Main author: Peter Adolphi
With contributions from: Lasse Loft, Manuel Asbach
Edited by: Ewert Aukes, Peter Stegmaier
List of Figures
List of Tables
||Aktiengesellschaft – public limited company
||Akademie für Nachhaltige Entwicklung M-V
||Constructive Innovation Assessment
||Corporate Social Responsibility
||Energie- und Umweltberatung
||Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg
||Hochschule für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde
||Internationale Tourismusbörse – international tourism fair
||Landwirtschaftsministerium – Ministry of Agriculture
||Sustainable Development Goals
||Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
||Westmecklenburgische Energieversorgung AG
||Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research
1.1 Overall case description
Waldaktie is a new payment scheme for climate protection, in which actors (mainly tourists) can compensate their (holiday-) CO2 emissions by paying for (buying) “forest shares”. A “forest stock” describes a certified payment of 10 Euros for the tree maintenance on an area of 5 square meters in a “climate forest”. In this dimension Waldaktie is a voluntary climate protection tool based on certified compensation of CO2 emissions investing in additional climate forests. The money collected by selling Waldaktie must be spent for the afforestation of areas who have not been forests before. Reforestation is not allowed. Waldaktie is an education tool for sustainable development as well, as it explains the ecosystem services of forests to non-specialists. As the calculation corresponds to a certain amount of CO2 emissions, e.g. caused by a holiday of a four-head-family for two weeks, Waldaktie demonstrates the link between the emissions, the compensation, and the related function of forests as well. In addition, Waldaktie can be used by companies to make their products more attractive.
The main objective was to create a project that combines climate protection, sustainable tourism and the integration of forest ecosystem services. The project should enhance the sensitivity of the public for the indispensability of ecosystem services using the example of Waldaktie. Having the tourists as actors who pay to be allowed to plant trees in order to sequestrate that amount of CO2 caused by themselves the function of all ecosystem services becomes obvious in several dimensions, e.g.:
- their indispensability,
- the area required to allow compensation,
- the time required to plant the trees and to maintain the forest/biotope,
- the time gap between the initial action and the result desired,
- the global effect of a local action,
- the costs of it all.
Furthermore, it was intended, at least from the inventors perspective, to open up a discussion about an ecological inter-state fiscal adjustment which should be added to the traditional inter-state fiscal instruments. Today we can see that companies also buy forest shares and use them for their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
1.2 Problem background
Climate changing CO2 emissions are generated by economic activities and individual actors. The Waldaktie-innovation shifts the payment responsibility to such actors who generate the emissions through their touristic activities. The tourists are motivated to plant their own climate forest close to their holiday spot and to return in the forthcoming season to see how their climate forest has grown during their absence. Having the climate forests close to the holiday spot the tourists do not only compensate their emissions but help to develop the ecosystems they love to visit and support the touristic attractiveness of their destination.
2 Case overview
2.1 Case history
Table 1: History of the Waldaktie.
||First thoughts and talks about the idea after the ministry order to shape a climate protection project within the LM MV
||Official start of the project, planting event near Neustrelitz in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
||Waldaktie-booth on ITB, mainly organized by the Landesforst and the Tourist Board MV
||First public planting event on Usedom (annually in autumn until today)
||Article about Waldaktie in the magazine “Mobil” from AMEROPA/Deutsche Bahn
||Nomination “Deutscher Tourismuspreis”
||Award UN Decade Education for Sustainable Education (1st award)
||Presentation of the innovation to the Federal President of Germany
||Large public planting event on Usedom
||First company, WEMAG, buys Waldaktie in large quantities, and continues to do so
||Award UN Decade Education for Sustainable Education (2nd award)
||10 year anniversary planting event
||Project’s 10 year anniversary at ‘Herbstdienstberatung of Landesforst’ and “Kick-off-meeting InnoForESt”
||Award UN Decade Biological Diversity
The good acceptance of the Waldaktie by almost all relevant actors was mainly driven by the fact that all individual interest driven demands were satisfied. The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern federal state environmental ministry holds a well-known, accepted, and media-effective climate protection program. The Landesforst and the participating municipality could create a climate protection image as well as economically more attractive areas.
