Governing our forests in a time of transformational change makes the role of research, foresight and innovation more important than ever.

In the future, the dynamics of supply and demand for water, food, energy, raw materials and land will be drastically altered, as result of global change and the need to transition towards a circular, bio-based society. Land will become an increasingly scarce resource and conflicts around land resources may result in global political instability and increasing migration pressure. The situation requires governance schemes and policies that maximise synergies and reconcile different goals (e.g. resilience and bioeconomy-related) at different spatial and temporal scales.

EFI addresses emerging forest governance challenges and opportunities based on the understanding of interests, expectations and perspectives (e.g. urban versus rural, local versus global) from different stakeholders and sectors on forest land uses and forest management goals.


  • Forest and land use conflicts and synergies, including an understanding of key societal demands and the trade-offs between forest ecosystem services, products and land uses.
  • The design of appropriate forest and land use governance schemes, including new and innovative approaches to involve stakeholders, align diverging interests and seek synergies.
  • The impacts of different supply chains and international trade, including agricultural commodities, for international forest governance, land use conflicts and sustainable development.
  • European forest-related policies and forest governance, addressing both regional diversity within Europe as well as emerging global challenges and opportunities.

In this thematical framework, we are currently coordinating the following projects:

In addition, we contribute to further projects:

Head of ProgrammeGeorg Winkel

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