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Commitment to forestry and forest technology honoured with an award

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Oliver Thees' research and transfer of knowledge have always endeavoured to make forestry in several countries more efficient and timber harvesting safer. The German Board of Trustees for Forestry Work and Technology (KWF) has now honoured the experienced researcher in acknowledgement of the efforts made over many years.


The Board of Trustees for Forestry Work and Technology (KWF) has awarded a medal to Oliver Thees, leader of the WSL research group Forest Production Systems, for his many years of work as a member of KWF bodies and his services to forestry and forest technology. In his laudatory speech given at the KWF General Meeting in Munich, Chairman Robert Morigl stressed the importance of Thees' contribution to the field offorest engineering. Drawing on his degrees in both forestry and economics, Morigl said that Thees had "taken a balanced and measured view throughout his professional life, ever intent on making forestry operations more efficient".

Since 1989, Oliver Thees has been involved with the KWF, which supports applied research and the transfer of knowledge, especially on economic, technical and logistical forestry issues (see box). Morigl emphasised how Thees' involvement in technical forestry testing has improved the safety and economic viability of forestry work in Central Europe. Thees' work had always worked to devise scientifically well-founded models in such a way that they can also be applied to practical forestry operations.

Mindful of sustainability in forestry

Together with his team, Thees has developed various planning tools for science and practice, one of which, for example, calculates the time and cost of harvesting timber. Another, based on only a few measured data, enables the optimised sorting of timber from individual trees and entire forest stands to maximise harvesting revenues. Other tools used in the context of physical soil protection show how timber can be harvested in a way that protects the soil as much as possible. These models facilitate decisions taken by forest enterprises and thus support modern forest management, which is geared towards promoting biodiversity and providing ecosystem services. With a view to the envisaged energy transition, in recent years Thees has also launched projects on sustainable biomass production and energy use.

Through his work, both in Switzerland and elsewhere, Oliver Thees has raised the profile of resource-conserving timber harvesting and an efficient forestry and wood industry. In so doing, he paved the way at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) for further pioneering research in the context of sustainable forest use and the production of bioenergy.


The German Board of Trustees for Forestry Work and Technology (KWF) is a registered non-profit association that has been conducting practice-oriented research for more than 50 years. It has about 2,500 forestry, forest science, administrative and industrial affiliates. The KWF pursues the goal of using applied research and the transfer of knowledge to help secure long-term sustainability in forestry. To this end it promotes safe forestry practices, innovative forestry technology and environmentally compatible processes and promotes high efficiency in the logistics chain.