Reorganization of forestry research in the Thünen Institute

Press Release

Cooperation with the University of Hamburg continues / More scientific positions are planned

The Thünen Institute and the University of Hamburg plan to restructure their cooperative forestry and wood research on the common campus in Hamburg-Bergedorf. Within this framework, organizational changes were made in the Thünen forestry institutes in Hamburg and Eberswalde. The five former institutes were reduced to four. The goal of the reorganization is to use synergies through an increased concentration of the institutes in the areas of economics, ecology and technology. On this basis all four institutes can become more active on the international level in the future.

Most strongly affected by the changes are the two former Thünen institutes for World Forestry and Forest Economy, which were merged into the new Thünen Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics. With this new structure, it should become better possible to answer questions on the evaluation of world ecological system performance as well as the costs and efficiency of world forestry approaches both nationally and internationally. Studies on the trade of wood from different sources play an important role.

The new institute is divided in the areas forestry in Germany, worldwide forestry, wood markets, and wood and society. In order to address the additional tasks, especially in the area of international forestry, three additional scientific positions are planned. This extra support is expected to help the institute to better advise the BMELV and other federal research bodies on international forest policy. The Institute is headed by PD Dr. Matthias Dieter.

Through the reorganization, synergies also emerge within the Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems in Eberswalde. The special tasks of ICP Forests, a European-wide monitoring program for pollution in forests, will be transferred from the former Institute for World Forestry to the Institute of Forest Ecosystems. The institute has coordinated and evaluated different forest monitoring for a long time, as well as conducting the surveys which serve as the basis for ICP Forests (so-called Level I and II Surveys for Germany). In order to master these increased responsibilities, the Institute of Forest Ecosystems was also granted two additional scientific staff positions.

The new organizational structure went into effect on October 1, 2013. The locations of the institutes remain the same. The building facilities shall be renovated in coming years with extensive investments on the part of the German government.

The two other Thünen forestry institutes, Wood Research and Forest Genetics, are not directly affected by the reorganization. The cooperation with the University of Hamburg shall be continued with the new institute structure. A recommendation for further development has already been drafted in an administrative agreement between the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Federal Republic of Germany and presented to the Hamburg Senate as well as the BMELV for approval.


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