Founded in 1979, DFS Deutsche Forstservice GmbH is a German consulting company specialised in natural resource management and in particular forest sector development. Drawing upon more than 40 years of experience, having implemented projects in more than 90 countries, we are a proficient and reliable partner in all phases of the project cycle.
Our mission is to enhance the sustainable management of natural resources for the benefit of people and biodiversity.
Services offered range from identification, design, appraisal, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation to backstopping of natural resource management projects world-wide, with three main areas of expertise:
1. Forest Resources Management
Forest resources inventory and monitoring
- Inventory design, data acquisition and processing: Remote sensing techniques, cartography and GIS, field measurements, observations, establishment of permanent sampling plots, abundance/ dominance appraisals, minimum area determinations, biodiversity inventories, assessment of forest goods and services, household surveys, statistical sampling, household surveys, rapid and participatory rural appraisal.
- Data analysis and interpretation: Analysis of physical, biological, ecological, social, cultural and economic conditions, derivation of trends, recommendations and best practices, participatory evaluation and monitoring of socio-economic and ecological project impacts.
- Database management: Database development, design and establishment of information and knowledge management systems.
Integrated participatory forest resource management
- Participatory preparation and implementation of management plans for forest reserves, tree and agro-forestry plantations, agro-sylvopastoral systems, protected areas and their buffer zones, including infrastructure development. Development or improvement of management structures and procedures for public or private forest concessions, municipal / communal or community based forest management, and support to the formation of forest management units.
- Demarcation of forest management units and zoning: Participatory forest function mapping, classification in conservation, protection, production, multiple use and other functional zones.
- Sustainable forest management and close to nature forest management: Tending, thinning, future crop tree selection, mixed stands, multi layered stand structures, integrated watershed management, reduced impact harvesting, sustainable utilization of timber and non-timber forest products, value chain development, support to the processing, certification and marketing, assisted natural regeneration, pest and disease control, fire prevention.
Afforestation, reforestation and rehabilitation
- Site selection and preparation, tree species selection, genetic improvement, tree nursery and plantation techniques, treatment and tree protection.
2. Environment and Climate Change
Biodiversity conservation and protected area management
- Protected area management: Feasibility studies / protected area management planning comprising legal and institutional analysis, stakeholder analysis, preparation and implementation of field surveys and socio-economic assessments, identification of key biodiversity areas and conservation priorities, development of conservation objectives and measures, participatory land use mapping and planning, delimitation and zoning of protected areas, buffer zones and ecological corridors, participatory planning of project measures, environmental and social impact assessment, conflict management, promotion of transparent land tenure and ownership rights, initiation and maintenance of cooperative relationships, development of cost and financing plans, assessment of project impacts and risks.
- Biodiversity conservation and management: Habitat protection, wildlife management, wetland management, coastal management and mangroves, adaptive management practices; inventory, applied research and monitoring of fauna and flora, minimum habitat requirements, patrolling, anti-poaching, controlled hunting, game ranching, ecotourism, safaris, ecosystem approach, co-management, consideration of indigenous / traditional / local knowledge, Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), support to negotiation processes and the formation of resource management units, access and benefit sharing.
- Conservation finance: Internalization of environmental externalities, consideration of opportunity costs / costs and benefits of a given ecosystem, assessment of environmental goods and services, Payments for Environmental Services (PES) schemes, compensation schemes for forest protection and biodiversity conservation, contract nature protection schemes, environmental funds, trust funds, debt-for-nature-swap, sector wide approaches.
Climate change mitigation and adaptation
- Quantification of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) impacts of Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR), Improved Forest Management (IFM) and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects: Determination of carbon pools to be accounted for, estimation of carbon stocks, establishment of Reference Emission Levels (REL), design of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems compliant with IPCC / GOFC-GOLD guidelines and VCS standards.
- Integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in natural resources management projects, a.o. afforestation / reforestation and revegetation measures, fire management. Maintenance of ecosystem resilience, introduction of adapted land and resource use practices, especially regarding soil, forests, rangeland and water.
- Climate change finance e.g. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), enhancement of forest carbon stocks through conservation and sustainable management of forests (REDD+), integration of co-benefits through biodiversity conservation and participation of indigenous peoples (REDD++).
Forest protection, rehabilitation and desertification control
- Forest protection: Application of international standards to the designation and establishment of high conservation value forests, particularly in ecologically sensitive regions (e.g. mountainous areas, transboundary protected areas).
- Rehabilitation of wasteland and degraded forest areas, regeneration of the opencast-mining areas, etc.
- Desertification control: Control of land degradation and desertification processes, erosion control, rehabilitation of vegetation cover, plantation of adapted species in terms of soil and climate conditions.
3. Sustainable Development
Environmental policy and strategy advice
- Policy advice: Improvement of political, legal, fiscal and social framework conditions conducive to sustainable natural resources management, support to the implementation of international conventions (MDGs, CBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD), harmonization of framework policies, e.g. formulation of National Forest Programs (NFP).
- Legal advice and law enforcement: Analysis and improvement of legal framework (forest and protected areas legislation), consideration of principles of sustainable forest management and the ecosystem approach, identification of disincentives with negative effect on forests and biodiversity (e.g. market distortions, counter-productive subsidies, obstructive taxation, fees and customs duties), reform or creation of incentives for the protection and wise utilization of natural resources, installation of effective law enforcement, Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), fight against illegal logging and trade of wood and other illegally obtained forest products, development of transparent procedures for issuing concessions and utilization licenses, establishment of effective control and penalty mechanisms, development of credible, independent certification systems, fight against corruption.
- Environmental governance: Creation of mechanisms for observation, information, consultation and participation, active involvement of all interest groups, empowerment and the creation of ownership, promotion of transparency, Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), consideration of indigenous / traditional / local knowledge, fair access and benefit sharing.
Institutional development and capacity building
- Strengthening of organizations and institutions: Institutional analysis, improvement of institutional structures, curricula development, identification of training needs, training and capacity-building measures for forest / protected areas managers, workers and forest users, creation of synergies through networking, coordination and dialogue with donors, government agencies, research institutes, NGOs and community based organizations.
- Decentralization: Support to natural resource-related governmental organizations in implementing newly obtained tasks in the process of decentralization (in particular forestry / protected area departments on national, provincial, district and local level), integration of co-management structures.
- Communication, education and public awareness: Design and implementation of information workshops, study tours, extension services, training of trainers, farmer to farmer learning, environmental education campaigns and promotion of public awareness. Design and establishment of knowledge management and information systems.
- Community development: Livelihood analysis (village profiles and household surveys), linking social justice, economic viability and environmental compatibility, diversification of income opportunities (community forestry, improved agriculture, range land and agro-forestry systems, processing and marketing of agricultural products, wood and non timber forest products, certification, eco-tourism, etc.), formation of community based organizations / user groups / associations related to natural resource management, (re)negotiation of involved stakeholders’ roles, rights and revenues.
- Project finance: Small grant schemes, micro credits, local development funds, revolving funds, diversification of funds, public private partnership (PPP) measures.
- Infrastructure development: Improvement of infrastructure (e.g. tourism infrastructure, road access, energy supply, waste management, sewage treatment), Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), compensation of land- / resource use restrictions.