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Information and monitoring of the forest environment

Objective

Specific Objectives;
1. To support the development and implementation of a reference framework for the sustainable management of forests in the context of rural development, including support to the establishment of a European Forest Information and Communication Network (EFICN);
2. To support existing regulation on atmospheric pollution and the forthcoming Forest Focus through the analysis forest atmospheric pollution data, and the integration of these data with other forest condition variables;
3. To support the existing regulations of forest fires and the forthcoming Forest Focus through integrated analysis of ground, meteorological and novel satellite sensor data;
4. To address the interface Forest/European Environment through an integrated approach towards other aspects of forest monitoring such as biodiversity (link to protected areas), carbon sinks, soil conditions and effects of climate change. Furthermore the institutional activities of this action will contribute directly to the: - Preliminary recommendations to improve the Forest Pollution survey grid for applications in biodiversity, carbon monitoring, etc. - Preparation of pan-European data sets for the integrated analysis of forest condition data /cause-effect relationships: European Perspective - Preliminary results form IMAGE-2000 and ENVISAT data for wall-to-wall mapping and modelling applications for forest species and forest condition monitoring. Anticipated milestones and schedule Meeting with national representatives of the MS for the preparation of the fire campaign (May 2003). Meeting with MS for the evaluation of the fire campaign, including feedback on the EFFRFS (October 2003). Joint International Workshop of EARSeL Special Interest Group on Forest Fires, 3-5 June 2003. Output indicators and impact: As output indicators the customer and end-user satisfaction will be one of the main criteria. This criterion is directly linked to the support of existing EU legislation (6th EAP, 2nd CAP on Civil Protection, ESDP) and Commissions strategic priorities on sustainable development and enlargement. Time deliverables to the Member-States and pre-accession countries will be taken as indicators of the capacity of the action to fulfill its objectives.
Planned Deliverables:
1.1 Establishment of a Scientific Advisory Group for EFICN 1.2 Establishment of working groups/Expert panels on EFICN 1.3 Technical specifications for data platform, protocols, quality assurance;
2.1 Technical contributions to the EU manual on EFFIS 2.2 Establishment of collaboration with existing co-ordinations centres (ICP-Hamburg and national focal points) 2.3 Technical specifications for data analysis, protocols, quality assurance of atmospheric pollution related data and for other complementary data;
3.1 Technical contributions to the EU manual 3.2 Daily maps (May-October) of forest fire risk within the EFFRFS: (several indices including research on integrated FPI) 3.3 Burnt area maps (year 2003) within the EFFDAS (research on the integration of new sensor data (e.g. MODIS and MERIS). 3.4 Report on Forest Fires in Europe 3.5 Prototype of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) 3.6 First results on new EFFIS modules dealing with regeneration and CO2 emission;
4.1 Preliminary recommendations to improve the Forest Pollution survey grid for applications in biodiversity, carbon monitoring, etc. 4.2 Preparation of pan-European data sets for the integrated analysis of forest condition data /cause-effect relationships: European Perspective 4.3 Preliminary results form IMAGE-2000 and ENVISAT data for wall-to-wall mapping and modelling applications for forest species and forest condition monitoring;
5.1 Scientific networks 5.2 Scientific publications, reports 5.3 Modelling tools and related databases 5.4 Workshops on specific topics will be organised to facilitate the exchange of ideas between scientists working in this area.
Summary of the Action:

In its role as the EU scientific and technical focal point for "Forest Focus", and underpinning the technical aspects of the follow-up to EFICS, the JRC will support the relevant Commission services responsible for the protection and monitoring of European forests as well as the relevant services in the Member- States and Candidate Countries. INFOREST supports Forest Focus, EFICS and the 6th Environmental Action Plan by establishing information systems and networks that will enhance the dissemination and exchange of reliable, harmonized, statistical and geo- referenced information on the condition of forests regarding forest fires and atmospheric pollution, and on the impact of forest and forest related polices. INFOREST will assist in the research and development for the provision of new tools and mechanisms suitable for assessing and monitoring the new dimensions of Forest Focus, related to the issues of biodiversity, carbon sinks, soils and the effects of climate change. INFOREST will also contribute to the integrated analyses of European data and provide value added products in the form of documents, maps and statistics. Ongoing competitive activities (e.g SPREAD) are intended to be used as precursors towards new indirect actions. Rationale Environmental protection and sustainable use of forest resources are part of the 6th Environmental Action Programme and the Council Resolution on a Forestry Strategy for the EU Several EU initiatives are on-going.

These are working towards comprehensively monitoring Europe's forests so that improved links can be made between existing forest policies and other environmental policies related to the interaction of forests and other land resources. Amongst these are the council regulation for a European Forest Information and Communication System (EC-1615/89, EC-400/94, EC-1100/98,) and the regulations on the protection of forests against fires (EC 2158/92, 804/94) and atmospheric pollution (EEC 3528/86). The objective of the former regulation, referred to as EFICS is to "to collect, co-ordinate, standardise process and disseminate information concerning the forestry sector and its development". The EFICS regulation may be succeeded by a new Community regulation that focuses on establishing a Community Communication Network dedicated more to monitoring the implementation of forest and forest-related aspects in policies related to rural development (e.g., EC 1257/99). The two regulations related to forest protection are now being merged to create, from January 2003, a new comprehensive scheme for monitoring forests and environmental interactions, referred to as "Forest Focus", will include other aspects of forest monitoring such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration (carbon sinks), soil condition, and the effects of climate change.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research

Coordinator

Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Address
Via E. Fermi 1
21020 Ispra
Italy