The project could support the tourism association in terms of building a reputation on environmentally friendly tourism and regional awareness. The regional and local companies, industries, and businesses buying Waldaktie could build a climate friendly and ecological supportive image and show their local awareness. The tourists of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, involved in many planting actions and buying the shares, could connect individual stories to the tree plantings actions and compensate their holidays.
Overall, the whole development was strongly driven by the extremely positive connotations regarding trees and forests – meanings have been created for people and regional embeddedness has been demonstrated.
The actor constellation has been pretty constant over time. Two new actors have become more important recently. First, so far only one municipality has provided areas for climate forests. But for the future an area supply through further municipalities is envisaged. This is necessary and relevant as the Landesforst is not able to provide enough areas in the long term. Second, the ANE has been involved to further development the Waldaktie in terms of implementation into community and municipal economic contexts, and the UN Agenda 2030 as well.
2.2 Brief stakeholder constellation
Table 2: List of stakeholders.
||Actor & Abbreviation
||Full name (if applicable)
||Actor status and explanations
||Dr. Thorsten Permien
||Head of division within LM MV
||Ministerium für Landwirtschaft und Umwelt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
||Mecklenburg-Vorpommern federal state environmental ministry
||Mecklenburg-Vorpommern federal state forest agency
||Tourist association MV
||Tourist association Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
||Energie- und Umweltberatung
||Energy and environmental consulting association (association does not longer exist)
||Stiftung für Umwelt und Entwicklung
||Norddeutsche Stiftung für Umwelt und Entwicklung
||Foundation of Environment and Development
||Westmecklenburgische Energieversorgung AG
||Regional energy supply company
||Local industries and businesses
||e.g.: Local tourism agencies, mineral water producer, branches of companies (Fielmann, Deutsche Bank)
||Municipalities are territorially administrative units which enjoy a certain degree of self-government
||Press and Media
||All kinds of media (newspapers, television, radio, blogs)
||Stiftung Akademie für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
||Academy for sustainable development (foundation)
Figure 1: Interactions between participating stakeholders. Blue: state actors; Orange: economic actors; Green: civil society actors.
2.3 Reflection: overall governance situation before workshop
After several successful years of Waldaktie the initial stakeholders (LM, Tourist Association, Landesforst) realized a gradual shrinkage of purchases by individuals and public activities related to Waldaktie. This situation arose simultaneously with a growing shortage of land needed for new climate forests and to a growing demand on Waldaktie by companies. This situation influenced the initial commitment between the stakeholders based on common interests.
This situation interfered with similar observations concerning two other voluntary ecological securities which had meanwhile been initiated by one of the stakeholders (Dr. Permien) and were established successfully in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and other German states as well:
- MoorFutures: re-wetting peatlands in order to interrupt CO2-emissions from agricultural used peatlands and
- Streuobstgenussschein: re-cultivation of meadow orchard to support biodiversity (e.g. insects, amphibians) and preserve historic fruit varieties.
All three ecologic securities were faced with increasing demand which could not be met due to a gap of areas/projects to be used for. Furthermore, a shift from individual buyers to institutional customers was observed for all three as well as an interest for different co-benefits caused by the implementation of the climate forest, the re-wetted peatland, or the meadow orchard.
Searching for reasons for the observations and putting together the interfering demand the idea of Waldaktie 2.0 was born. This new format of a well known product should include practicable solutions for the following key issues:
- How can Waldaktie return to former attractiveness to individual clients?
- How can Waldaktie overcome the lack of area for new climate forests?
- Which price of Waldaktie is necessary to cover all relevant expenses incl. land acquisition?
- How should we adjust the group of stakeholders to cover all additional needs?
These topics have to be discussed under the circumstances of the growing debate on climate change and individual responsibility which have not been as big during the introduction of Waldaktie more than 10 years ago. And they should include experiences made on other the ecological securities developed in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as cited above. This common experience meets the intended goal of enhancing the public sensitivity for ecosystem services in general and acts as an additional motivation for continuing the process.
