Our work

Find out more about the work of the Policy Support Facility

Building better understanding of forest and bioeconomy policy issues

We are living in a time of accelerated changes and unprecedented global challenges: fossil resource dependence and climate change, energy and natural resource scarcity, rural decline and biodiversity loss. Forests and the forest-based sector can address these interconnected challenges. They are an essential natural capital and a key pillar of the bioeconomy, supporting sustainable economic growth.

But the forest-related policy framework and research landscape are also changing fast and becoming ever more complex. The situation requires strong leadership and vision to create effective partnerships across regions, disciplines, policy areas and sectors and support a better dialogue on the future of our forests and forest research.

Putting science into action

EFI acts as a pan-European science-policy platform, building and connecting knowledge and people to increase the impact of research and enhance science-policy dialogue.

Typically, policy making requires a good understanding of multiple and complex issues with wide coverage of different aspects. However, mainstream science is built to go the other way. Science structures and incentives have developed over time to look at more and more specialized focus areas. A ‘synthesis’ of the information is what is needed.

Providing unbiased, science-based knowledge

EFI acts as a broker at the science-policy interface. We bring syntheses of evidence-based, reliable and robust information from the scientific community and our network of 120 Associate Members. Our work helps policymakers to arrive at a balanced and well-reflected judgement.

Currently there is no other platform at the pan-European level doing this type of science-policy work on forest issues. Our science-policy activities help to bring European and global forest research to decision makers on issues that are on today’s political agenda. We also bring forward emerging issues which are not yet on today’s political agenda, but are likely to be on tomorrow’s.

Promoting science-policy dialogue and networking

ThinkForest is EFI’s high-level discussion forum which brings together policy makers and the scientific community, as well as stakeholders. Chaired by Janez Potočnik, former EU Commissioner for both Science and Research, and Environment, ThinkForest is a unique forum which helps to build bridges on pan-European forest and bioeconomy issues.

Helping policymakers navigate a sea of information

Often the bottleneck for decision makers is not a shortage of science-based information, but rather the opposite. There is a general lack of synthesis reviews which can say what the science community knows on a particular topic at a more holistic level. EFI’s policy support activities are helping to bridge this gap. We use scientific facts and expert analysis to create studies which are understandable and helpful for supporting policy planning.


Download our Science informing policymaking brochure





Find out more about our policy support activities and impacts:

Download the Multi-Donor Trust Fund Annual Report for 2018, 20172016 and 2015

In 2017, an evaluation of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund was carried out by an independent panel: download the evaluation document

A survey of EFI ThinkForest events, science-policy studies, and social media usage was also carried out: download the survey report



EFI's work is financed by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for policy support, which is supported by the Governments of Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Spain and Sweden.