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FP7

SIMWOOD Report Summary

Project ID: 613762
Funded under: FP7-KBBE
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 2 - SIMWOOD (Sustainable Innovative Mobilisation of Wood)

Project Context and Objectives:
The European wood mobilisation problem has been addressed in many studies, projects and initiatives. However the ongoing rather narrow initiatives are not likely to fill the gap between the future timber supply and demand. More than ever innovative approaches to overcome the present barriers for wood mobilisation are required. The main barriers impeding a widespread wood mobilisation in forestry are not only of technical, but to a large extent of socio-economic nature and are dependent on the motivation of a multitude of forest owners and other stakeholders. Therefore the overall goal of this project is to promote collaborative wood mobilisation in the context of multifunctional forest management across European forest regions. It proposes a novel integrated approach by addressing the five domains in wood mobilisation - governance, ownership, management, harvesting and functions - at the same time.
The projects targets a broad mobilisation of forest owners considering all types but with a special focus on private owners, who represent a major opportunity to unlock currently unused wood production. It responds to major opportunities in growing wood markets by developing novel integrated wood mobilisation solutions (e.g. harvesting, supply chain) to overcome socio-economic and technical barriers. It focuses on multifunctional forest management in order to integrate forest ecosystem functions and to balance economic, ecological and social impacts of proposed wood mobilisation measures. As wood mobilisation is more likely to be successful when embedded in collaborative regional initiatives within and beyond the forest-based sector, the project specifically targets regional initiatives, participatory processes and governance related to sustainable development of forest dependent regions of Europe (DoW 1.1.3).
The project's common RTD methodology was jointly developed and follows three phases carried out simultaneously in all model regions: (1) Initial profile analysis and specific studies, (2) interim evaluation and (3) local pilot projects for demonstration.
These phases are very well reflected in the work packages as briefly described below:
• WP 1 - Coordination and project management: Administrative and scientific management according to European standards.
• WP 2 - Regional Profiles of wood mobilisation challenges: After a detailed analysis of the present situation in the model regions, the identification of the barriers, opportunities and objectives and possible tailor-made solutions will be developed.
• WP 3 - Regional mobilisation strategies and integrated evaluation: The information gathered will be critically evaluated. The emerging strategies will be discussed and the proposed solutions will be selected to be tested in pilot projects.
• WP 4 - Feasibility and demonstration: A series of new pilot projects will be initiated to test the proposed tailor-made solutions for an increased sustainable wood mobilisation. With support of the research partners the SME partners will function as kick-starters in the regions
• WP 5 - European Monitoring and Policy Support: The information system 'MOBILISER' integrates the relevant information and findings of the case studies. This pan-European monitoring and policy support system is targeting regional and European stakeholders. Forest owners, foresters and SMEs have access to information and recommendations for their region (e.g. forest management, harvesting techniques). Decision makers on European and national level will be able to evaluate the effect of national and EU programmes for wood mobilisation and follow regional developments (Quality control mechanism).
• WP 6 - Knowledge transfer and dissemination: Targeted communication of activities and results to stakeholders using the most appropriate means. It facilitates knowledge transfer within the project regions and beyond and promotes the MOBILISER to its target audience.
To ensure a strong anchoring of the case studies within the regions, Regional Learning Laboratories (RLL) have been established as an integral component of the research process. Linked to existing initiatives in the region, this iterative forum is meant as a first step towards a collaborative learning. Guided by the project team the participants obtain fresh findings on the regions specific status quo, chances and proposed solutions. A forest governance dialogue will be initiated and a common strategy for wood mobilisation enabled. This project is dealing with wood mobilisation, but as described in the proposal it cannot be reduced to this single issue. The socio-economic, technical and environmental barriers reflect an increasing societal concern about the forests that cannot be solved by forestry alone. Each of the five domains deals with topics that influence wood mobilisation or better the mobilisation of forest owners. The important domain forest governance includes many aspects that impact the sustained change of people's behaviour: policy, incentives and programs, stakeholders, organizations and relationships, communication, context and scale.

Project Results:
WP 1: Project Coordination and Management
WP1 supported all partners in administrative, technical, legal and financial issues. The set up web-based management tool Project Place has been used by all partners to store and obtain documents and information about the project. Project meetings were executed according to plan, in justified cases additional meetings in person or via telephone conferences were arranged. To achieve transparent communication on ongoing project issues the bulletin was provided regularly, as successfully installed in the first project period. Work progress, deliverables and partners’ obligations were continuously monitored.
The Deliverable D 1.2 First progress report has been submitted on time in June 2015.
Milestone 13 (Mid-term review) covering the period 1st November 2013 to 31st December 2015 originally scheduled for November 2015 was successfully completed by August 2016. The recommendations have been discussed and furthermore implemented into the ongoing project tasks. The final recommendations of the reviewer have been already or will be taken up by the consortium as described in each WP section.
WP 2: Regional Profiles of Wood Mobilisation Challenges
Performed work and significant results for this period include:
• Regional profiles for the 14 SIMWOOD region were updated in cases where new information became available;
• Regional profiles for three additional regions Eastern Finland, Latvia and North-East Romania were completed;
• Twenty focus studies completed in the Regions.
The Deliverable D 2.2 has been submitted on time. All objectives have been achieved for the reporting period.