3 Overall approach
3.1 Innovation strategy of the case study
The initial approach concerning Waldaktie 2.0 was focused on broadening the price calculation by adding supplementary ecological services which belong to the new climate forests. This approach took into account that the ecological sensibility of the target group is rising and suggested, that their willingness to pay higher prices is depending on a high transparency of the calculation which includes supplementary ecological services. Therefore the first development goal was focused on the scientific background of the monetarization of ecological services delivered by climate forests in addition to the CO2 sequestration.
This “academic approach” shifted into a multidependent model during the innovation process, mainly driven by a better differentiation between the motivation of different groups of buyers, the goals of the stakeholders, and the increasing public pressure on efficient climate action. This lead to two scenarios of Waldaktie 2.0 which have been discussed excessively.
3.2 Platform and network process
The general character of interactions between actors in this case is generally constructive but clearly led by the actor’s self-interest. I.e., Waldaktie is a shared vision but a search for compromises. The character strongly depends on the motivation of the partner and their position in terms of political position, cultural goals, and financial power.
On a political level the interaction happens within the units of the “ministry of agriculture and the environment” itself as well as between the ministry and external authorities. In the political sphere the wellbeing of the respective political body seems to be the number one priority and the Waldaktie seems to be mainly an asset. Furthermore, the individual identification with the product differs between the ministerial employee who invented the product and the minister and the administrative levels’ representatives in between. In terms of the enhancement of public recognition of the “ecological value” of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the federal republic the minister and the ministerial employee Dr. Permien hold an identical position which differs from those of other representatives.
With partners like the Landesforst as an external authority (but dependent on the ministry, too) the interaction is professional but also profits from the authority’s interest in image and public perception. Actors like WEMAG, as a costumer, or media have a primarily economical interest in the Waldaktie and benefit from it by creating products or/and a greener image. Those relationships are business relationships, even though the will to do something good for the region and environment is also an independent driver for cooperation.
By the implementation of ANE into the initial group of stakeholders the perspective of clients as well as the Agenda 2030 got higher weight. Since ANE does not follow self-interests it became crucial to cope with both, the individual interests of stakeholders and clients and the superior goals (like the SDGs). ANE took this role and divided the development process into general steps (without knowing the CINA-procedure):
- scraping out the true individual and/or institutional motivation of all stakeholders, their goals (public and internal), and their limits for compromises.
- determining key questions which can help to define the future product.
- deriving essential features of the future product fulfilling the expectations of all stakeholders and meeting the interest of future clients.
- designing a process towards the product, it’s introduction into the market, and it’s future management.
3.3 Overall CINA workshop strategy
The German case study and its partners invested a lot of time into step 1 of the CINA process. All in all 5 workshops are planned, of which the first 3 (and numerous individual talks between ANE and single stakeholders) were dedicated to step 1. Workshop 4 will be used for step 2 and workshop 5 for step 3. In this report all workshops making up CINA step 1 will be reported as one workshop.
The aim of CINA workshop 1 was to reflect the current status of the Waldaktie (strength and weaknesses: S+W) and plan how Waldaktie can be further improved (opportunities and threats: O+T). For the follow up workshop, which will be CINA step 2, a finalized scenario design and stringent model, as well as selection of relevant actors as participants should be achieved in stage 1.
