Three European projects for more climate-smart forest management in Europe
INBO is initiating three new forest research projects this year, funded by the Horizon Europe programme of the European Commission. For this we work closely together with Belgian and international universities and research institutes. The three projects focus on carbon storage and how forest management can better steer this. The projects will combine field measurements from long-term monitoring with innovative remote sensing techniques (satellite, radar and drone measurements). This offers perspectives to better coordinate these information sources.
- The Norwegian Research Institute for Bioeconomics (NIBIO) coordinates the PathFinder project. This project brings together data from existing monitoring networks to analyse status and trends of carbon stocks in European forests. It aims to predict future trends and impacts of management on a European scale. The project will develop an integrated monitoring system to weigh different forms of forest management against each other. To this end, we will bring together data from major forest monitoring institutions, such as national forest inventories and the ICP Forests programme. INBO will analyse the combined data to better understand the flow of carbon through the different compartments in the forest ecosystem.
- Through the FORWARDS project, coordinated by the Swedish Agricultural University in Uppsala (SLU), INBO will contribute to the design of forest observatories for Europe. This monitoring infrastructure will have as a foundation the existing long-term monitoring of ICP Forests (eLTER sites), the forest vitality test plots (Level I) and national forest inventory data (NFI) and will also be linked to proximal and remote sensing data. The observatories will provide detailed information on the vulnerability of European forests to the impacts of climate change. They will provide the knowledge to adjust forest management according to the principles of climate-smart forest management, maximum ecosystem recovery and maximum biodiversity conservation. This project is strongly committed to stakeholder involvement and will increase public participation in decision-making processes.
- INFORMA is coordinated by two Spanish universities. KULeuven is also an important Flemish partner. INFORMA looks at carbon storage, both above and below ground, in unmanaged parts of the forest in five pilot areas and compares this with different management types. One of the pilot areas is 'De Brabantse Wouden', an area that includes Meerdaalwoud, Hallerbos and Zoniënwoud. Here, we will select, measure and deliver field measurements on specific forest stocks. A second important part is a public consultation on the social appropriateness and economic profitability of the management paths. Indirect financing of carbon storage via 'carbon credits' is also discussed. Here we see a role for the User Platform Forest Research and the Forest Forum. Here too, INBO takes care of the contacts and coordination.