UNIQUE forestry and land use GmbH is a leading international consulting firm that provides expert services and advice on forest management and sustainable land use.

Abteilung FB

Forestry Consulting and Timber Economics

We support private and public enterprises to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the forestry and wood industry sector

›


Abteilung K


We realize synergies between environmental and development policy objectives and contribute to the protection of the global climate in the land use sector.

›

Abteilung FI

Forest Investment

We identify, evaluate and implement investments in sustainable forest management.

›

ARD 11

Agriculture and Rural Development

We offer analytical work, advisory services, and project implementation support aimed at sustainably increasing land productivity and improved livelihoods.

›


Business Development & Administration

These two divisions are located at the corporate level and collaborate closely with the Managing Directors

›

Our company strives for the development and implementation of intelligent and environmentally sound land use practices and policies that form the basis for sustainable rural development. UNIQUE´s extensive international background ensures a continuous exchange of knowledge and experiences - across borders and continents. Since our establishment in 1998, we have carried out over 500 projects in more than 60 countries. Our clients are both private companies and non-governmental organizations, as well as public institutions such as ministries, forest administrations, development banks and organizations implementing development cooperation.

Selected recent projects

  • Management of biosphere reserves, Ethiopia

    Management of biosphere reserves, Ethiopia

    12/2015 - 07/2019

    Ethiopia is home to rich biodiversity, which is highly threatened inside and outside designated protected areas. The national institutions for the management of protected areas have not been able to effectively implement conservation policies. As a result, the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity is not well managed on a wide scale. Within the framework of the project "Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources for Livelihoods in Ethiopia," GIZ supports the Ethiopian government in capacity development for effective management of protected areas. Commissioned in consortium with NABU (Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V), UNIQUE is responsible for strengthening the capacities of two regional governments for the management of the Yayu and Sheka biosphere reserves.

    Our contribution

    • Technical advice in biosphere reserve management.
    • Consultation regarding income-generating activities in biosphere reserves.
    • Advice to integrate the biosphere reserve concept in the National Protected Areas System.
    • Organizational development of partners at local, regional and national level.
    • Human capacity development of key actors.
    • Facilitation of multi stakeholder platforms and networks.
  • Forest, Wood and the society, Europe

    Forest, Wood and the society, Europe

    05/2014 - 10/2016
    Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V.

    Growing environmental awareness and social interest in sustainability has brought increased attention to the forestry sector. Faced with the challenges posed by climate change, the forestry and wood sectors offer a significant sustainable source of raw materials and woody biomass for energy. The role of the forestry sector is vital for the much-needed transformation towards a bio-economy, and this message needs to be clearly communicated to outside parties. In this context, the WoodWisdom project developed and implemented communication strategies to illustrate the importance of the European forestry-wood sector, including its contributions to the transition towards a more sustainable society. UNIQUE was commissioned to develop WoodWisdom’s communication strategy for Germany in collaboration with the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR).

    • Application of the actor-centered "living lab" method for knowledge transfer and topic selection
    • Conducting workshops with stakeholders of the forest sector for the selection of relevant topics
    • Analysis and evaluation of communication strategies
    • Design of the project website w3b-wood.eu for communication experiments and project presentation
    • Planning and control of a national social media campaign
    • Project-related public relations


  • Forest management planning, Germany

    Forest management planning, Germany

    03/2014 - 05/2015
    Forst BW Freiburg

    Forest management plans are the key tool for controlling and planning forestry activities for the public forests in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. These plans outline the harvesting operations, tree maintenance and regeneration measures for the next 10 years based on knowledge regarding the state of the forest. Management plans seek to find the right balance between trade-offs such as timber production, protection and tourism. Since 2008 UNIQUE prepared management plans for 7.000 hectare of state and 13.000 hectare of municipal forests. UNIQUE’s expertise includes the development of management plans that resulted in positive benefits related to environmental services, especially biodiversity (e.g. Wutach gorge, bog forests or Rhine plain forests).

