European Forest Resources

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International Postgraduate Course

European Forest Resources and the Bio-Economy

27 November - 2 December 2016



Within Europe, forests cover 36% of the land area and are one of the most important types of land use for biodiversity conservation, storage of carbon and provision of renewable raw materials for the bio-economy. Under the bio-economy the demand for wood is expected to increase rapidly, both to produce new products, traditional products, as well as for energy. How to fulfil this increasing demand sustainably given the trade-offs with other functions, is a large challenge for forest management and policy in Europe. In addition, Europe will most likely come to depend far more on its own forest resources in the future, as other continents show a rapid demand increase as well. Thus, for sustainable multifunctional forest management, the tension between increasing and varying demands from society on the one hand, and increased pressure from climate change and other environmental changes on the other hand, is currently highly relevant.

This course addresses the role of European forests in the bio-economy and the changes that are taking place in management and forest industry such as: European forest resources, management and governance challenges, new demands in bioenergy & bio-economy, changes in demand from industry, criteria for Sustainable Forest Management and for solid biomass production, and trade-off issues with biodiversity. To address the elements above, we aim to bring together experts on European forest ecology, but also experts from industry, economics, and policy. At the same time, we plan to organise excursions to field sites as well as companies dealing in forest products.

Course themes

EFR_image2.jpgThe following themes / topics will be dealt with in this course:

  • Availability of European forest resources (inventory, growth rates, standing stock, incl. prognosis)
  • Competing demands on European forest resources (bioenergy, timber production, biodiversity conservation)
  • Management of forest resources: challenges, need for intensification, sustainability, historical trends
  • European Forest Policy
  • Ownership and economics of forest management
  • Economics of the forest sector, industrial demands
  • Governance issues, e.g. aimed at protection forests in Europe
  • Future perspectives on European Forest Resources
  • Forest-Sector Modelling 

A full detailed programme for the course is now available and can be downloaded as PDF file, here. We also created a poster to further announce the course, which you can download here.

Course elements
  • Opening lecture: an overview lecture detailing the course aims, as well as the topics and themes that will be dealt with during the course
  • Poster Carousel: participants are asked to bring a poster (A0-sized, pre-described format) to the course, which they will present during a poster session in the form of a carousel (i.e., 4 or 5 sessions of 20 minutes in which 5 posters are presented simultaneously. During each session, the participants and lecturers that are not presenting a poster are visiting the other posters. After this, we will all have a good overview of the projects that the participants are working on.
  • Morning lectures: this will be the in-depth lectures given by representatives of the partner institutes, and dealing with one of the above-mentioned themes (either structured such that each lecture covers a theme or that each morning session covers a theme). The lecturers that are giving these lectures will be present throughout the course, to discuss and provide input on the group activity.
  • Discussion on morning lectures: These are chaired by the participants (2 or 3 per discussion slot). The participants that are chairing a session prepare for this by reading some background literature on the topic (provided by the lecturer), prior to the course. Of course, the discussion is open to all, but the 2-3 participants are supposed to chair and convene the discussion.
  • Group activity: This can be very diverse, depending on how we structure it, but the general idea is that this will become very much a workshop-like project, where groups of 3-5 participants work on a specific question / problem / topic (either pre-defined by the organisers, or based on the group’s own interest). Potentially, the outcome of these individual group projects could be synthesized into an opinion or review paper that could serve as the end product of this course.
  • Pitch presentation by participants: The idea is that each group shortly and concisely presents its plan of action for the group activity here. The other groups and the lecturers will be commenting on the plan of action to safeguard its successful outcome, or to at least reflect on it.
  • Excursion: there will be an excursion to a place where the participants can see with their own eyes what is happening in the field and in real life, to place their theoretical work in a practical perspective. The exact location of the excursion is yet to be determined.
  • Leisure lecture by guest speaker: we are planning to invite 1 or 2 guest lecturers to give a leisure lecture in the evening on a more general or more controversial topic, which can then be concluded by a debate where the participants really need to take a position (in favour or against a certain proposition, for instance).
  • Outdoor activity: To refresh the mind and get some physical exercise, we are planning to organise a forest activity (e.g., mountainbiking / hiking / tree climbing, etc.)
  • Presentation of group work: Here, the groups are asked to present the outcome of their group projects. the exact format of their presentation is yet to be determined.

World-renowned experts / lecturers contributing to the course:

  • Prof. Gert-Jan Nabuurs (Professor in European Forest Resources, Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • Prof. Frits Mohren (Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • Prof. Bas Arts (Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • Prof. Marc Hanewinkel (Forestry Economics and Forest Planning, University of Freiburg, Germany)
  • Prof. Hubert Hasenauer (Department of Forest- and Soil Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria)
  • Prof. Tomas Lundmark (Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)
  • Prof. Lauri Hetemäki (European Forest Institute / University of Eastern Finland, Finland)
  • Dr Sebastiaan Luyssaert (Systems Ecology, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Dr Thomas Groen (Department of Natural Resources, University of Twente, Netherlands)
  • Dr Ragnar Jonsson (Joint Research Centre, Italy)
Course organisers
  • Gert-Jan Nabuurs (Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • Frits Mohren (Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • Lennart Suselbeek (Graduate School PE&RC, Netherlands)
General information
Target Group The course is aimed at PhD candidates and other academics
Group Size Min. 15, max. 30 participants
Course duration 5 days, starting on Sunday afternoon at about 4 PM, and finishing on Friday after lunch
Language of instruction English
Frequency of recurrence Every two years
Number of credits 1.5 ECTS
Lecturers See above
Prior knowledge Basic knowledge of forest ecology is assumed
Location Hotel De Bosrand, Ede, the Netherlands


Fees 1
PhD candidates of Wageningen University and of any of the other ELLS Partner Universities 3 €    250,- €    275,-
All other PhD candidates, postdocs and other academic staff €    500,- €    525,-
Participants from the private sector €    750,- €    775,-

1 The course fee includes accommodation, all meals, coffee/tea, and a reader
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE 31 OCTOBER 2016
3 To check whether your university is part of the ELLS network, please click here.


  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
  • Please make sure that your payment is arranged within two weeks after your registration.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 250,- will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 500,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all, a fee of € 750,- will nevertheless be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions)

More information

Prof. Gert Jan Nabuurs
Phone: +31 (0) 317 483522

Dr. Lennart Suselbeek (PE&RC)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485426


To register for this course, please enter your details below, and click "Register".