We conduct projects of practical relevance to forest production and planning, mountain forests and natural hazards, and forest ecosystems and biodiversity. We contribute to international forest policy and sustainable forest management and to the debate on the role of forests in strategies to mitigate climate change.

Research + development

Cooperative research

We collaborate in our research projects with an array of national and international organisations and research facilities. Each institution contributes its specific competencies. These partnerships are regularly long-term in nature.

Most projects receive public-sector grants – for instance from:

Contract research

Swiss federal and cantonal authorities, public authorities abroad, municipal organisations, private-sector enterprises, foundations – all call on our expertise to seek solutions to complex issues. Upon receiving a research commission, we develop viable and scientifically sound approaches that meet our clients’ requirements.

Consulting services

Our comprehensive teaching and research activities underpin the consulting services that we render to the sector. Our priorities include (forest) policy advice, forest planning, business management consulting, expert reports on protective forests, and the monitoring and controlling of forest ecosystems.

Determinants of success

Various factors contribute to the successful performance of our research and consulting projects:

  • Our team comprises a healthy mix of experts drawn from practice and science.
  • We refine specific competencies in a targeted and active manner and integrate them in our teaching and research.
  • We utilise sector networks to create attractive service packages in teaching, continuing education, research and consulting.
  • The individual forest science units cooperate closely. Moreover, we harness synergies with other BFH-HAFL divisions and BFH departments.

Our outlook is both national and international, as is our networking. Through our projects, papers, journal articles and conference presentations we maintain a high profile in scientific discourse.

Student theses

Our teaching is guided throughout by practical requirements. We therefore encourage our students to tackle issues encountered in forestry practice in their semester theses and BSc and MSc theses. Proposals from the field are always welcome.


Our training and continuing education provision in forest sciences benefits from our experience in teaching and our diverse research activities. Moreover, student theses regularly lay the groundwork for research projects or address aspects of them.