Stakeholder Keynote – The significance of mountain forests in Austria

Oval Room

Approximately 48% of Austria’s territory is covered by forests. Since Austria is an alpine country, large parts of these forests are mountain forests. They provide a vast variety of functions and ecosystem services: serving as a habitat for fauna and flora, providing clean air and water, supplying us with the renewable material wood, protecting against natural hazards and providing income, especially in the rural area.

A large share of mountain forests are protective forests. The fact that technical protection measures are 146 times more expensive than maintaining an intact protective forest impressively demonstrates the importance of mountain forests for Austria.

The effects of climate change pose great challenges on forests. Active, sustainable forest management is of mayor importance in order to make the forests climate-fit.