WP 3: Regional Mobilisation Strategies and Integrated Evaluation
Performed work and significant results for this period include:
• Continuous implementation of RLLs in all the Model Regions.
• The near completion of the review of existing information.
• Working closely with WP4, 5 and 6 to develop evaluation plans for the Pilot Projects and agreeing how this information could be used in WP5 and WP6 outputs.
• Cutting edge scientific work on modelling wood mobilisation and developing Bayesian Belief Networks to ensure results can be ‘regionally useful’.
• Understanding that many past projects on wood mobilisation have not been fully evaluated, a mistake that will not be repeated in the SIMWOOD project.
All Milestones (MS 11 - Second round of RLL accomplished, MS 14 – Internal progress report) have been met and Deliverable D 3.2 Actions for collaborative wood mobilisation and recommendations for pilot projects confirmed by Regional Learning Labs has been submitted on time.
WP 4: Feasibility and Demonstration
Performed Work and significant positive results from the collective work during the 2nd period:
• More than 20 pilot project launched in direct interface with RLL.
• Active preparation of individual evaluation plan by all pilot project leaders.
• Productive cross-regional interactions during SIMWOOD meeting, especially in terms of providing feedback and improvement leads to regional leaders and their pilot project proposals;
• Successful completion of MS10 and MS15;
• Expertise was provided by consortium experts during the 2nd round of review of pilot project hence providing comments and requests for regional leaders to improve their evaluation plan;
Milestone MS 10 “Pilot projects approved and launched” was declared completed a few months later than what had originally been foreseen in DOW, at the release date of Deliverable D4.1.
WP 5: European Monitoring and Policy Support
Performed work and significant results for this period include:
• Development of two databases containing
o results from WP 2 “current state of knowledge” in the model regions;
o projects related to wood mobilization, including internal SIMWOOD pilot projects
• Development of a map viewer that will serve as the basis for visualization of any spatially explicit material emerging from SIMWOOD;
• Development of an entry point to the Mobiliser toolbox;
• Consultation with the Advisory Board of the Mobiliser to consult on the structure and developments of the Mobiliser toolset;
• Continuously updated versions of a document entitled “Description of the Mobiliser” on Project Place, read and commented by partners periodically.
The Milestone 12 “First beta-version prototype of the information system ready” was completed in the reporting period by developing semantics and databases to store the data in a structured format. This has been documented in the “Description of the Mobiliser”.
WP 6: Knowledge Transfer and Dissemination
Performed work and significant results for this period include:
• Continuous update of the SIMWOOD website (www.simwood-project.eu).
• Offline dissemination activities in participating regions and in other European regions.
• SIMWOOD press released featured in the European Commission's “News & Events“ section from January 2016: “SIMWOOD project makes good progress“ http://cordis.europa.eu/news/rcn/130114_en.html
The deliverables D6.2 SIMWOOD mid-term conference and launching event of the MOBILISER and D6.3 Policy brief presenting SIMWOOD pilot projects (the first out of a series of four) have been submitted on time.
In summary, in the second reporting period SIMWOOD has submitted all six Deliverables and the first interims report on time and has met all six milestones, although the achievement milestones MS 10 and MS 13 have been slightly delayed. The reasons for the delays have been the heterogeneous levels of maturity in the different regions in regard to the pilot project approach. The delayed mid-term review isn’t within the responsibility of the SIMWOOD consortium. Both delays won’t have any serious consequence for the project work plan.
1.3. Expected final results
The final scientific results expected from SIMWOOD are (DoW 3.1):
• Improved knowledge on how to address different forest owners
• Enhanced innovation in the sector and stronger SME involvement
• Minimised conflicts with or damage to other forest functions
• Increased availability and supply of wood
• Contribution to pan-European up-scaling and monitoring
• Significance for EU policy programs and actions
• Participation of key stakeholders in project activities
• DESP leads successful dissemination activities in all WP
On a general level, the main impacts to be expected through SIMWOOD are:
The SIMWOOD project is targeting regional initiatives, participatory processes and governance in the context of sustainable development of forest dependent regions in Europe to overcome the identified barriers. Wood mobilisation is more likely to be successful when it is embedded in collaborative regional initiatives aiming at positive impacts on the regional development and economy. Where multiple stakeholders promote a regional identity of their cultural and historical landscape the role and the awareness of forestry is going to change. Based on the identified region-specific solutions and strategies the available forest resource will be utilised based on a common societal agreement.

Potential Impact:
On a general level, the main impacts to be expected through SIMWOOD are:

The SIMWOOD project is targeting regional initiatives, participatory processes and governance in the context of sustainable development of forest dependent regions in Europe to overcome the identified barriers. Wood mobilisation is more likely to be successful when it is embedded in collaborative regional initiatives aiming at positive impacts on the regional development and economy. Where multiple stakeholders promote a regional identity of their cultural and historical landscape the role and the awareness of forestry is going to change. Based on the identified region-specific solutions and strategies the available forest resource will be utilised based on a common societal agreement.

List of Websites:
www.simwood-project.eu

Contact

Roland Schreiber, (Department Head)
Tel.: +49 8161715123
Fax: +49 8161 714971
E-mail
Record Number: 199797 / Last updated on: 2017-06-21
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