The occurrence of insect pests in great numbers always leads to economic losses in the forestry sector in both the regional and the local level. There are different prevention measures to decrease the risk of calamities from insects. On the one hand there is a continuous monitoring of the insect populations in our most essential forests (The Monitoring and Prognosis of Insect Pests), and on the other hand it is the responsibility of forest personnel and managers to stabilise our forests with an adapted, sustainable forest management against insect pests.

The measures for integrated forest protection provide short-term results but are constant to maintain. A move away from even-aged, monoculture to site specific, structurally rich, mixed forests is the most important goal of prevention. The results will however, be observed only in medium to long term.

Near-natural and Sustainable Forests

The best long-term prevention against insect disasters are near-natural, stable and structurally rich forests, where their own balance of power exists. This turns out to be an achievement of almost near-natural or natural forest management practice. This management system ensures the statutory provisions for so-called ‘proper’ and thus sustainable forestry. Approved certification systems such as the FSC and PEFC, whom the forest mangers willingly subject themselves to, compliment these provisions. The demands on the forest and payment for the protection of natural resources are borne together by society as a whole.

Disruptions to our forest ecosystems through insect disasters are also expected in the future, possibly even to a greater extent than previously seen, due to climate change. These disruptions can be tolerated, so long as the forests are not affected in such a way, that the most important functions (use, protection, welfare and recovery functions) are impaired. Otherwise, managers need to take the appropriate defensive measures to protect the forests.

Legal Regulations for Forest Protection

In addition to protecting the interests of forest owners, their forests from damage and pests, the wood and forest laws must also contain regulations for forest protection. Essentially, these are the requirements to manage forests properly and sustainably, as well as prevent damage to a forest. Therefore, forest protection is present in all laws. Further measures for protection against forest fires are often established as are measures against biotic pathogens.

Tab. 1: Overview of the main legal requirements for forest conservation in the KoNeKKTiW-states. Abbreviations: LWaldG = State Forest Law, LForstG = National Forest Act. Status: 05/2012
StateManagementDefensive MeasuresOther
Baden- WürttembergLWaldG
  • (§ 14) Prevention of forest damage caused by natural calamities, fires, insect and plant forest pests
  • (§ 18) ) To prevent forest fires and hazards caused by natural calamities, the Forestry Commission can command the necessary protective measures.
  • ·Protective measures may be arranged by the Forestry Commission or even executed bz them in exchange for reimbursement costs.


Mecklenburg- VorpommernLWaldG
  • (§ 12) Preferably, avoiding the use of pesticides and instead use extensive biological forest protection
  • (§ 19) Task of the forest owner to prevent and avert damage from pests.
  • Any protective measures can be ordered by the Forestry Commission, but the reimbursement of costs may be required.
  • The Forestry Commission may issue further regulations for forest protection (e.g. fire prevention regulation)
  • (§ 30) Closures of the forest for reasons of forest protection (especially forest fires) are possible
Nordrhein- WestfalenLForstG
  • (§ 1b) Further abandonment of insecticides and the use of integrated plant protection.
  • (§ 52) Defend against dangers to the forest and to the features that provide its support services.
  • (§ 45 u. 47) Forest Fire Protection
  • (§ 5) Fundamental abandonment of insecticides.
  • (§ 15) Obligation of forest owners to prevent and to combat threats to the wood from the propagation of plants and animals
  • Preventative measures and monitoring, environmental practices
  • At the risk of imminent danger, safeguards are provided or performed by the Forestry Commission, in return for the reimbursement of costs
  • Further regulations may be adopted
  • (§ 24) Forest Fire Protection
  • (§ 18) Good management of the forest, in particular the prevention of significant damage to the forest from the risks posed by natural events, fires, animal and plant forest pests, plus to combat animal and plant forest pests in a timely and sufficient manner
  • (§ 18 Abs. 2) The Forestry Commission can set a reasonable period of time for the execution of the measures named in paragraph 18, clause 1, under SächsWaldG
  • (§ 28) Defensive measures against forest fire and natural phenomena
  • For the prevention of forest fires and hazards caused by natural events, the Forestry Commission must organize the required safety measures, or execute them after consultation.
  • (§ 5) Use of the opportunities for integrated plant protection to the greatest possible extent under the renunciation of pesticides
  • (§ 22) The forest owner is obliged to take counter-measures (integrated forest protection) against harmful pests, hazards or infestation from pests
  • Prevention is preferred (for example, silvicultural measures)
  • In case of infestation at the local forest or regional level then the Forestry Commission can take special measures
  • From the 1st of May to the 30th of September conifer trees may not be felled or stored in the forest or removed 3 km from coniferous forest; decortication or treatment with appropriate means
  • (§ 23) Defensive Measures against Forest Fires
Austria Forstgesetz 1975 i.d.g.F.
  • (§ 43) Monitoring of forest pests and reporting to the authorities of dangerous outbreaks of forest pests by forest owners and forest protection institutions
  • Waldbesitzer und deren Forst- und Forstschutzorgane
  • (§ 44) Prevention and effective control of forest pests by forest owners
  • If other forests are in peril, the Authority may require joint actions, costs can be apportioned to the forest owners.
  • (§ 45) It is forbidden, either through measures or through non-measures, to promote the propagation of forest pests.
  • (§ 40-42) Forest Fire Protection

Tab. 1: Overview of the main legal requirements for forest conservation in the KoNeKKTiW-states. Abbreviations: LWaldG = State Forest Law, LForstG = National Forest Act. Status: 05/2012

Using an example from Mecklenburg-Vorpommernand and with the additional links below you can find out about the opportunities for the prevention of insect damage.

Forest Crises Management Advisory Guide

Back to the main page of the Forestry Crisis Management Advisor Guide: Overview of the different topic collections

Back to the article overview in the: The Insect Pest Topic Collection: Prevention – Identification – Action