Climate-Optimised Forest Management

The recent hot summers have taken their toll on Swiss forests. What does this mean in the face of climate change? Not only does this lack of trees mean a reduction in carbon dioxide being stored, the forest ecosystem is also weakened and more susceptible to further hot and dry spells, as well as winter storms. A new carbon offset project supports forest owners with financial incentives to adapt their forest to climate change.

Forest near Aetigkofen. Photo: Claudia Schlup

While in developing countries the focus is more on protecting the forest, the aim in Central Europe is to adapt forestry to climate change. Adaptation means, on the one hand, combining the use of the renewable raw material wood with carbon storage in a sensible way (less wood use) and, on the other hand, implementing concrete silvicultural measures. For example, the non-​native spruces in the midlands should be gradually replaced by trees which are more resistant to heat and drought, such as oak. Trees which are adapted to the climate live longer, thereby strengthening the forest as a whole, and continue to store carbon dioxide.

Climate-optimised management ensures that the forest develops in a stable and vital way and that all its functions as an ecosystem – protection, wood production, CO₂ store, biodiversity, recreation and drinking water protection – are still fulfilled.

You can also find out how biodiversity is specifically promoted as part of the project on the myclimate project website.

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