United Nations Square

European Forest Institute opens bureau in Bonn

Vier Männer und eine Eiche: Bundeslandwirtschaftsminister Christian Schmidt, EFI-Direktor Marc Palahi, NRW-Staatssekretär Heinrich Bottermann und Bürgermeister Reinhard Limbach pflanzen einen symbolischen Baum vor dem Institut.

An oak tree is planted by Minister Christian Schmidt, EFI Director Marc Palahi, NRW State Secretary Heinrich Bottermann and Mayor Reinhard Limbach in front of the new EFI bureau.

Bonn. In advance of the climate conference, the European Forest Institute opened a bureau in Bonn. Around 15 - 20 employees are expected to work at the institute located at United Nations Square.

A young oak tree was planted symbolically at Platz der Vereinten Nationen (United Nations Square) on Tuesday. After the men in suits did their part, with shovels of course, the professional gardeners came back to plant the tree correctly. Much more challenging than that one tree, however, is taking care of Europe’s forests.

These forests are an important part of our living space, serving as water and CO2 reservoirs, as suppliers of raw materials and offering room for recreation.  In Germany, 32 percent of the land surface has around 90 billion trees. In comparison, Finland has a whopping 68 percent of land covered with trees.

The European Forest Institute (EFI) wants to maintain and even increase this abundance of nature and has made it their business to target decision-makers in politics and government with pertinent information from the world of science.

On Tuesday, EFI opened a bureau in Bonn, adding to their offices in Bordeaux, Barcelona, Brüssels and the headquarters in Finland. An office in Freiburg, Germany was shut down so the bureau could be located in Bonn. The federal government will support it with 400,000 euros for the next ten years to cover administrative costs. In Bonn, it is expected that around 15 to 20 staff members will work under the direction of Georg Winkel, the Head of Programme.

Director Marc Palahi says it’s all about how we can make the forest more resistant in the face of climate change, increasing forest fires, storms and other phenomenons of nature.  Also important is a focus on forests in urban areas and how they can contribute to improved water and air quality.

The EFI was founded in Finland in 1993 and transformed into an international organization in 2003.  It is now supported by 130 various sponsors and organizations. With the climate conference coming up in November, the opening of the EFI can be viewed as an additional resource for information.

Orig. text: Martin Wein
Translation: ckloep