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Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.nat.techn. Karl Hogl

Mission Statement

The Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy hosts about 20 scholars with different backgrounds: Some studied forest sciences and are specialised in forest policy research, others studied political science and specialized on one of the research fields of the institute.

Our research foci address governance arrangements, policies, innovations, the integration of stakeholder knowledge, discourses and criteria/indicators relevant to forest, climate, natural resource, flood risk and energy policies.

Our research is characterised by inter- and transdisciplinary approaches and the application of both qualitative and quantitative methods of empirical social science research, including e.g. surveys, participatory methods, and comparative case study analyses.

Forest policy research is often conducted in cooperation with the European Forest Institute (EFI,, an international organisation involving 30 European member states. The institute hosts the “EFI Forest Policy Research Network” (EFI-FPRN,, which coordinates a pan-European research network to jointly implement scientific cooperation with a focus on European forest-related policies, actors, implementation and monitoring.

Regarding environmental and natural resource policies, we are particularly concerned with

climate and energy policies, nature conservation as well as flood risk policies and management (in the context of climate change adaptation), often in a European context.

Regarding climate and energy policies, our research addresses the challenges of decarbonization, the transition to renewable energy sources, and questions of environmental and climate justice.

National cooperation partners include, e.g., the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW),

the Environment Agency Austria (UBA), and the International Institute for Applied Systems

Analysis (IIASA). Research partners within BOKU are, in addition to the department’s institutes, the Institutes of Mountain Risk Engineering, of Silviculture, of Hydrology and Water Management, the Centre for Bioeconomy and the Centre for Global Change and Sustainability (gW/N). We also cooperate with a long list of international partners, among them the National Resources Institute Finland, the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy at the University of Freiburg, and the Forest Policy and Planning Group at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Outlook for the next eight years: In addition to the topics mentioned above, specific emphasis will be put on the role of forests and forest products for climate change mitigation and policies for adapting forest management to the changing climate. Regarding climate policies, we will focus on barriers to societal transformation and the potential of protests and democratic innovations to overcome them. With the career position in European environmental and energy policy established in 2020, we will further strengthen research in these fields and realise synergies with the other research fields of our institute.

Statistik Austria, science classification

Comparative politics
Environmental policy
Policy analysis

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