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Nature-oriented forestry in the municipal forest of Lübeck, DE

Rural topic(s): Sustainable forestry

Type: Success story

Date of writing: March 25, 2020


A municipal forestry company, which has become famous for the nature oriented forest management, practised since 1994.


The basic idea is the extensive adaptation of management to natural processes and the minimization of disturbing interventions.

© Lutz Fähser : Impressions of a nature-oriented managed forest

The management concept of the forest was put into practice from 1994 onwards. The areas met the criteria of the Naturland and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), even before these certifications existed.

The forestry process protection concept means that the forest is managed in such a way that natural processes in the forests are largely permitted or are used in accordance with the economic objectives (e.g. natural seeding, selection through natural competition).

Three guiding principles determine the Lübeck concept:

  • The commercial forests should develop into the low-risk and productive form of the natural forest society (closeness to nature)

  • The performance requirements for the forest must not exceed the natural capacity (ecological yield level)

  • The economic use is based on the principle of minimal intervention and the precautinary principle (minimization)

This concept is sensational, particularly because the type of management with reduced use of man and machine allows a higher economic value added to be achieved than with conventional forest management practices. Furthermore this concept allows existing forests under pressure from violent climate change to adapt to new conditions and at the same time to mitigate as an important CO²-sink and long term storage of carbon in organic matter


Lutz Fähser, contact made at the occasion of the Toblacher Gespräche, 27.-30.9.2019


Lutz Fähser


Scale of intervention : Local

Keywords: conservation and management of natural resources, sustainable woodland, ecosystem friendly methods

Places: Germany

Actors: municipality, practionners / managers