for continuing its work in the future by securing financial support. It emphasized the need for cross-discipline, cross-sector and multi-actor exchange for addressing sensitive issues when managing forests for multiple services based on varying demands especially by organising a series of webinars, publications and policy briefs. Another important activity was to continue the support of the expansion of the demonstration site network and the corresponding training software. Demonstration sites have shown to be highly appreciated as training nd education tools for better understanding rationales, effects and trade-offs when implementing integrative forest management measures. FoReSite was funded by German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

INFORMAR (2017-2020)

Given the 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. The project Integrated Forest Management Learning Architecture (INFORMAR) did precisely that. Apart from managing the European Network Integrate and the Integrate Practice Network, the third focus of INFORMAR lied on research on integrative forest management approaches on a European scale. It analyzed existing knowledge relating to the implementation of integrative forest management in order to address and fill potential knowledge gaps.

Integrate+ (2013-2016)

The success of the Integrate project elicited a follow-up initiative in 2013: Integrate+. This was a demonstration project funded by German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture aiming at establishing a European network of demonstration sites for the integration of biodiversity conservation into forest management. It was built on a growing network of forest practitioners and research partners focussing 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.

Integrate (2010-2013)

European Forest Institute started working on integrative forest management in 2010 with the Integrate project, focusing 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 science-based input to the discussion on the topic of ‘protection through management’ in the forest sector. This resulted in a set of country reports and a peer review paper. The work was financially supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection. The next activity, funded by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) was the elaboration of the book Integrative approaches as an opportunity for the conservation of forest biodiversity  (2011 – 2013). It 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 in Central Europe and beyond. The book is also available in English, German and French and reprinted several times. Financial contributions to the printing of the book were received from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection, the French Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Swiss Canton Vaud.