World Bank: Exchange of Experts EoE Belarus-Germany-France-Spain (Basque Country)

triggered by a severe storm event in 2016, the World Bank with support from the The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) approached the EFI European Forest Risk Facility to arrange this "EoE Forest"

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Shared knowledge case: World Bank: Exchange of Experts EoE Belarus-Germany-France-Spain (Basque Country)


Exchange of Experts “EoE Forest”: Belarus-Germany-France-Basque Country

Topics: Storm, Disturbance and Forest Resilience Management

15-21 April 2018

This EoE was facilitated by the European Forest Risk Facility, hosted by EFI´s Resilience Program. It was supported by the World Bank and financed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)

  1. Participants

Belarus: Aliaksandr Urhyn, Viktor Amelyanovich, Olga Sharafanovich, Andrei Liadnitski, Siarhei Tarasau, Yauheni Filipau, Dimitry Hryshkevich, Mikalai Kochyk, Vadim Nosnikov

Germany: Christoph Hartebrodt, Yvonne Hengst, Karl Weber, Yvonne Chtioui, Bernhard Mettendorf, H. Gutmann,

France:, Hugues Cruse, Gaëlle Burlot, Amélie Castro, Sarah Fermet-Quinet, Francis Maugard, Pascal Mayer, Guillaume Garbay

Basque Country: Carlos Uriagereka, Aitor Omar, Aitor Onaindia, Ander Arias Gonzalez, Alejandro Cantero,

EFI: Barry Gardiner, Christophe Orazio, Hernán Serrano León, Andreas Schuck, Alexander Held, Anstasija Denisova, Eduard Mauri, Stephanie Hayes

World Bank: Vladislava Nemova, Yekaterina Zayash


  1. Report on days and topics, locations, summary of discussions. Note: More detailed information, all presentations, selected pictures and related documents can be found here on the “RiskPlatform” at the "FileManager"

Sunday, April 15

Travel from Minsk and Moscow to Frankfurt and Freiburg. Hotel check-in and private visit to Freiburg city.

Monday, April 16

Meeting for workshop and exchange at the Forest Research Institute of Baden-Wuerttemberg (FVA). The hosting unit is chaired by Dr. Hartebrodt, the initiator and editor of the so called “Storm Handbook”, further he is the chair of the “KonnektiW” network that is addressing the risk and resilience topic in the German speaking regions, including Austria. (

The delegation from Belarus presented the video with information on the 2016 storm event. The comprehensive video will be available at the above link to the RiskPlatform. In addition, the participants all introduced themselves and articulated their expectations for the coming week. The forestry sector and the storm 2016 was then presented in a ppt presentation.

Dr. Hartebrodt shared his personal “storm” history and his professional “storm” career with the group. He was not shy to mention and describe all the mistakes made and lessons learned. In that way we could turn these mistakes into “fantastic failures” and benefit from it as a learning exercise.

He continued with presenting the severe storm events that affected Germany, namely storm Vivien, Wiebke and Lothar. With that sequence, he demonstrated the development of storm management over time in Germany. The detailed ppts are available at the RiskPlatform.

We had intensive discussions and the differences between the two countries in terms of market situation, forest governance and response to storm were obvious and stimulated very interesting exchange. The example from Belarus showed distinctive advantages over the federal German system when it came to coordinated response, market control, salvage logging and afforestation indeed.

The discussions also addressed related topics like bark beetle and other secondary damages. Further, we discussed fire management, close-to-nature forestry and forest nurseries, planting and afforestation questions.

A long and intensive day, fruitful and productive ended with a guided city tour through the historic city centre of Freiburg.

Tuesday, April 17

Tuesday was a field day. We left Freiburg at 0800 hrs direction “Oretnau” to visit our first stop, the Waldservice Ortenau is a service provider, a private company, that is manageing communal and private forests, appr. 35 000ha. The offer a complete forestry service for their clients. We could observe a “wet-timber–storage facility” that was used after the storm and is currently in use to buffer larger amounts of harvested timer. 

Under such conditions, they store round-wood up to one year, but it can be stored up to several years if needed. The timber comes from the surrounding Black Forest where close-to-nature forest management is the norm, it includes Douglas fir, silver fir, spruce, ash, oak, beech, sycamore maple and others.

Waldservice Ortenau is also producing wood chips for energy production and at the same location we could visit and discuss the construction of wooden houses from locally sourced silver fir:

Our second stop was the forest administration of the Offenburg district.

The local foresters presented the challenge to manage the new disease “Ash Dieback” that is affecting large areas of the district. Ash is a valuable tree species that used to produce a great share of the income for forest owners, especially on sites influenced by the river Rhine. To find alternative tree species on these sites proves to be difficult.

The group had intensive discussions on suitable tree species, silviculture, deer impact and invasive species like the Black Cherry.

After a field-lunch, the group moved to the higher altitudes of the Black Forest to visit storm areas of 1999 where there was no management done at all. It is an interesting site where one can observe natural forest regeneration without any interference of forest management. Of course this works only if the resident deer population is balanced. The case here is that no money is spent on salvage logging and afforestation. 20 years later one can hardly see the dead wood from the storm for the rich natural forest regeneration. Lotharpfad:

The day ended with some wine tasting in the surroundings of Freiburg.

Wednesday, April 18

Before the group started the transit to Aquitaine, we had half a day again at the FVA. Andreas Schuck and Alexander Held presented the development and background of the European Forest Risk Facility. We showed examples of “collect-connect-exchange” and introdruced the participants to the tool of the RiskPlatform. The RiskPlatform will be used to collect all materials of this EoE and an additional use case will be created to make the Belarusian storm expertise available for other users across Europe.

Yvonne Hengst and Christoph Hartebrodt presented the crisis management cycle as well as the social and human dimension in it. We all agreed that Prevention and mitigation deserves more attention in the future.

Again, we had lively discussions…however, the group had to leave to Basel airport.

We arrived in Bordeaux and after dinner EFI staff provided a guided city tour.


Thursday, April 19

The Thursday was a day full with presentations from Aquitaine and the 1 million ha of maritime pine Plantations.

We got a comprehensive introduction how the plantation industry developed there and about the two major storms Martin and Klaus (1999 and 2009). All the presentations can be found in this use case under the "FileManager".

Friday, April 20

An intense field day. We started in the middle of the 1 mio ha pine plantations to discuss afforestation after storm Klaus (2009). Quickly the discussison went on to fire risk and pest and disease, silviculture, deer impact and nurseries.

We then continued to visit a wet-timber –storage, a massive site that was set up after storm Klaus. we could observe the storage of several thousand tons of timber and even the last piles of the 2009 timber that is now still going to pulp and paper. A time of nearly ten years after the storm, much longer than everybody anticipated.

The deer problem was obvious, even the pine is now affected, whereas normally we see deer impact on browsing sensitive species like oak and silver fir.

The day ended with a visit to a saw mill where we could see first-hand what is produced of the maritime pine, from construction timber, to wood chips.


Saturday, April 21

return travel to Moscow and Minsk.

End of Report


Also see: Storm Handbook – Coping with Storm Damaged Timber


Tags: bark beetle, fire, Storm, meeting, network, Silviculture, seedlings, nursery, plantation, Browsing, Deer


  • Alexander Held
  • Andreas Schuck
  • Christoph Hartebrodt


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