Healthy trees translate to healthy citizens

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Climate change has already had a deleterious impact on forests ecosystems and silviculture in various parts of the world. But healthy trees translate to healthy citizens: everyone benefits from forests’ clean air, safe food and water, and recreational space.

With a total budget of €14m and more than 19 partners involved, FORWARDS (ForestWard Observatory to Secure Resilience of European Forests) will provide timely and detailed information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change. The project will also deliver science-based knowledge to guide management using the principles of climate-smart forestry, ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity preservation.

In fact, forests and society are able to transform, adapt, and mitigate climate-induced changes.

The project will include 5 demo-sites plus circa 50 trials established via grants to third parties. The five demo-sites are Hemiboreal Forests, Latvia; Central Apennines, Italy; Vindelälven Biosphere Reserve, Sweden; Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, UK; and Alpine region in Switzerland. The ambition is for the ForestWard Observatory to become an established instrument to support decision-making across scales to boost the uptake of good CSF & Restoration management practices throughout Europe, while efficiently informing about climate change, disturbance impacts and resilience of European forests.

EFI leads the work package on Restoration and Climate-Smart Forest management practices and contributes to the work package on Knowledge platform: a multi-actor forum for integrating stakeholder & civil society perspectives. EFI will also launch and manage grants to third parties to set up the ForestWard Observatory and support the implementation and scaling-up of climate-smart restoration pilots. Finally, EFI will lead a task on policy dialogue and international cooperation. This means establishing close links and cooperation patterns with other European projects under the same or other calls – e.g. SUPERB, RESONATE, HoliSoils and ForestPaths – in joint communication and dissemination activities, participation in working groups and regular exchange of inputs and sharing of experiences in the context of forestry and climate change as well as joint workshops and webinars, press releases, social media support and exchange.

Follow the FORWARDS project on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Photo: Halfpoint / AdobeStock