Resilient Forest Project

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The first objective of the project is to develop a Decision Support System (DSS) for forest managers, which introduces them to the climate change adaptation processes. This system will comprise updated management practices on the watershed scale and climate change-related issues. The support system will be then demonstrated on two levels, sub-catchment and catchment, in Germany, Portugal and Spain. At each location the DSS will be modified by involving the relevant stakeholders.

The project also plans to develop a complete monitoring system, including a Life Cycle Assessment of the forest management approach (following ISO 14040/44), that will demonstrate the positive environmental impact of the project, as well as its socioeconomic impact. A further objective is to develop a strategy for transferring management approaches around Europe and to organize networking activities to facilitate the transfer of information on forest management and climate change initiatives. The project will contribute to the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy by 2050, as well as 2020 Energy Strategy targets and the EU’s strategy on adaption to climate change, among other EU policy areas.

Among the expected results are:

-         Increased biomass production for bioenergy uses, between 10 and 15 t/ha year, including both forest and agricultural residues traditionally burned and usually the cause of wild fires. This biomass will be transformed into bio-energy (pellets) generating around 49 400 kW/ha. Thus, this biomass production not only will reduce the CO2 emissions from 10 to 15 t/ha, but also will diminish the fire hazard and will create job opportunities in rural areas (around 0.3 jobs/ha);

-         Reduced fire hazards by 30% compared to a scenario without forest management, further protecting rural populations currently residing it at risk areas (6 000 inhabitants) around the Mediterranean, as well as other areas of Central Europe; and

Increased resilience of 25% of forest areas to withstand droughts, pests and disease outbreak.

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