COOL - Competing Uses of Forest Land - The future of integrative and segregative policy and forest management approaches in Europe

The COOL project focused on integrate and segregative forest management approaches related to the use of wood for energy. The main objective of COOL is to investigate how different forest management approaches within the involved five European countries (Finland, Germany, Norway, Slovenia and Spain) can be developed in order to meet potentially increasing demand of energy wood while taking into account other relevant forest ecosystem services and objectives (e.g. nature conservation, timber production, recreation) in an appropriate manner. The questions COOL will address in its research are focused on the following:

Current state of energy wood production in the respective partner countries:

  • Which types of energy wood uses do exist?
  • How does forest ownership structure influence the production of energy wood?
  • What are the impacts of European and international policies/strategies and/or directives on the production and use of energy wood?
  • How do different forest management approaches influence the production and use of energy wood as well as other services?

Which conflicts occur with regard to other objectives and demands for other forest ecosystem services and biodiversity (e.g. conservation, recreation, competition for resources, mitigation of climate change)?

How is the use of wood for energy and the resulting conflicts perceived by relevant stakeholders (and the public)?

How are these conflicts dealt with at local, national and at the European level?

  • In how far integrative, segregative or hybrid approaches provide potential approaches for mitigating such conflicts?
  • Which conditions determine in how far an increased use of forest biomass for energy can be integrated in the current use of forests without intensifying existing and creating new conflicts?

Which recommendations can be derived from the analyses?

  • What are the consequences for forest owners and how can their different expectations and objectives be realized?
  • Which recommendations can be given at regional, national and at the European level?


Specific expected outputs of COOL were:

  • an approach (a set of criteria and indicators) to define specific levels of integrative and segregative forest management and policies, 
  • an identification and specification of the relevant factors associated with current ways of handling conflicting interests related to the use of forest land, 
  • an assessment of the limits, chances and overlaps of the existing approaches,
  • an economic analysis and valuation of the different management approaches and scenarios,
  • the identification of suitable policy instruments for their implementation at different policy levels,
  • recommendations for decision makers regarding a coherent implementation, respectively adaptation of existing forest-related land use and conservation strategies.

These results provided new empirical data and methodological approaches related to comprehensive, consistent and coherent forest management approaches in Europe. The key research messages for policy-makers and practitioners will be translated into the languages spoken in the case study countries. These outputs will be accompanied by presentations at the project’s international conference in order to guide future policies and streamlining efforts of existing ones. COOL will also produce scientific, peer-reviewed publications in international journals and share key findings at conferences, workshops as well as through web-based tools.


  • Institute of Forest and Environmental Policy (IFP), University of Freiburg, Germany (coordinator)
  • Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA), Germany
  • European Forest Institute, EFICENT-OEF
  • Finnish Forest Research Insitute, Metla, Finland
  • University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty (ULJ), Slovenia
  • Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC), Spain
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) / Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norway
Project management
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: Institute of Forest and Environmental Policy (IFP), University of Freiburg
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