Integrating biodiversity protection into Climate Smart Forestry

T1.4 Climate Smart Forestry


Sara Uzquiano1, Silvester Boonen1, Diana Feliciano2, Florencia Franzini3, Hanneke van´t Veen4, Pieter Johannes Verkerk3, Marcus Lindner1
1 European Forest Institute, Bonn, Germany.
2 Teesside University International Business School, United Kingdom
3 European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland
4 Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), The Hague, The Netherlands


European Forests are threatened by climate change, increasing disturbance regimes, and continuous biodiversity decline. For this reason, over the last decade, Climate Smart Forestry (CSF) arose as a conceptual solution for jointly addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation activities alongside biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning. However, the preservation and enhancement of biodiversity were not given equal importance as climate change mitigation and adaptation, even though they are closely interlinked; biodiversity loss reduces global carbon sinks due to productivity loss, while climate change mitigation can help prevent biodiversity decline and species extinction. To provide more comprehensive management guidance based on criteria and indicators, we propose extending the CSF concept to prominently address biodiversity. Here, we present Climate and Biodiversity-Smart Forestry (CBS) as a wider concept integrating climate change mitigation, adaptation, and biodiversity conservation, to promote resilient forest ecosystems under climate change and disturbances, benefiting society and the environment. CBS is developed and operationalized within the Horizon European ForestPaths project, aiming at holistically co-designing, quantifying, and evaluating forest-based policy pathways. Based on a comprehensive review of scientific and grey literature, we provide a broad definition of CBS and a collection of successful practical examples that highlight existing and potential new CBS measures. A holistic guide for adopting the concept to different European regions and management regimes is offered to support forest stakeholders in identifying and adopting CBS management measures. The guide considers both the good maintenance of European forests and the sustainable provision of their ecosystem services. With a clear definition and specification of regionally relevant requirements, criteria, and indicators, CBS management options can be evaluated to facilitate operational use of this new concept.