    Our contribution

    • Analysis of sample plot inventories, with focus on small and medium forest enterprises.
    • Site-inspection with responsible foresters.
    • New delineation of stands, actualization of stand data, gathering of ecological data.
    • Assessment of previous management and accounting.
    • Coordination of operative and ecological planning.
    • Data input, data validation and approval by the administration.
    • Explanation of results with local council and mayor (site inspection with formal resolution).
  • Drivers of deforestation, worldwide

    Drivers of deforestation, worldwide

    05/2014 - 04/2016
    Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit

    Public funding for REDD+ alone will not be sufficient to effectively address drivers of deforestation. A promising option is to channel private sector investments in activities that reduce pressure on remaining forests. The aim of this project is to develop sustainable business models in the land use sector in line with the logic of REDD+. The project falls under the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) International Climate Initiative (ICI). Leading the consortium with Climate Focus, UNIQUE conducted this long-term project in three phases: (i) country scoping and pre-feasibility studies, (ii) business model development and feasibility studies and (iii) technical and institutional support for implementation of the most promising business model.

    Our contribution

    • Comprehensive analysis of drivers, agents and underlying causes of deforestation.
    • Spatial analysis of Oromia to stratify the region into priority landscapes for intervention.
    • Detailed analysis of drivers and strategy options, including cost assessment, in priority areas.
    • Capacity building for national counterparts to ensure program viability and sustainability.
    • Beyond forest sector, assessment of key commodities causing deforestation using value chain approach
  • Forest Management Livelihoods, worldwide

    Forest Management Livelihoods, worldwide

    Management Support for Livelihoods Fund


    04/2012 - 12/2012
    Livelihoods Venture

    The Livelihoods Fund, managed by Livelihoods Venture, is a unique vehicle to create social value for rural communities and contribute to their food security through the restoration of their ecosystems. The impact of all programs supported by the Livelihoods Fund was assessed following the criteria of social and environmental impacts as well as carbon sequestration. UNIQUE was contracted to support the fund so that the investments could be certified according to the most rigorous social and carbon standards. Support was given throughout the development of the project pipeline from the elaboration of the Project Idea Note (PIN) to the Project Design Document (PDD) to the project’s registration process.

    Our contribution

    • Support of due diligence on economic and environmental parameters according to internal criteria.
    • Ensure social and environmental integrity; certification support through social and carbon standards.
    • Follow up of project development from PIN to PDD to registration and setting of milestones.
    • Assessment of rural energy efficiency projects and their biomass components.
    • Support of reforestation efforts in rural areas.
    • Optimization of project cycle by capacity building and backstopping support.

Further projects


CCAFS News blog entry: Guidance for national- and activity-level reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation in the livestock sector
CCAFS News blog

Video: Comments on the report "Harnessing the Potential of Productive Forests and Timber Supply Chains for Climate Change Mitigation and Green Growth"

Review of the UNIQUE brochure "Sustainable Natural Forest Management in the Tropics"
Download Article [PDF; 210 KB]

Policy brief: Harnessing the Potential of Private Sector - Engagement in Productive Forests for Green Growth

2017 03 13 Policy brief

› Download [PDF; 2,4 MB]



Forest management

Since 2002 UNIQUE manages natural forests and forest plantations in Paraguay according to the internationally recognized criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).

read more

ISO 900:2008

Company Mission Statement

Who we are
We are an internationally leading German consulting company for forest management and sustainable land use. Our clients are private companies and non-governmental organizations, as well as public institutions such as ministries, forest administrations, development banks and organizations implementing development cooperation. We provide comprehensive support in addressing technical, political and economic challenges in the land use sector - from project planning through implementation to evaluation. Together with our subsidiary companies, we sustainably manage natural forests and forest plantations in Paraguay on behalf of institutional investors.

Our ambition: sustainability, quality and customer orientation
Our consulting services and the management of our forests are bound to economic, environmental and social sustainability. Our work supports the implementation of innovative concepts for efficient and sustainable land use worldwide. In these activities, we orient ourselves according to internationally accepted standards and respective certification schemes. This also applies to our commitment to the excellent professional quality of our services as well as customer satisfaction, which we regard as the basis for long-term relationships and trustworthy cooperation. We are a learning organization and continuously improve the quality of our services - through transparency, quality management and communication with our clients.

Our values and how we implement them
Our employees are the core of the company and their motivation and knowledge are the most important assets of UNIQUE. Their identification with the company, its goals and principles, is very important to us. We practice a participatory leadership style with opportunities for codetermination, a culture of dynamic feedback and the principle of high individual responsibility. We learn together with our partners, and promote the professional and social skills and the personal development of our employees. Our corporate responsibility and commitment to sustainability is ensured through ISO quality management certification and by adhering to FSC principles and criteria.