4 Type 1 workshop(s): Innovation analysis and visioning
4.1 Visioning workshop 1
4.1.1 Scenarios used
In order to define possible scenarios a first step of SWOT-analysis and the related communication was necessary. This was time consuming since the reflection of the current status and of the processes behind brought different perspectives to light (cf. ch. 3.2 – step a.). The main focus differed between:
- keeping the initial idea alive by reanimation and development (T. Permien),
- getting back the tourists as main clients (Tourist Association),
- getting a price which covers all costs (Landesforst),
and was generally driven by the shortage of land for new climate forests which is mainly caused by the price restrictions. Resulting from this it became clear that a higher price for Waldaktie is essential. This higher price needs to be defined (full cost accounting) and motivated (transparency for clients) and must not smash the attractivity of the product. Resulting from the “CINA preparation discussions” (mainly discussed on March 6th at ANE in Güstrow, see separate notes) the key questions have been condensed to a tabular scenario description which has been delivered to all participants with the following introducing paragraphs (cf. ch. 3.2 – step b.):
- Main goal of the Waldaktie 2.0? Avoiding of CO2 emissions and compensation of unavoidable ones vs. unlimited compensation of CO2 emissions
- Key questions for further development of Waldaktie:
- acquisition of land for additional afforestation due to competition with other land use (incl. mandatory compensatory measures)
- management costs of climate forests (forest administration)
- management costs of Waldaktie (stakeholders)
→ rising price for Waldaktie is necessary
- Options for the enhancement of the price
- new calculation on cost basis (inflationary adjustment, incl. management costs and land acquisition)
- new calculation on benefit basis (carbon storage prices, potential co-benefits)
- additional topics to be included in the scenarios’ discussions
- integration of co-benefits (different ratios on different locations)
- calculation of co-benefits (different precision!)
- marketing chances of eco-sec-portfolio
- how to prevent „green washing“
- how to support „avoid emissions“ vs. „compensate emission“
- potential new stakeholder structure – options, resulting from potential
- change of right holder
- change of responsibilities
The table/matrix next page compares the two main options / scenarios on the basis of a short description of facts and expectations. The Workshop on July 3rd should discuss the table as follows:
- Does the description meet the real situation?
- Which points are necessary to get included / to be changed?
- Do all stakeholders agree to accept it as the baseline of further discussion?
- Which of the limitations are essential? What do we need to develop first?
Table 3: Evaluation matrix for comparative scenario analysis.
||multiple effect integration
||single effect compensation
||CO2 & co-benefits
||avoiding of CO2 emissions, compensation of unavoidable only
||unlimited compensation of CO2 emissions
||educational approach → future of earth
||voluntary compensation tool → competition to market
||buy more than necessary → large climate forests
||buy as few as necessary → small climate forests
|potential public refutation
|planting events necessary
||accounting on basis of calculated ecological benefits and co-benefits
||full costs accounting
|to be included
||CO2, biodiversity, hydrologic balance, …
||area purchase, climate forest installation and management, management of the Waldaktie, marketing
||price should exceed full cost accounting
||comparable to mandatory measures
||yes (due to educational goals), but not wanted
||prevention of further destruction of earth due to
||strategic positioning / CSR
||business trips and/or products
||emissions related to event
||purchase of land
The CINA workshop took place on July 3rd 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the meeting room of ANE in Güstrow. The setting included a large table with all participants sitting on that table. The setting included coffee and snacks and a light lunch.
- Harald Machur (Tourist Association),
- Felix Adolphi (Landesforst),
- Thorsten Permien (Ministry for Agriculture and Environment MV)
- Carolin Maier (FORST),
- Claas Meyer (ZALF),
- Carolin Biedermann (ZALF),
- Peter Stegmaier (Uni Twente),
- Stefan Sorge (HNEE),
- Peter Adolphi
- Henrik Manthey
- Achim Schäfer (University of Greifswald)
This setting as a small group consisting of “people who know each other very well” (initial stakeholders), new players, having intensive contact to all stakeholders (ANE) and “new observers” (InnoForESt players) allowed a very open discussion. Nevertheless, it was time consuming to steer the debate on the essential topics.
The different participant groups follow different primary agendas within this debate:
- The stakeholders wanted to keep their product alive, seeing a demand of innovation or, at least, of a new management agreement adjusted to the lost of private buyers and the lack of area. Below this common headline the stakeholders did see different priorities for the adjustments or innovations. These different perspectives lead to different topics of discussion and the related questions.
- The InnoForESt actors wanted to observe and understand the innovation process. The questions they like to get answered are focusing on perceiving the deadlocks and the opportunities of the process (innovation process description and abstraction) and the product itself (supporting forest ecosystem services).
- Greifswald University is mainly focused on the quantification of different benefits and co-benefits and the related monitoring systems.
