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Sustainability Assessment of Timber Supply in Mountain Forests

Project Leader
Kühmaier Martin, Project Leader
Waldfonds - DAFNE 90 - Maßnahme 8
Type of Research
Applied Research
Project partners
Federal Forest Office (BFW), Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8, 1131 Wien, Austria.
Contact person: Nikolaus Nemestothy;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Forest enterprise Wittgenstein, Untere Hauptstraße 6, 3192 Hohenberg, Austria.
Contact person: Dominik Bancalari;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
MA49 Wiener Forstamt, Wien, Austria.
Contact person: Werner Fleck;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Grünberg Julian, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Forest Engineering
Funded by
Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Stubenring 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
The project aims to evaluate and improve the cost and energy efficiency as well as the possible environmental impacts of timber harvesting by a sustainability analysis.

The following questions will be answered:
• Which conventional timber harvesting systems are suitable to enable sustainable timber harvesting in mountain forests?
• Which innovative systems can be used to increase sustainability?
• Which criteria are suitable for evaluating the sustainability of timber harvesting systems and how is their relevance evaluated by practitioners?
• How can a model look that enables the harvesting systems to be ranked on the basis of sustainability criteria?
• How can the model be implemented in practice?

The focus of a literature review is on studies relating to sustainability assessments in timber harvesting. A special focus is placed on sustainability models, methods of sustainability assessment and sustainability criteria and indicators in the forest supply chain.

For a multi-criteria assessment, it is important that the corresponding indicators for the assessment are fully available for each alternative. If this is not the case, then the relevant data must be collected during field surveys or by expert interviews. If all the necessary data is available, a hierarchical target system is set up, which represents the goals, sub-goals, criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management in the form of a decision tree. The evaluation and ranking of the alternatives is done with the help of conjoint analysis or a similar method. The conjoint analysis is carried out in a joint evaluation workshop in which selected experts in the field of steep slope timber harvest are invited. Recommendations for action for timber harvest planning in mountain forests are derived from the results.

In order to strengthen the practical relevance and to prove the feasibility of the sustainability model, the sustainability model will be tested and implemented at interested forest companies. The ranking of the available harvesting systems is done for each harvesting site and for each alternative, the indicator values of the sustainability criteria.

Two events with the stakeholders are planned: (1) Evaluation workshop with experts in the field of timber harvesting in mountain forests, (2) Closing event together with the forest training centers: How sustainable is forest engineering? - Examples from science and practice
Forest engineering; Forestry;
Mountain forests; Timber harvesting; Climate change; Sustainability;
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