Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS


FORMIT Informe resumido

Project ID: 311970
Financiado con arreglo a: FP7-KBBE
País: Netherlands

Periodic Report Summary 2 - FORMIT (FORest management strategies to enhance the MITigation potential of European forests)

Project Context and Objectives:
Overall FORMIT objective is the identification of forest management strategies that optimise carbon sequestration and the contribution of the forest sector to climate change mitigation in different regions in Europe. This will be conducted with respect to timber production, impacts on forest product markets, and the provision of other ecosystem services in order to identify and quantify trade-offs. Work package 1 (WP1) compiled national forest inventory data, produced a conceptual framework, built a trial version of computer program, developed a consistent framework on European carbon and forest productivity, and estimated the impact of historical land use and disturbance on the mitigation potential. WP2 identified and run scenario analyses on silvicultural systems, alternative management strategies, ecosystem services, carbon storage, and wood / biofuel production. WP3 produced an outline and procedure for calculations per management type, developed a questionnaire for life cycle assessment (LCA), determined forest management strategies LCA, as well as LCA and mitigation potential from forest products. WP4 performed the costs and timber income of the proposed forest management strategies, and assessed the profitability of forest management strategies. WP5 contributed to the definition of main and alternative management strategies and how they related to the current scenarios. WP5 also produced a first draft of a general paper on scenario analyses as well as a document specifying data exchange between partners. WP6 organised project and Management Team meetings, and established a stakeholder feedback panel. WP7 managed dissemination by producing a project leaflet and a dynamic website.