- ANE follows the political goals of sustainability and is intended to broaden the public recognition of a wide range of “sustainability tools”. The monetarization of ecosystem services and their marketing by means of ecological securities belongs to the corridors followed. This motivates the participation in InnoForESt and drives the investment into Waldaktie 2.0.
It belongs to the communicative strategy of ANE within this project to allow the process to find it’s own speed since ANE’s priority is the wide-ranged identification with the product instead of quick results. This strategy does not always fit to the short term stakeholder’s interest.
4.1.4 Key thematic findings
All agree that they like to continue! Possible name change is discussed, but all agree that it’s good to stick to the language of stocks, shares, futures, securities. Nevertheless, behind this “homogeneity” different interests and motivations of the initial stakeholders are concealed which are not introduced into the debate from the very beginning. Furthermore, the “old group of stakeholders” is still precarious about both, the goals of InnoForESt and it’s key function concerning Waldaktie as well as the role of ANE within the process of developing Waldaktie 2.0.
These questions, that have never been asked yet, influenced the type of arguments which have been used and prevented quicker improvements. It took time to overcome this “lack of confidence” behind, to unfold the key arguments of each stakeholder and to focus the debate on the indispensable results allowing the design of scenarios and/or prototypes.
This situation became obvious by an undulating debate switching between “this scenario table is useless since it doesn’t describe the reality” and “this type of abstraction helps to name the limitations as well as the decisions which are necessary”. The contradiction between “unlimited compensation” (scenario B) and “avoiding emissions” (scenario A) is perceived to be “too strong” in the first reflection of the table. Later on the discussion distinguished between the different perspectives concerning higher prices:
- The client’s perspective needs transparency in order to understand that the initial price has risen (reason to include additional ecosystem services into the calculation of benefits).
- The seller’s perspective needs to notice the gap between full cost accounting and sales revenue (in order to acquire the difference and to assign it to certain “co-beneficial goals”).
In addition it became obvious that future CO2 pricing will not allow to sell voluntary compensation shares at lower prices than mandatory measures. This lead to the finding that there are at least two different tasks:
- Communication to the clients to explain all benefits and
- Securing the availability of Waldaktie by finding reasonable prices.
Several models of graduated prices and qualified access have been discussed as supplementary options concluding in the finding that the right adjustment of both will help to avoid “green washing” and “wrong clients”.
4.1.5 Detailed thematic findings
More detailed thematic findings have been discussed in the preliminary workshops prior to CINA. The related input (mainly from March 6th) can be summarized as follows:
- Achim Schäfer explained the difficulties in getting similar precision in the price calculation for co-benefits of Waldaktie.
- Harald Machur demonstrates the difficulties of running the management of Waldaktie in the Tourist Association while having clients not belonging to the target group (WEMAG).
- Felix Adolphi explains the restrictions of land acquisition by Landesforst resulting from legislative settings.
- Thorsten Permien offers an idea of a portfolio scheme allowing clients to set their specific proportion of Ecological Securities on the basis of benefit and co-benefit proportion.
The related findings were condensed to the scenario table by ANE (see above).
By combining the first step of “internal reflection” including SWOT analysis (after having several individual discussions between ANE and single stakeholders mainly realized in March 6th) with a second step of an open discussion with actors outside the stakeholder’s group (see participant’s list of July 3rd) the process got an additional drive. This was mainly driven by the differentiation of the several perspectives and tasks and led to the focus questions cited above.
It took that long period since the initial stakeholders showed a high identification with their product in the original setting. It was hard to recognize that the loss of individual clients is a result of changing frame settings which cause the necessity of an adjusted product. This process was superimposed by the uncertainties concerning InnoForESt and the role of ANE in between.
4.1.7 Stakeholder interactions
After accepting the situation described above the positioning of the stakeholders became more clear and returned to their self-interests they have to realize while keeping Waldaktie alive. The atmosphere was obviously very relaxed from the beginning. The group is at ease with each other and characterized by a high level of individual trust, due to the long history together (>10 years). Nevertheless, this individual trust is overlain by some scepticism resulting from uncertainties concerning the institutional goals of the structures behind. The input given by ANE reflecting results of other IR (known from meeting in Trento, e.g. CZ/SK, FN and AUT) encouraged the stakeholders.
