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ISIB-04b-2015 - Improved forest management models

Specific challenge: The significant societal changes over the last decades and the emergence of new policies, e.g. on biodiversity, bioenergy and climate change (LULUCF accounting, adaptation) trigger the need to enhance the sustainability of a multipurpose EU forestry. The changing context is particularly sensitive for forests, as their lifetime spans over a large period, limiting the adaptation potential. To maintain the socio-economic, and environmental functions of forests, there is need improve the record of forest data, systems of monitoring and management models. This is currently challenged in the EU by the diversity of national and subnational systems of forest inventory, cartography, monitoring and planning, developed in the context of local/regional frameworks of policies and conditions, making the overall assessment of forest management and policy development, difficult. In addition to the work on harmonisation of forest data deriving from the existing national databases, and site-specific adaptive forest management (i.e. breeding, harvesting and wood utilisation), there is further need to close the remaining gaps in the recorded parameter space and provide for consolidated methodologies for estimation of forest data and improved data systems, and develop stand-related techniques and management models responsive to changing conditions on long term, conducive to increased wood production, while meeting the increasing societal demands and bioeconomy objectives.

Scope: Proposals should address one of the following issue (B):

B. [2015]Improved forest management models

Proposals should aim at the improvement of forest management models and stand-related techniques, including but not limited to species composition (including climate-adaptive genetics/breeding and assisted migration), age distribution, rotation/harvesting period, sustainable yields, restocking modalities (afforested land may also be analysed) and natural disturbances risk management. Management models should rely on consistent forest data and provide, in addition to improved wood quality and higher sustainable yields, sustained production of NWFP[1], increased resilience to environmental change, and sustained provision of the whole 'basket' of ecosystem services, in accordance with the evolving societal demands, changing market conditions, and regional differences. Procedures, methodologies and techniques characterising the newly developed models should be readily available for end-users (i.e. forest owners, administration and management planning), and deemed acceptable for the policy actors. Proposals should fall under the concept of 'multi-actor approach'[2].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million for (A) and EUR 4 million for (B) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Proposals should show how some, or all, of the following impacts will be achieved:

         Strengthening the methodological framework for more accurate and harmonized information derived from forest inventories and monitoring systems, above the present state of the art, able to feed into the EU information systems.

         Further support in the development of EU policies and international processes relying on consistent forest information, such as UNFCCC[3], and contribution to further development of GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) and the related GFOI initiative (Global Forest Observing Initiative).

         Forest management models geared to sustainable supply of wood for material and energy use, supporting further development of the bioeconomy.

         Forest stands resilient in a continuously changing environment (including climate change), while preserving the capacity to provide for NWFP and essential ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, water regulation, soil and nutrient regulation, and recreation.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

[1] Non-Wood Forest Products

[2] See definition of 'multi-actor approach' in footnote 1 in the introduction of this Work Programme part.

[3] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change