The project aimed to develop a concrete proposal for preventing and mitigating forest deterioration in the EU, which is based on the analysis of the factors affecting deterioration in the EU and their related causes. Forest deterioration is driven by influences of the inanimate and animate environment on one hand, and management and other human induced factors on the other. The driving factors act in a complex system of interdependencies that are with respect to effects either neutral, amplifying, or moderating. Where the analysis of the main causes of forest dieback has to be transferred into political measures it is essential: a) to separate effects that can be influenced by human intervention from effects that evade any human control, and b) to complement the individual factors by a risk assessment, i.e. assess their probability of occurrence with the area and/or the economic values affected.
This approach allows for isolating and ranking the major areas that can be influenced by political measures and instruments.
The EU implemented several regulations that include measures to combat forest deterioration, namely the Rural Development Regulation and the Forest Focus Regulation. In addition national and regional programs were installed for the same objectives. The current set of political instruments and measures needs to be analysed in order to identify synergies, redundancies, and gaps. Based on this analysis the possibility of a common strategy focusing on combating forest dieback needs to be studied. Finally, a strategy for increasing the performance and interaction of different programs needs to be assessed, especially if improving the coordination between different policy instruments and measures needs a specialised entity for the protection of forests in the EU.
EFI led Work Packages 4 'Review of a representative set of national and regional forest protection strategies' and 6 'Analysis of the effectiveness of measures co-financed by the Rural Development and Forest Focus Regulation (Questionnaire approach)' and was involved in all other Work Packages except WP 1 'Project management and organisation'.
Read the project report here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/forestdieback_technical_report.pdf (last visited 15.5.2018)