4.1.8 Lessons learnt
The main lesson learned is that the price focus on the benefits & co-benefits calculation will not result in new product of better recognition. It is necessary to combine both scenarios, the educational approach and the compensation approach as well.
The new prototype must meet two criteria:
- The story behind must reflect recent mind set changes and
- The price must exceed the full cost accounting.
5 Type 2 workshop(s): Prototype assessment
5.1 Prototype workshop 1
5.1.1 Scenarios used
The framework for these scenarios has changed since the CO2 pricing by the German government became a major field of political discussion. This pushed the scenario discussion from “optional / intellectual / theoretical” to “mandatory / practical”. Furthermore, the shortage of land increased, Waldaktie became expected be sold out soon.
- Felix Adolphi (Landesforst),
- Syntje Krause (Landesforst)
- Thorsten Permien (Ministry for Agriculture and Environment MV)
- Lasse Loft (ZALF)
- Manuel Asbach (ZALF)
- Stefan Sorge (HNEE),
- Peter Adolphi
- Henrik Manthey
did not show up:
- Harald Machur (Tourist Association) – dropped in later,
- Peter Stegmaier (Uni Twente),
- Carolin Maier (FORST),
- Achim Schäfer (University of Greifswald)
This setting was similar to 4.1.3, complemented with the main client of the last years (WEMAG). The atmosphere was open and relaxed again. Due to the new participants (Syntje Krause, Oliver Maas) the discussion became more precise, since everybody was interested to explain his position more clearly. Furthermore, everybody had obviously reflected the July workshop and it’s results again and was additionally focused on his own goals and possibilities. This helped to name common positions and goals.
This progress of clarification interfered with some retentiveness of Thorsten Permien who had recently started negotiations with different partners in order to establish an alternative structure to develop new ecosecs and to marketing new and old ones together. This initiative was caused by a strong dissatisfaction with the ministry he is employed concerning the lack of support for his extraordinary input.
5.1.4 Key thematic findings
The discussion of CINA 1 was reflected intensively. Due to the ongoing discussion on mandatory CO2 pricing in Germany the price setting criteria got in focus again. Felix Adolphi explained that the value of 1 ha land shrinks from 20 T€ to 6 T€ as soon as it became “forest” instead of agricultural land. This loss of value is part of the discussion as well as all other costs. He agitates for a combination of educational approach and full cost accounting again and suggests a price model of “negative discount”, i.e., the more you buy the higher the price. This model could support avoidance vs. compensation.
Oliver Maas declares that WEMAG does have a budget to be spent for ecological securities. The higher the price the less securities they will buy. This will lead to shrinking public attention. Lasse Loft proposes to have a workshop on pricing only. Participants agreed. The focus should be set on combining both, the costs caused by installing new climate forests (incl. acquisition of land – full cost accounting) and the calculation of benefits for all relevant ecosystem services (in addition to CO2), neglecting the different precision of numbers concerning the different services (e.g.: biodiversity, water household, temperature management and others). The key questions stay unanswered (see below). Nevertheless, the key players (Tourist Association and Landesforst) summarized their future collaboration together (cf. 5.1.7)
5.1.5 Detailed thematic findings
The following key questions were noticed to be essential to Waldaktie development:
- Purchase of land to be used for additional afforestation of climate forests competing with other forms of land use (incl. mandatory compensatory measures).
- Maintenance costs of climate forests (Landesforst).
- Management costs of Waldaktie (several stakeholders).
- Demanding higher price for Waldaktie 2.0 – reflecting all these questions as options.
Questions concerning the principle of preferring avoidance instead of compensation (cultural goal, educational tool):
- Marketing chances for “ecosec-portfolios”.
- How to prevent “green washing”?
- How to implement avoidance without shutting down Waldaktie?
Questions to decide simultaneously:
- May another structure of the stakeholder’s collaboration help?
- Should the rights on the Waldaktie be transferred to an independent player outside the ministry?
