21th-23th April, 2016 in Freiburg (Germany)
Forest management planning and decision making have been able, in the past, to give only slight consideration to risk and uncertainty. Empirically-derived knowledge regarding the factors that are important in achieving desired ecosystem goods and services was plentiful, and uncertainty in this knowledge was generally not thought to be an important consideration. Today, our climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, and this rapidly changing climate is dramatically increasing our level of uncertainty regarding the biotic and abiotic processes that will determine the delivery of desired ecosystem goods and services. Under a changing climate the frequency and severity of natural disturbances are changing, post-disturbance (including post-harvesting) silvics are changing, and our models that attempt to capture these relationships are increasingly complex and uncertain. Overlaying all is a basic uncertainty in the details of our future climate and society’s response to it. Forest resource management is developing novel approaches, such as adaptive management, to deal with the uncertainties. At the same time, risk perception by decision-makers and multiple stakeholders (with competing demands) will play a major role in determining management strategies.