Forest Management Consulting
Sustainable forest management is my core competence, with sustainability to be warranted in social, ecological and economic respect. Forest and resource management is always a compromise between owners’ and user interests in which the sociocultural framework is at least as important as the legal conditions. There is no single management option but always a set of choices which will have to be made on an informed basis to achieve an optimal impact of the management measures implemented. There are numbers of resolutions, governance and certification tools which can support the forest dialogue on the ground and enable the development and implementation of management plans according to best practices. My role is the provision of knowledge and experience in finding out tailor made solutions for an optimised value generation for current and future users. I have experience in and can provide advice for two main forest management areas, one being technically focussed on:
- Forest inventories and management planning
- Forest Certification (FSC and PEFC) preparation and process advice
- HCV identification, mapping and management
- Zoning and forest function planning
- Assessment of forest services and ecological values
- Plantation establishment and management
- Afforestation and restoration techniques
- Forest Landscape Restoration
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Carbon Balances
- Close to Nature Silviculture
The theoretical and governance aspect of SFM, mainly forest policy, legislation, governance and organisational advice formed key parts of my project assignments in the last two decades so I can offer services in:
- Policy advice to governments and ministries, including support to draft forest legislation
- Development of national forest policy and strategy programmes
- Institutional capacity building
- Strategy implementation monitoring based on a balanced scorecard approach
- Organisational diagnostics and executive coaching
- Development of vision, mission and corporate strategies
- Interactive strategic modelling tools
- Development of concrete business unit strategies
- Aligning structures to enable the implementation of strategic decisions
- Design, monitoring and supporting of the change journey
- Assessment of human resource development needs and design of a capacity building
- Implementation support and change management services
Participation as I understand it is not limited to formalised committee meetings and workshops that are useful to tick boxes in process roadmaps. Participation is the shared authority and responsibility over forest and other natural resources, it starts with an agreed plan and does not end with sustainable exploitation. Participatory approaches require commitment and a long term perspective, thus they have to develop from the ground and cannot be ordered by ministers’ or donors’ efforts. Joint forest management and social forestry are some of the most abused terms in the development scene, yet the principal idea of co-management and shared control is the only way how the multiple demands of various stakeholders can be met by flexible and multifaceted forest management and conservation strategies. Blueprints and standards can provide ideas, yet forestry is local and unique on every site. It requires a sound information and knowledge base, but even more common sense and pragmatism to identify the best choice for the current situation to enable wider and better choices in future.
Programme Design and Monitoring
Project cycle management shapes the development world of projects and programmes in which I have worked in nearly all functions a specialist can be employed for. I have designed programmes and feasibility studies, monitoring concepts, evaluations and reviews as well as individual business concepts for private clients.
Unlike some specialists, however I have not concentrated only on programme design, studies, evaluation and reviews but have always been involved in the concrete implementation of development programmes and projects as individual expert, team member, team leader backstopper and programme coordinator, so I do know how much project reality differs from the ideas and promises made in the beginning or during reviews of a project.
Monitoring and evaluation is a core element of programme management, yet technical or biodiversity monitoring, although indispensable and essential, often blur the view for success factors or stumbling blocks in the implementation of a programme.
I have written scoping and fact finding reports as well as I have adapted proposals to shape project implementation into a more promising direction. As Backstopper and management consultant I have also trained and supervised procurement specialists in the selection of best offers for goods and services purchased in development programmes.
My methodological portfolio contains, i.a.:
- Fact finding and Scoping mission in the green sector (CCA, NRM, Forestry)
- Design of feasibility studies and project concepts
- Institutional Assessment of NGOs, implementing and executing agencies e
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Programme reviews and control mission
- Tender agent works for procurement
- Conceptual advice in sector, country and regional strategies
- Round tables and coordination workshops, facilitation of meetings
- Design, monitoring and supporting of the change management process
- Assessment of human resource development needs and design of a capacity building concepts
- Implementation support and change management services
- Application of capacity works tools and processes
Protected Area Management
Biodiversity conservation and protected areas management is a complex mission, requiring a multitude of skills, such as ecology, socio-economics, financial management, organisational and capacity development, public relations and media management, stakeholder management and conflict mediation.
The multidisciplinary dimension of protected areas management requires an integrated approach, based on adaptive participatory and strategic management to cope with socially and ecologically complex systems, frequently with scarce financial resources.
The common conservation paradigm of the past focused on relatively narrow and short term targets, often focusing on the protection of certain species only.
Today biodiversity conservation follows a more holistic approach, targeting the conservation of ecological processes on an ecosystem level. Protected areas are not just conservation islands,
separated from people and wider landscapes but are subject to constant human interaction and human pressures on biodiversity in various forms and levels of intensities.
Most protected areas are part of the socio-economic production system of people residing in or close to protected areas.
It is crucial to understand local livelihood strategies and their dependency on and interaction with natural resources. Modern protected area management integrates biodiversity conservation in its wider socio-economic context and environment.
It is my aim to achieve effective biodiversity conservation by developing suitable organisational and management systems, balancing sustainable natural resource utilisation and
the interests of stakeholders and affected land users to match desired conservation objectives:
- National policy and strategy development
- Development of legal framework, nature conservation legislation and sublegal acts
- Strategic protected area management, land use and spatial planning
- Sustainable long term financing mechanism and related business planning
- Valuation of ecosystem services
- Planning environmental off-set and compensation measures
- Outreach, sensitization and awareness creation
- Stakeholder participation management and conflict mediation
- Tourism and visitor flow management
- Buffer zone development planning
- Project management and implementation
- Organisational development, capacity building and management
I support and follow an adaptive management approach that recognizes the unpredictability and complexity of biological,
social and economic environments in a changing world. Strategic adaptive management is a way to manage complex systems, applying tools such as interactive strategic modelling,
allowing decision makers and managers to apply their necessary strategies and development programs flexibly and robustly.
This is particularly important when the cause of a particular problem or pressure on a specific area seems detached from its symptom. Adaptive management should be an iterative process, constantly referring to the overall long term vision and guiding objectives.