A new Horizon Europe project is bringing together the latest research, data, modelling and forest management techniques to support forests in Europe.
Eighteen organisations from across Europe are collaborating on the 4.5-year project CLIMB-FOREST. Working closely with the forestry sector and policy makers, CLIMB-FOREST aims to ensure Europe’s forests are resilient to the changing climate and support people and nature.
As a partner in CLIMB-FOREST, University of Helsinki will contribute to assessing the combined climate impacts of forests regarding carbon sequestration and short-lived climate forcers contributing to cloud formation. Jaana Bäck (the PI at UH) explains: This project will holistically address the European forestry, its ecosystem services and its future scenarios. In the face of increasing demands for ecosystem services from forests, and the simultaneously increasing risks through climate change, it is critically important to understand the system as a whole. This multidisciplinary project offers an exciting opportunity for ttransdisciplinary research, producing policy-relevant results.
Planting trees and restoring forests can play an important role in mitigating the climate crisis. Under the European Green Deal, the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 commits to planting at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030.
However, forests are complex networks that require careful planning and management. Single-species or poorly planned forests can be more vulnerable to droughts, fires, insect attacks and the changing climate. If poorly planned, a forest will be less effective in mitigating the climate crisis and could in some cases result in negative impacts for biodiversity or even lead to short-term warming.
By applying data from forest research stations and satellites and adopting best practices, Europe’s new and existing forests can thrive and become robust and healthy. Well planned and managed forests support a diverse range of plants and animals and can provide additional opportunities for local people such as tourism or sustainable wood harvesting.
CLIMB-FOREST will use the latest research and forestry data to create new tools, interactive maps and best practice guidance. Through collaboration with the forestry sector in interviews and dedicated forest visits, CLIMB-FOREST will identify and support effective forestry planning and management approaches, ensuring Europe’s forests are robust and support both people and nature.
To find out more, visit www.climbforest.eu and follow @ClimbForest