Scientific Seminar 07.10 at 11.00 CET

The aim of the scientific seminar is to a explore the current state-of-the-art forest monitoring systems in Europe, get an insight into the latest scientific and technical developments in the field of remote sensing and forest monitoring, and provide a better understanding of the needs of decision makers in terms of forest related data and information.

Participants are welcome to join us for a networking coffee in Gather town at 10 - 10.45 CET. Bring your cup and join us. Here's the link to join.

Toward next generation forest monitoring: recent developments and policy needs

  Master of ceremony, Robert Mavsar, Deputy Director, EFI
11:00 Welcome words 
  Marco Marchetti, Full Professor of Forest Planning and Conservation and Vice Rector, University of Molise, Chairman of the EFI Board
  Session 1: Forest monitoring challenges and opportunities: global, European and national perspectives
  Moderator: Margarida Tomé, Professor, Instituto Superior de Agronomía, Portugal
11:05 Global multidecadal satellite-based forest change assessment: advances and limitations
  Peter Potapov, Research Professor, Maryland University (presentation
11:20 Current situation and way forward for forest monitoring in Europe
Latest developments in the field of remote sensing and forest monitoring
  Gherardo Chirici, Professor, University of Florence (presentation)
11:35 Forest monitoring systems in the Czech Republic
  Peter Surovy, Associate Professor, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague (presentation
11:50 Panel discussion: Main challenges and opportunities to develop a harmonised forest monitoring system in Europe
  Moderator: Robert Mavsar, Deputy Director, EFI
  Annemarie Bastrup-Birk, Forest Expert, European Environment Agency (EEA)
  Alessandro Cescatti, Senior Scientist,  Joint Research Centre, European Commission
  Raisa Mäkipää, Research Professor, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)
  Johannes Breidenbach, Research Professor, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research  
  Ruben Valbuena, Lecturer in Forest Science, Bangor University
  Moderated Q&A session, with interventions from public
12:35 Break (30 mins) 
  Session 2: Policy making and information needs
  Moderator: Helga Pülzl, Assistant Director for Policy Support, EFI
13:05 Forest relevant targets in EU policy instruments - can progress be measured with available indicators and data? 
  Stefanie Linser, Senior Researcher, EFI's Forest Policy Research Network (presentation)
13:20 FOREST EUROPE: future plans for pan-European indicators  
  Thomas Haußmann, Head of the Liaison Unit Bonn of Forest Europe (presentation)
13:35 Panel discussion: Which data for informed policy making?
  Moderator: Bernhard Wolfslehner, Team Leader of the EFI FOREST EUROPE Team
  Anssi Pekkarinen, Senior Forestry Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  Claudia Olazábal, Head of Land Use & Management Unit, Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission
  Eva Müller, Director-General for Forests, Sustainability and Renewable Resources, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany
  Tuula Packalen, Director-General of Natural Resources Department at Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland  
  Moderated Q&A session, with interventions from public
14.35 Concluding remarks (10 mins)
  Robert Mavsar, Deputy Director and Helga Pülzl, Assistant Director for Policy Support, EFI


In the light of the latest developments at the European and global level (e.g., climate change, deforestation, growing population, urbanisation, post-pandemic economic recovery) forests are more than ever being recognised as a crucial resource. On one hand, forests are essential for biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and the provision of a wide spectrum of ecosystem services, while on the other hand they are the most important provider of crucial raw materials and are also crucial element for transforming the economic model from a fossil-based to a sustainable bioeconomy. Simultaneously, as a consequence of climate change, forests are more than ever exposed to extreme events and disturbances (e.g., drought, wildfires, storms, pest and diseases), which requires targeted measures to strengthen their resilience and their ability to provide the above-mentioned goods and services.

In this context, decision makers face a challenging task to ensure that forests can continue to deliver wide-ranging ecosystem services, while maintaining and enhancing their resilience. The basis for any management and decision making, should be reliable data, which adequately reflect forests conditions and advanced decision support tools that can enable informed decision making. Although, there is a wide array of forest information sources (from local to European level) these are scattered and mostly rely on diverse data sets that are not easy to compare. Despite the efforts to harmonize forest inventory data and the possibilities offered by the rapid development of high-resolution remote sensing methods, there is a lack of European-wide harmonized and robust information on forest resources and their conditions, which limits the possibilities for an informed policy development process and dialogue.