There are at present a large variety of information sources existing on forests at the international, European, national, regional and local level. Despite the ongoing initiatives regarding data collection and harmonization there are key issues that still need to be tackled. These include: (1) the reduction of the heterogeneity of the various data sources, and (2) the development of a reliable forest information system to compile, process, analyze and disseminate available information.
The Urban Community of Greater Nancy asked the European Forest Institute (EFI) to investigate the operational implementation of a so called European Forest Observatory (OEF). The study aimed at evaluating the technical and financial feasibility of such a OEF by:
- Defining the potential role and the activities of the OEF in relation to the existing organisations involved in data collection and dissemination of information on forests and the forest-based sector,
- Identify the potential market for OEF products, especially the targeted public, its expectations and its viability.
This study investigated and identified potential gaps of data/information within the currently existing collection processes and link to information needs of potential target groups.