- Which stakeholder is responsible for which part of the maintenance and management?
The process to define Waldaktie 2.0 was much more focused than in CINA 1. Stakeholders had accepted that the corporative requirement of emission reduction leads to the discrepancy between “avoiding emissions” and “compensation” which hardly can be managed by just one eco sec product. Whereas the scenario table (cf. 4.1.1.) had been discussed during CINA 1 as “intellectual model” it became much more real now.
5.1.7 Stakeholder interactions
Unfortunately Harald Machur (Tourist Association) did not make it to participate. He dropped in afterwards and did meet Felix Adolphi and Syntje Krause. They started an individual “After-CINA-meeting” and discussed the results. They focused on the perspective of the implementation.
They communicated the following findings:
- The Tourist Association will stay part of Waldaktie 2.0.
- Landesforst will prepare a binding agreement to reserve a significant area of land per year for Waldaktie for a price of 65,000 €/ha.
- The Tourist Association will install a new distribution system within the first quarter of the year which should incorporate the other existing eco secs (MoorFutures, Streuobstgenuss-schein).
- Landesforst und Tourist Association will negotiate the estimated handling and management effort which need to be included into the price of Waldaktie – the resulting price for Waldaktie 2.0 is estimated in the range from 70 to 80 €.
- To lower the price for individual clients a compensation by higher prices for business clients is foreseen.
- Both partners will develop a transparent price communication shifting from “per 5 m²” to “per kg CO2” or “per tree”.
- It should be possible for individuals to by less than 1 Waldaktie (parts of one) in order to keep clients interested who are not willing to spend 80 €.
- The “avoiding instead of compensation” question will be incorporated into new holiday offers which are already on the way in the Tourist Association.
There is no reporting about the results so far (c.f. 5.1.9.).
5.1.8 Lessons learnt
The results cited under 5.1.7. demonstrate the gap between the impatience of some stakeholders and the development necessities resulting from the more general point of view. This corresponds to the conflicts of the time schedule which arise regularly, e.g.: There is a urgent need to redesign and to restart the web page. On the other hand this new web page should represent the new product which is not finally designed. Furthermore, a new marketing tool on this web page should offer a sufficient number of Waldaktie, but there are none. The future process should incorporate these conflicts.
In early January 2020 it became obvious, that the government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern recognises the eco secs as an unique selling point of the country. The prime minister spent Waldaktie as a gift to chancellor Merkel and wants to install the eco secs as a part of the sustainable development strategy.
This sounds like success, since it is the first time, that this recognition takes place outside the Ministry of Environment. But:
- Currently the Ministry of Agriculture an Environment is founding a new foundation called “Forest Foundation” which will be based on a 20 million € budget taken from the 300 million countries’ budget surplus from 2019.
- This foundation will support civic engagement in tree planting in the state forests by paying the trees but engaging people for planting them.
- The Minister did not consult any of the stakeholders of Waldaktie, neither Dr. Permien (who is the responsible employee) nor either the CEO of Landesforst or ANE (note: the minister is head of the advisory board of ANE!).
In case this information is true and the “Forest Foundation” will act as described this will destroy the idea of Waldaktie followed so far. It was not possible to get any answer of the ministry yet.
6 Overall lessons learnt
As Waldaktie concerns land use, there can be many stakeholders involved. There has been no process threatening conflict between actors about this, but whenever critical or protected areas were planned to be planted, delays occurred because of the required consent of different authorities or interest groups. The lesson learned from this has been to avoid such areas. As soon as many actors interact in a consortium to work on an innovation there will be the problem of conflicting priorities, depending on the individual scientific background. It is important for the coordinator of such a group to find a unifying aspect as an entry point into conversation and to be open to accept results that differ from his/her own idea of the best way forward.
Recent developments have reinvigorated the political discussion about the Waldaktie. Soon, the form of the forest foundation behind the Waldaktie as well as the rights holder of the securities will be discussed anew. The InnoForESt practice partner Academy for Sustainable Development (ANE) has not only been the initiator of the discussion, but it also figures as a possible solution to reorganize the management structure of the Waldaktie.