Environmental Management

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 941–952 | Cite as

How to Support Forest Management in a World of Change: Results of Some Regional Studies

  • C. FürstEmail author
  • C. Lorz
  • H. Vacik
  • N. Potocic
  • F. Makeschin


This article presents results of several studies in Middle, Eastern and Southeastern Europe on needs and application areas, desirable attributes and marketing potentials of forest management support tools. By comparing present and future application areas, a trend from sectoral planning towards landscape planning and integration of multiple stakeholder needs is emerging. In terms of conflicts, where management support tools might provide benefit, no clear tendencies were found, neither on local nor on regional level. In contrast, on national and European levels, support of the implementation of laws, directives, and regulations was found to be of highest importance. Following the user-requirements analysis, electronic tools supporting communication are preferred against paper-based instruments. The users identified most important attributes of optimized management support tools: (i) a broad accessibility for all users at any time should be guaranteed, (ii) the possibility to integrate iteratively experiences from case studies and from regional experts into the knowledge base (learning system) should be given, and (iii) a self-explanatory user interface is demanded, which is also suitable for users rather inexperienced with electronic tools. However, a market potential analysis revealed that the willingness to pay for management tools is very limited, although the participants specified realistic ranges of maximal amounts of money, which would be invested if the products were suitable and payment inevitable. To bridge the discrepancy between unwillingness to pay and the need to use management support tools, optimized financing or cooperation models between practice and science must be found.


Forest management Management support tools User requirements Delphi study Information and decision process Market potentials 



The authors wish to thank all end-users and stakeholders, who participated in the regional studies. Without their great commitment it would not have been possible to realize these studies. The authors wish to thank also the funding organizations. The central study REFORMAN (MOE 07/S05) was supported by each partner nation in the SEE-ERA NET, REG-TRANSEKT (MOE 07/001) and ENFORCHANGE (0330634 K) by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and IT-REG-EU (EUSN-06-J3-1-D1287-ERN) in the INTERREG-III-a program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Fürst
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Lorz
    • 1
  • H. Vacik
    • 2
  • N. Potocic
    • 3
  • F. Makeschin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Soil Science and Site EcologyDresden University of TechnologyTharandtGermany
  2. 2.Institute of SilvicultureUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences ViennaWienAustria
  3. 3.Croatian Forest Research Institute JastrebarskoJastrebarskoCroatia

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