European Research Network on Climate Smart Forestry

Europes forests are being hit hard by climate change. E.g. at the moment estimates of mortality in spruce go over 200 million m3 in 2018 and 2019 only. At the same time we expect forest to fulfil their carbon sink function and maintain and provide many other functions. This is not only vital for the big forest countries, but also for the wood importing countries in Europe. Europe needs coordinated actions in this field. Climate-Smart Forestry (CSF) is a prominent way to deal with this and is urgently needed to connect mitigation with adaption measures, enhancing the resilience of forest resources and ecosystem services, and meet the needs of a growing population.

At this moment several countries have started actions in Climate Smart Forestry. E.g in northern Sweden, in Finland, Romania, Poland, and a COST action (CLIMO) exists. But activities are too fragmented now, experiences are not exchanged and upscaling to other and larger areas does not take place.

The responses were very enthousiastic and based on an enquiry, examples of CSF projects in various European countries are coming in. WenR (Letink) is now building the CSF projects overview into the online Toolbox climate smart forestry. Corona has clearly hampered the establsihment of a real network and no in person meeting was held. Still enthousiasm amongst partcipants is very large and EFI wants to continue as well with this.

We have thus laid the basis for a small network that made: 1) inventory ongoing and planned activities in 10-15 member States (+ Norway, UK and Switzerland), 2) institutionalize the collaboration and then 3) develop the research and innovation side of CSF, as well as mainstream it in forest management in Europe. This will also set the basis for research collaboration in Europe after 2020.