Multifunctionality of forests: a white paper on challenges and opportunities in China and Germany
Both in Germany and in China, there is strong expertise regarding the different aspects of forest management, as well as forest products management. Nevertheless, forestry in both countries is facing challenges, some of which are regional, but many of which are shared. Therefore, experts from both countries (Technical University of Munich Germany; Northwest A&F University Yangling, China; Forestry Academy of Shaanxi, China; Thünen Institut, Germany; FEDRC GIZ Forest Policy Facility (Forestry Economics Development and Research Center of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), Germany; and Center for Natural Forest Protection in Shaanxi, China) met to share their knowledge and deduce recommendations for future multifunctional forest management for the temperate zone. The workshop, held at the Northwest A&F University in September 2018, included presentations and intensive discussions, as well as a field tour. The results of the workshop that are summarized in this white paper are meant to provide an overview of the multi-faceted nature of the topic for interested scientists and forest practitioners, describe tools that can be used to analyze various aspects of multifunctionality and, in an exemplary fashion, highlight gathered experience from long- and short-term experiments. Included are social demands, economic goals, and scientific baselines. The topics reach from economic evaluations of forest ecosystem services over forest management practices, including afforestation, restoration, and preparations to face climate change, to wood/forest products utilization and participation of local people for poverty reduction. Overall, an optimistic picture emerges, showing that by using adapted forest management practices, which try to embrace the concept of multifunctionality, various use schemes and demands can be integrated at single sites, allowing us to achieve both environmental protection and productive forests, including societal demands, as well as aspects of tradition and national identity.