Slovenia Forest Service in collaboration with the Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources of Biotehnical Faculty (University of Ljubljana) organized a transnational implementation workshop on local biomass production and other ecosystem services in Triglav National Park and other forest areas in Slovenia. The workshop was attended by 66 representatives in the fields of forest planning and management, nature conservation, development, decision and policy making together with other experts and general public. The workshop was held on December 17th 2013 in Pokljuka.
Participants of the workshop evaluated the current approach to multi-objective forest management in Slovenia. They generally agreed that spatial designation of forest function areas and protected forest areas contribute greatly in implementing multi-objective forest management; they are especially important for collaboration in spatial planning, for protecting areas with special or higher importance, for raising awareness on public importance of forests, for public participation, as a forest policy tool to compensate forest management measures, for participation with forest owners, as a general framework for potential evaluation of forest ecosystem services, for identification of conflict areas.
Participants exposed challenges and provided some general solutions as well as recommendations for policy makers regarding multi-objective forest management and provision of ecosystem services:
- To reduce risks of biodiversity loss and to avoid contradictory management objectives in the park and in general, careful planning and appropriate forest management system is needed. Biomass extraction could be an important objective for forest owners also in within protected areas.
- Biomass extraction should be carefully planned and harmonised with other uses of forests. Constant monitoring and evaluation of realized measures are also needed to reduce management risks.
- The criteria for designation of forest function areas should be based on public interests which are harmonized with natural potentials.
- Forest function maps should be simplified and clearer; they should represent the most important ecosystem services in the area and should be a framework for detailed forest management.
Clearer guidelines for forest function designation should be elaborated. Designation of forest function areas should be based on expert opinion and on collaboration of all relevant stakeholders (from forestry and nature conservation institutions, local communities, forest owners, public etc.)
- More emphasis should be put on detailed – operative planning that is crucial for providing ecosystem services from protected and other forest areas.
Participants comment also on other topics connected to multi-objective forest management local biomass. They highlighted that designation of forest function areas and protected forest areas should be done with participatory procedures and methods, improving public relations and bringing out public importance of forests. Collaboration with forest owners is crucial, especially where public (e.g. social) functions are of outstanding importance. The need for adequate system of compensation measures was frequently exposed.