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Adriano Celentano
wladmeister
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The second gallery just gives some impressions of landscapes in the middle of Baden-Württemberg.


A typical landscape on the Swabian Alb. The open character is - partly - a relic of unsustainable land management. It's conservation value is high.


Another cultural landscape. Therre is no "true nature" on this picture, but many people may find it beautiful


A "needle" on the edge of the Swabian Alb

Just some impressions of what one can see, when working in forestry. A very short photo gallery.

"Work" is a thing that keeps us busy, usually at day time, sometimes at night time, and for the very unlucky ones of - both day and night. While some rergard work as a necessary evil, it also may have a significant positive meaning for one's life, and what's more: It may become the focal point, depending on the circumstances.

Some of us cannot be satisfied with the way they work, or with other aspects of professional environment, which depends on many things, like identification with what exactly one does, and for what purpose; with the company, agency or whatever body one is emploed at, and in how far one can identify with it. It further depends on the atmosphere between the working collective, and last but not least, withn the conditions you agree on (salary et cetera).

What I can say for myself right now is: It's currently fitting perfectly. Well, okay, let's immediately make a relativation and say: It is satisfying. Improvement is always possible.

What I like most of it: As a forest taxator, you will definitely not face much of a living standard, as a majority of western Europeans may define it. No, in the contrary: We are lving in a hut in the middle of a forest; there is no electricity and no light excepts the candles we bring along, no water tabs, and of course, there is no shower either. On the other hand, these circumstances arise a need to improvise. Every evening, there is an open fire, and a barbecue, if we want. Instead of taking a shower, one can go swimming in the nearby Jagst River, which has largely the same effect. All in all, it can be quite comfortable...


Where we live and work - 1


Where we live and work - 2


Where we live and work - 3

I came to the conclusion that there are things in our lives that may have a low price, but provide with an extremely high value. Well, for sure, every one of us needs accommodation, clothes, food and heat; however, from the point of view of costs and effectiveness, I would count the following

1. tape
2. solid string
3. a good knife
4. an ID card for the university’s library
5. a key to the IFSA secretariat
6. a pencil
7. a good big timer

1.) - 2.) is essential for your household. With tape and string, one can fix 3/4 of all equipment that is to be found in one’s living space. By using 3),  the knife, you can cut the string, and also slice your bread.

Since being a graduated forester, knowledge is the most precious thing I owe. It’s not necessarily detailed knowledge about certain issues of the forest sector (although I have this knowledge on a sufficient leven concerning many aspects of forestry), it is first of all the knowledge on how to gain access to deeper knowledge! The university’s library is the greatest accumulation of knowledge and of recent news that I have access to – apart from the internet. And that’s why I benefit from my key to the secretariat of IFSA, where I not only administrate, but also broadly use the IT resources.

In order to write down the things that I must not forget, I need a pencil (which can be sharpened with my good knife). And finally, the timer is what makes it all efficient.

Well I think I forgot one important thing: It is, as stupid as it may sound, a phone.

You should not wash your passport.

Really.

Especially, when it is a German biometrical and NEW passport for ''only'' 59 €. Don't wash it. Don't wash it, even when it should be dirty. Otherwise...



I've been in Poland for a couple of times now, but it was my first visit to the country's capital. I took part in the 5th MCPFE from November 5th until 7th. I have already written about this event.

I wanted to take the opportunity to visit a friend there. He was also so kind to offer my colleague and me accomodation in his flat. Apart from that, we spent 2 days at his parents' place in Bialystok, which was also a very good experience. However, we decided to spend the nights during the conference in the MDM hotel - otherwise it would have become complicated. And apart from that, the inofficial talks in the evenings were also quite enlighting (drinking a cup of beer together with some guys and girls from other stakeholding organisations - writing "guys and girls" should be OK since most of them are younger than 40).

Well, after all, we are tralking about the city of Warsaw, and not the Ministerial conference; so, what I just wrote above was just a short explanation regarding accomodation in an hotel instead of a friend's place (BTW: Do the English words "place" and "palace" have the same root?).

The very first thing you see in Warsaw when arriving in the centre is the 8th sister of Moscow:


The house of culture. My Polish friends told me, that the Sovets gave the Polish people the choice between two presents: A metro, or such a house. The Polish wanted to have a metro. Was it really that way?

Current Location: too far away

For some people, it is hard to believe that the forests in Europe are young. Some even believe, that our forests are natural. Some people even do not know that our forests are managed! In other words: Some people, erspecially in our age or younger, and especially when they have an urban background have no understanding about forestry in Europe at all.

What is the truth?

The truth is that there are practically no trees elder than 200 years. There are no forests elder than 180 years. There is only a little number of forests that, concerning species composition or stand structure, are more or less natural. The truth is that our forests are planted - the ery largest part of them, which are older than 30 years. Biodiversity is on a comparably low level due to human activities, and finally, when talking about fauna, mankind erased all large carnivores and other mammals that would naturally live in our forests: Wolf, Brown Bear, Lynx, Bison, Moose... Even our (German) National Parks still look like plantations. Maybe, within 150 years, they will remind us of nature.

All forests in Europe are like that.

But: There are exceptions! There are tiny tiny tiny little areas in Hessen (Kellerwald), and there are some fragments in the Carpathian Mountains. Outside Central Europe, primary forests (or "Indigenous Forests", as they are frequently called by non-professionals) can be found in Lapland and in Russia, especially in Komi and Archangelsk. And finally, the most famous exception in Europe, this is probably the

Białowieża National Park!

