Which trends and socio-economic opportunities of forest-based care initiatives?

T4.11 Forest-based care as an innovative pathway to shifting values, uses and governance of forests


We are witnessing a growing number and typologies of forest-based care initiatives (FBC), from forest bathing and healing forests in Asia, these initiatives are expanding throughout Europe providing a wide set of cultural ecosystem services. While this diversity provides a lot of potential business opportunities, the market is relatively young and not always fully recognized. Further the research on the economic impact of this emerging sector is still lacking. Nevertheless, market is relatively young and not always fully recognize and the lack of a clear overview of these two aspects, may result in gaps regarding the full understanding of potentials and benefits and widespread implementation of FBC.

To contribute to fill these gaps, our research group developed a first FBC market outlook, within the framework of the Erasmus + GREEN4C project founded by European Union. We used an online survey (n=40), to obtain an overview of the FBC sector in Europe, and through focus group discussion and interviews with six experts in the field we explored success factors, challenges, and next steps. What emerged is a widespread need to increase the acceptance of FBC, together with the need to be recognized by health sector and insurance and the need to diversify the sources of funding. Being able to demonstrate the economic effectiveness and positive impacts of FBC along with the effectiveness for health purposes, might unlock future opportunities for wider adoption of such practices. Building also on these results, within the Horizon Europe funded project (RESONATE, 2023-2027), using 9 EU case studies we will assess the saving potential for health and social-related costs, the cost-effectiveness, and the quantification of hypothetical impact of a generalized adoption of nature-based therapies, and particularly FBC.

In this talk we will start by framing the main trends in FBC initiatives to have a general overview of what’s happening in Europe, then building on the results of the GREEN4C market outlook on FBC, we will have the opportunity to share the first results towards the economic impact assessment of nature-based therapies (RESONATE).


Ilaria Doimo1 , Colm O'Driscoll1, Laura Secco2, Anna Biasin2, Giulia Amato1, Rik De Vreese3
1 ETIFOR | Valuing Nature (Italy)
2 LEAF Department, University of Padova (Italy)
3 European Forest Institute, Resilience Programme