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The question of CONversion of pure secondary Norway spruce FORESTs on sites naturally dominated by broadleaves for sustainable fulfilment of society's needs (Early phase of ConForest) 2000 - 2004 /click here to get to the current ConForest activities

During a meeting, which was held in Freiburg on 01 and 02 December 2000, leading forestry institutions in Europe formed a research initiative dealing with the conversion of secondary Norway spruce forests (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). This network functioned as a Regional Project Centre (RPC) under the auspices of the European Forest Institute (EFI), which has initiated several RPCs investigating various fields of forest research in Europe. In 2003 the RPC-CONFOREST was concluded by an international conference, where the results of the initiative were presented (cf. Hansen et al. 2004). In total, 14 full member institutions representing 12 European countries and researchers from another 21 research organisations co-operated in this network.

The goal of the RPC-CONFOREST was to combine experience from various conversion projects in numerous European countries. Coordination of analysis, facilitating the exchange of experience, aggregation of scientifically sound information, and subsequent analysis / evaluation in the field of Norway spruce conversion has improved research efficiency (e.g. by avoiding duplication of work) and research quality. The RPC-CONFOREST served as the basis to assess the various impacts of conversion efforts on the national and European level and constituted a dedicated European network of research.

The research activities of the RPC-CONFOREST were carried out in a total of eight working groups that focused on certain areas related to the RPC subject. By this approach of subdivision, the RPC-CONFOREST ensured that - beside ecological issues - silvicultural, operational, economic and political aspects of conversion were also investigated with identical priority. The deciding body of the RPC-CONFOREST was the board, which was headed by the chairman, Prof. Dr. H. Spiecker (Institute for Forest Growth) and supported by the coordinator (Dr. Jörg Hansen, Institute for Forest Growth).



EFORWOOD is a project within the 7th framework of the European Union, dealing with the Forest-Wood chain. The aim of the project is to provide methodologies and tools that will,for the first time, integrate Sustainability Impact Assessment of the whole European Forestry-Wood Chain (FWC), by quantifying performance of FWC, using indicators for all three pillars of sustainability; environmental, economic and societal.

The RPC-CONFOREST was designed for a lifespan of three years. At the turn of the year 2003/2004, the RPC-CONFOREST was replaced by the new Project Centre ConForest. The results of the network’s first term have been published as Research Report 18 of the European Forest Institute:

Spiecker, H., Hansen, J., Klimo, E., Skovsgaard, J.P., Sterba, H. & Teuffel, K. von (eds.) (2004): Norway spruce Conversion - Options and Consequences. EFI Research Report 18. Leiden, Boston: S. Brill: X + 269 pp.


Collaborators:Stewart Dedrick, Prof. Dr. Heinrich Spiecker
Partners:European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland (EFI)
Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg (Germany)
Institute for Forest Growth and Yield Research at the Agricultural University, Vienna (Austria)
Institute of Forest Ecology at the Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Brno (Czech Republic)
Institute of Silviculture I at the University of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany)
Institute of Forest Economics at the University of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany)
Institute of Forest and Environmental Policy at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Freiburg (Germany)
Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute, Hørsholm (Denmark)
IUFRO Unit 6.07.00 "Forest history"
Department of Silviculture at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå (Sweden)

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