Project Results:
The project includes 7 Work Packages (WP) in which WP1 to WP4 perform research tasks while WP6 is for the project management and coordination and WP7 for the dissemination of the results of the research.
WP1 is in charge of the Assessment of total carbon storage in European forests. A framework has been defined and emphasis has been put on the effectiveness of the link between the researches performed within each work package. Two groups of data sources were used, including terrestrial forest growth data from sample plots and gridded climate data on Europe-wide grid system. Terrestrial forest growth data refers to national forest inventory data that have been collected at the country level according to a sampling design that could vary between countries, so that a methodology to harmonise the data was required. Harmonisation of forest inventory data was developed by WP1 in cooperation with partners, who consecutively applied the harmonisation to the National Forest Inventory of their respective country. For the gridded climate data, the net primary productivity (NPP) was estimated using the MODIS-NPP algorithm driven by a new gridded climate dataset (D1.3). In addition, it has been developed an overall methodology of how to link terrestrial, satellite and simulation data to create a new spatially explicit map of “NFI” like data and carbon storage estimates (D1.2). Using the available terrestrial data and the spatial-continuous datasets provided by D1.1 a Europe-wide map of forest characteristics is created using a kNN-approach. Provided variables are amongst other tree carbon, basal area, growing stock or forest age (D1.4). Finally a concept to incorporate the impact of historic land-use-change and disturbances into the results of the FORMIT-simulator of WP2 is provided in D1.5. Look-up tables are provided to correct the outputs of the simulator.
WP2 addresses the effect of forest management strategies on carbon storage and other forest functions. Based on the State of Europe’s Forests (2011), FORMIT has adopted 5 European regions including Northern Europe, Central-West, Central-East, South-West, and South-East. A review has led to the identification of five key silvicultural systems in Europe including unmanaged forests, continuous cover forest management, coppice, short rotation, and even-aged forest management (shelterwood system, and uniform clear-cut system). These current managements were used to define alternative management scenarios aiming at better carbon mitigation while safeguarding the other forest functions. These forest functions refer to timber production, biodiversity, recreation, biomass for biofuel, and carbon storage. WP2 has developed a forest growth and management simulator (FORMIT) for analysing the effects of alternative management and climate change scenarios on the European mitigation potential during 2010-2100. Europe-wide simulations have now been completed for three scenarios: business as usual, biodiversity and conservation, and climate change adaptation. These simulations were carried out in collaboration with WP4 which provided the expected demand of wood from harvests per country in Europe. The simulations provide inputs to WP3 and WP5 in the form of carbon stocks and fluxes. The work is currently being validated, and the simulations are being extended to the rest of the alternative management scenarios defined by the consortium.
The overall goal of WP3 is to assess the contribution of forest products to the carbon storage and mitigation, as well as the assessment of the environmental impacts of mitigation scenarios in the European forest sector. The analysis follows a life cycle approach, including the forest establishment, forest management, product processing, product use and waste disposal. Regarding the forest establishment and forest management, we gathered the required information from (1) a questionnaire on forest management practices, filled by the consortium partners; (2) forest management simulations done by WP2. For the processing, use and disposal of forest products, again a questionnaire was prepared by WP3 and sent to partners, which, together with the global forest sector model (EFI-GTM) simulations done by WP4 and the substitution scenarios, developed by the partner FCBA, is expected to allow WP3 to perform the desirable assessment.
WP4 performs socio-economics of forest management for carbon storage and mitigation. The framework, for the estimation of forest owner revenue and the data to be collected for the different countries, has been defined. A calculation procedure and tests for costs and timber income have been developed. The forms for the data collection from each partner/country have been implemented in a questionnaire system developed by WP3. The review of market impacts has been synthesised, and the method described. The report Costs and timber income of the proposed forest management strategies (D4.1) is delivered and the Report on profitability of forest management strategies (D4.2) is submitted. The results show that it is a large variation in costs, gross revenues and corresponding economic returns between the various forest management systems practiced in European forestry, without any clear pattern or trend between countries. Regarding D4.3 the work has been delayed because, during this period, the work between WP2, WP3 and WP4 on harmonizing the harvests and final end-use of products important for the LCA estimation, has so far only managed to deal with the BAU alternative.
WP5 proposes scenarios for forest management strategies for carbon storage & mitigation in Europe. A plan for defining the alternative management strategies and how they related to the current scenarios has been developed in collaboration with WP2, and inputs from the partners. In order to reach a common understanding of the general approach, a first draft of a general paper on scenario analyses was sent to partners as well as a document specifying data exchange between partners. Both documents included contributions from partners. In addition, a first run of a combined questionnaire (led by WP2) was conducted on alternative management options existing in the countries of the project partners. Project partners from Germany (P3), Norway (P8) and Finland (P5) met during 2 days to discuss and agree together, with equal contribution each, on a formulation of main forest management scenarios, mainly the business as usual (BAU) scenario. This scenario is the basis for all other main scenarios and, hence, the forest management in the other main scenarios was defined as deviation from that in BAU (e.g. prolongation of rotation periods or intensification of wood extraction with thinnings and final harvests). Variables were defined and negotiated as well as the detailed format of files for their submission. Hence, an integration tool (MS Access) was developed which helps to manage two tasks in WP5: The integration of the WPs information was realized in the tool module “import” making use of the fact that all project information is linked to forest units. This linkage allows for the structured evaluation of the available information simulated in the project. Furthermore, a standardized presentation on European, regional and national level in evaluation EXCEL files is prepared by a second “output” module of the integration tool. Here explicitly the partners from Netherlands (P1) and Poland (P12) contributed to the compilation of indicators for forest ecosystem services, mostly done through literature search and they have equally contributing to this task.
WP6 is in charge of the Coordination and Management and maintaining the Internal communication between partners. Overall, six general meetings were organised on a rota system in the country of a project contractor, and have been successively held: 1) during the first reporting period (month 18) in Wageningen (kick-off meeting, 25-26/10/2012), Leuven (08-10/04/2013), Warsaw (22-25/10/2013), and 2) during the second reporting period (month 36) in Bucharest (27-30/04/2014), Hamburg (27-28/11/2014), and Vienna (28-30/04/2015). In addition, partial meetings were organised in Vienna (09/01/2013), Leuven (12-14/01/2014) and Helsinki (26-28/01/2015). Other partial meeting were also organised by partners when needed. During the Kick-off meeting, a stakeholder panel was established, and a project website built. For each meeting, an agenda is drafted before the meeting and the minutes including actions list produced after by WP6. Internal communication has been maintained through telephone, emails, Skype meeting, project website, visit to partners, and general meetings. The project also uses Dropbox to store and make available to the project partners, the national forest inventory data along with the reports explaining the sampling procedures, maps, and publications which are relevant for the project. Although WP6 is in charge of periodic reports, all partners contributed to this task.
WP7 covers dissemination of project results amongst the relevant stakeholders and documentation and dissemination of results amongst the scientific community. Dissemination of project information has been conducted by producing a project leaflet and a public website. The project leaflet includes topical information about FORMIT, i.e. the objectives and methodologies, the funding source as European Community, the partners involved with their respective countries. The project website ( describes the project objectives, methodologies, and the funding source, and is continuously updated for new contents, as they come from the progress of the project. The publication of the scientific results will follow a publication plan, in which the partners agreed to provide a tentative of their publication plan that open up a potential collaboration with other partners of the consortium having contributed in the tasks. A synthesis volume as a book is expected after the project completion and a provisional draft plan was presented to partners by the Project Coordinator.
Overall, a tight collaboration was continuously maintained between the different Project’s partners of the consortium because all the tasks performed so far within each WP, required input from all the partners. This collaboration also helped to have a common understanding of the work being conducted, which was crucial because outputs from a given WP should fit to the requirements of the others WP depending on the earlier one. Standardised formats for milestones and deliverables were developed for the consortium. For WP3, deliverable D3.1 (Forest management strategies LCA) and D3.2 (LCA and mitigation potential from forest products) were delayed, and postponed to month 42. For WP4, deliverable D4.3 (Report on market impacts) was delayed to month 42. For WP5, the deliverables D5.1 (Impacts of management on growth and carbon storage in Europe), and D5.2 (Climate change impacts and mitigation potential of forest management scenarios) were both postponed to month 44.

Potential Impact:
By analysing the entire product chain, including substitution of fossil fuel, key aspects of forest management and forest use with respect to climate change mitigation will be identified and optimised for mitigation. By integrating and synthesising all the results, FORMIT will propose Representative Alternative Management Pathways for forests in Europe. The project proposes forest managements for better carbon mitigation while maintaining all the other forest functions. As a socio-economic impact and societal implications, there will be a subtle balance with all the forest functions, so that it is highly probable to meet a wide societal and economic acceptance of proposed alternative managements.

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