So, what is so special about it?
  1. it's large. The forests spreads on almost 90 000 ha.
  2. it's old.
  3. it's amazing. Although, I have never seen this forest in spring or summer, one can easily imagine how beautiful it must be during the vegetation period
  4. it's a UNESCO world heritage
Actually, in the Bialowieza Forest, you can find everything. The curiosity  is a population of app. 250 wild bisons - "zubr", as these animals are called in Polish. The zubrs are also a symbol of Poland as well as they serve as a symbol for the famous Polish Zubrovka Vodka - bison grass vodka, in my eyes one of the best vodkas on this planet, better than most Russian vodkas.

Also, one can find so many big trees there! Especially broadleaved species like Oak and, most interesting, Elms! The least species is seriously endangered by the Dutch Elm Disease, which has alraéady killed almost all Elm trees in Europe - an in Bialowieza, one can find 400 years old individuals. This is unique in Europe.

About Bialowieza can be written a lot, really a lot... but let's stick to some photos and comments. Read more about the interesting hostory of Bialowieza in the all-knowing English Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bia%C5%82owie%C5%BCa_Forest

But allow me to express it that way: Bialowieza is REALLY something special, and I am happy to have seen it in my life!


In Germany, this tree would have been removed a long time ago.

Everybody, who has travelled to different Slavian countries has, of course, also realised that these languages are very  closely related to each other. Some words may even sound exaclty the same, but this does not necessarily mean that they must be used in the corresponding way - which can cause considerable confusion.

Recently, I discovered something very useful, interesting, and also amusing: the wikibook "False Friends of the Slavist".

For example, here is a comparison between a Polish and a Russian word. Although they are similar, their meaning is different:

R. вещь Pol. rzecz ‘matter, thing’
Pol. wieść R. весть ‘message’

It is possible to compare all Slavian Languages with each other, even languages with a very limited number of speakers like Sorbian (a small aboriginal community of a Slavian people in Eastern Germany).

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/False_Friends_of_the_Slavist

One of the most successful and most regarded activities of IFSA during the previous years is the participation in international forest policy. Our organisation sent delegates as being representatives of youth to all sessions of the United Nation Forum on Forest (UNFF) since 2003. IFSA is the main organisation (“focal point”) within the Major Group “Youth and Children” on this forum. Our contribution to these processes is real: Education is an issue emphasised in the legally non-binding agreement on forests. Not only on the international level, but also on the regional level of forest policy, IFSA is a main stakeholder among many others, expressing the voice of youth.

The regional policy process related to forests in Europe is the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE). These conferences are being held since 1990. The outcomes of the MCPFE, also known as “Helsinki Process”, are resolutions and declarations providing with criteria and indicators on how to sustainable manage forests in Europe. The ministerial conference can be regarded as one of the most successful processes in forest policy: An increasing number of European states, including not only the members of the European Union, but almost all countries on the continent, commit themselves to the implementation of the aims found on the conference. The process is observed by many countries outside Europe, and there is also a significant number of observer organisations like the world bank, members of the scientific community like EFI or IUFRO, associations of forest owners, and last but not least: IFSA.

The 5th Ministerial Conference was held in Warsaw, Poland, from November 5th until 7th. Two resolutions were prepared to be signed: A first resolution on “forests, wood and energy”, and another document on “forests and water”. IFSA, as being a regular observer organisation, had the opportunity to send two delegates to the event. It was a great opportunity for us to express our organisation’s ideas to explain and emphasise the importance of education and participation for a successful implementation of Sustainable Forest Management to the representatives of the European governments.

We had prepared an official statement by the Major Group “Youth” (IFSA is currently the only organisation within this group), which had been submitted to the organisers in advance. Its main message: It is obvious that forestry students, as being the future forest managers or even future decision makers in forest policy, will have to implement Sustainable Forest Management on local level. Therefore, it is essential to establish the link between decisions in forest policy on the one hand, and their implementation on the other. By organising regional meetings, seminars and other scientific events related to aspects of sustainable forest management, we communicate the significance of policy processes to forestry students, and thus contribute to reach the goals set by the MCPFE. Therefore, was asked the ministers to continue the promotion of youth participation, to support students’ initiatives regarding corresponding activities and to ensure that funds for these projects would be sufficient and accessible.

The conference itself consists of different session. One of these sessions is the “Multi Stakeholder Dialogue” (MSD), in which all Major Groups, including “Youth”, “Environmental NGOs”, “Social NGOs” etc., have the opportunity to express their position regarding the draft resolutions in presence of the European governments, observer states and finally, of course, the other stakeholders. In practice, this means that each group, in addition to the written statement submitted in advance, announces its position officially. We are happy to report that the summary of this dialogue sufficiently expressed IFSA’s ideas.

The 5th MCPFE was not only a great opportunity for our organisation to contribute with own inputs to the future of forests in Europe, it was also an exciting experience for us as being delegates. The participation on such a high-level conference is a unique chance to see how forest policy is done in practice. It is not only the official part of such a conference itself that makes it so interesting; it is also the experience of easy communication with decision makers from governments, science and all other areas of forest policy in Europe.

We were able to establish a number of very promising contacts for our organisation, and we hope that IFSA students will have the chance to participate in the following meetings that are connected with the MCPFE.


IFSA at the MCPFE


Signing the documents

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Marktl am Inn is a village in Bavaria, located next to the Austrian frontier. Marktl is small, unspectacular, and apart from a small number of pensioner tourists, nobody would have seen any reason to stop there... maybe in case one was looking for a bakery or toilet...

...until April 2005!

Then, a man named Joseph Ratzinger, born in this tiny town in the year 1927, was elected into a considerable high clerical position of the Catholic Church, and he turned into Pope Benedict XVI! Suddenly, Marktl became a well known name not only in Germany, with the house where he spent his early years being the main attraction. What a pity that renovations were going on exactly at the time we went there. But anyway, it is funny to see all the pope-merchandise. There is even a tourist information point, although there is just one single house to see!


Pope beer


The tourist information

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