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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-05-01 - 2022-04-30

Besides more and larger forest reserves, biodiversity conservation goals in European forests (BAFU, 2013b; EC, 2011) also require the integration of nature conservation into the management of forests for commodity production (Kraus and Krumm, 2013). Currently, however, such policy integration is hampered: i.e. policies are often not formulated explicitly enough (Winkel and Sotirov, 2016), they are not sufficiently based on findings of conservation science (Winter et al., 2014) and implementing agencies at lower levels are reluctant to accept objectives imposed from above (Treby et al., 2014) or lack capacity (Maier and Winkel, 2017). The main objective of present research proposal is to assess the potential effectiveness of policies concerning integrated nature protection in managed forests and to establish how these policies are dependent on actor constellations (including the science-policy interface) as well as decentralization. To measure our dependent concept, potential regulatory effectiveness, we will assess the content of recent regulation addressing important aspects of integrated nature conservation in managed forests (o.a. dead-wood, habitat trees, old-growth islands) and judge its potential effectiveness based on criteria of policy design (e.g. promising combinations of compulsory and voluntary instruments, the degree of financial compensation etc.). Our explanatory concepts (actor constellations, the science policy interface, decentralization) we will derive from document analysis and qualitative interviews as well as a standardized social network survey among the previously identified main actors. As such the study will add to the growing body of evidence about the importance of actor constellations and the science policy interface on environmental and resource conservation policy outputs. This evidence is based on systematic comparative research based on sub-national units, which is almost lacking in the field of forest policy and nature conservation (Geitzenauer et al. 2016). Maria Geitzenauer, Karl Hogl, Gerhard Weiss (2016): The Implementation of Natura 2000 in Austria – A European policy in a federal system. Land Use Policy, Volume 52, March 2016, Pages 120-135.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-12-01 - 2019-11-30

Modern wood product technology allows for the design of even high-rise buildings which are durable and pass strict fire regulations. In practice, however, the uptake of wood construction is very limited. A partial explanation is that the availability of sustainability assessments pertaining to renewable raw material value chains is limited, and where existing, are rarely comprehensive; mostly focusing on specific products and often lack benchmarking against use of non-renewable materials. These shortcomings will be addressed in the benchmarking method development to compare wood-based with non-renewable value chains in ToSIA. For this purpose, a set of universal indicators (for all value chains) and generic non-renewable reference chains will be developed. The benchmarking method will be tested in 5 case studies in Europe and Russia spanning different decision making contexts. A European wide projection on the substitution potential in the construction sector and its effects on the bioeconomy will be carried out, as well as intense stakeholder interaction and capacity building in partner countries.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-05-01 - 2020-10-31

The project reaches out towards young policy makers in Austria, as they will play a key role in governing the transformation to a low-carbon society. The project shall contribute to increase their awareness on urgent climate action and shape a cross-party vision of a common, low-carbon future. Further the nexus between climate science and young policy makers will be strengthened by supporting climate scientists to adopt an active role as knowledge brokers.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations