As part of an eleven-day information and study trip in August 2019, a group of Indonesian foresters visited forest-relevant institutions in northern and eastern Germany. This technical exchange took place as part of a strategic partnership between the German Forest Society and the FORCES and Climate Change Program (FORCLIME) of the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ). Within the Forest Expert Program initiated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the German Forest Society had prepared and organized the trip.
Participants in the delegation were the heads of several Indonesian forestry offices, co-workers of provincial forestry administrations and representatives of several departments of the National Forestry Ministry in Jakarta.
The aim of this expert exchange was on the one hand to get an insight into structure, organisation and practical work of both forestry and management of protected areas in Germany.
As an opening event of the study tour 2019 the Indonesian delegation visited the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment in Schwerin. Here the Minister responsible Mr. Till Backhaus welcomed the guests and summarized the importance of the environmental sector in the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (MP). In terms of nature conservation, MP plays a prominent role nationwide because there are many large protected areas. In the following the group got an overview ofthe forest structure and management organisation of forestryas well as the timber market situation and protected area management in MP.
During the next days the group was able to get a practical insight into the different protected area categories as well as the practical work of a forestry district office.
Starting at the Schaalsee Biosphere Reserve the close cooperation of forestry with local partners, e.g. in the field of tourism, arts and crafts, agriculture, fisheries and the food industry to promote regional products and services and to ensure a common regional development was discussed. The Pahlhuus in the Biosphere reserve serves as a visitor centre, providing a permanent exhibition. Public information, environmental education and promotion of regional development are the major objectives of the guided walks in the reserve.
As in previous years, the FORCLIME Study Tour 2019 offered the opportunity to learn about the set-up, tasks and strategies of a German Forest Management Unit. Therefore the district forest office of Guestrow, an agency of the “Landesforsten MV” (MV Provincial Forest Service, public enterprise) was visited.
To collect insights into another category of protected areas in Germany the Indonesian group carried on with the Nature Park Nossentiner-Schwinzer Heide, entering Karower Meiler information center. All tasks shall be implemented by means of cooperation with local and regional partners while the Nature Park provides infrastructure and offers events. Highlight of this day was the example of close cooperation with local institutions. The group was able to visit the “Nature Park School” in Krakow am See. This partnership is accompanied by the fact that the school implements an environmental education focus every year and that all classes work on projects in nature at least once a year.
In order to obtain general information about the structure, objectives and characteristics of the Mueritz National Park, the office of the park management was visited providing theoretical information about the National Park. An excursion to the National Parks forests gave a visual impression to the group.
Leaving MP the group had the chance to get a second example of the tasks and management of this category by visiting Spreewald Biosphere Reserve and experiencing this unique landscape between forest and water.
Finally with the Proesa DBU Natural Heritage Site within Niederlausitzer Heidelandschaft (heath landscape) Nature Park was visited as an example of another way of protecting areas and the importance of so-called Natural Heritage sites.
On the last day an indoor event providing an overview of the German Forest Owners Association, the German Forest Society and the work of EUROPARC Germany completed the whole trip in Berlin.
Sabine Kühling (DFV)