For the first time, forest effects have been defined and their ubiquitous depiction laid down in the legislative text. By way of the Ordinance on the Forest Development Plan (WEP), the required implementation provisions were enacted.
Forest Act & land-use planning
The instruments of forest land-use planning that were laid down in the 1975 Forest Act are the Technical Forestry Plan, the Forest Development Plan, and the Hazard Zone Plan.
Data from forest land-use planning has always been the basis for forest-policy decisions. The Forest Development Plan (WEP), constituting the framework plan in the enforcement of forestry law, the Hazard Zone Plan of the Torrent and Avalanche Control service, and also, to an increasing extent, the Technical Forestry Plan, drawn up for the purpose of documentation of individual forest owner projects, constitute recognised types of planning and expositions of facts.
In the interdisciplinary and transnational exchange of data and knowledge, forest land-use planning has taken on an increasingly active stance. While, during the period of the 1st generation of the Forest Development Plan (from 1975 onwards), forestry authorities maintained a merely irregular mutual exchange of information on the Forest Development Plan with other services and individual neighbouring states, the possibility of taking part in EU projects that are relevant with regards to regional planning has sprung up since Austria’s accession to the EU and already shortly before that date.
National and international matters
Within “INTERREG”, a special EU funding programme, several land-use planning projects could be implemented with different partners from neighbouring countries. Currently, some projects involving or even masterminded by forest land-use planning are in the pipeline. Here, it is about the national and transnational role of forests and their impacts on the surrounding region and the landscape.
The aim in this context is, for example, the exchange of experiences with other countries on specific topics concerning mountain forests or forests in river catchment areas. In an interdisciplinary fashion, different methods and measures for the improvement and securing of the key forest effects and of hazard prevention are discussed to ultimately prepare the ground for making decisions in the framework of regional or mountain forest policy by way of joint technical reports.
By linking up data digitally with other spatially-relevant disciplines, increasingly extensive and up-to-date information on landscape features, but also on measures required for sustainably securing and/or improving these features, are made accessible.