Launch of the H2020 project ONEforest for a common forest management

The ONEforest project will develop a multi-criteria decision support system for a common forest management to strengthen forest resilience, harmonise stakeholder interests and ensure sustainable wood flows.

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Photo: ONEforest
Photo: ONEforest

The Horizon project ONEforest – Multi-criteria decision support system for a common forest management to strengthen forest resilience, harmonise stakeholder interests and ensure sustainable wood flows – has officially started on 1st June 2021. The project duration is set for 3 years and will end in June 2024. The project has an overall budget of around €5.2 million and consists of 19 partners in 8 countries throughout Europe. ONEforest will be led by Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences (Germany).

Forest ecosystems cover 42% of the EU’s total land area and strong efforts have been made to facilitate an increase of multiple forest ecosystem services. The forest-based sector can greatly contribute to climate change mitigation trough carbon storage and driving the bioeconomy transition and achieving the European Green Deal. However, all ecosystems recently have been hit by rapidly changing climatic conditions, e.g. long lasting droughts, heavy rain events, frequent and intensive storms, pests and forest fires. To address this within future silviculture management concepts, forest operations and wood supply, all stakeholders along the Forest Wood Value Chain will need to form a common idea of future forest management, while none of them can increase its benefit without harming another one.

ONEforest will address this challenge by developing a multi-criteria decision support system that will enable different stakeholders in forestry to make long-term strategic decisions according to individual objectives, e.g. environmental, societal or economic aspects. Forest owners will be able to assess which way of forest management is advantageous for their objectives under current and future ecological and economic conditions.

The overall idea is to achieve a multi-functional resilient forestry and sustainable wood supply levering wood-based products on a long-term perspective. ONEforest will provide solutions for harmonizing various Forest Ecosystem Services.

Within ONEforest, four Case Studies Regions will be established, following Europe’s biogeographical regions, which are Mediterranean forests,  Alpine forests, Continental forests and Boreal/ Hemi-boreal forests. Through them, the project will study climate-resilient silvicultural management practices and new methods of seeding and planting by the application of an own engineered topsoil cover based on wood fibres. Corresponding forest operations and concepts of actions in case of disturbances will be developed under selected sustainability criteria. Stakeholders will be activated in the participative process of socio-economic studies. The information will be consolidated in a Dynamic Value Chain Model to assess the impact of the Forest Wood Value Chain on regional development quantified by a set of economic, environmental, and social indicators. The newly developed Multi-Criteria Decision Support System visualises decision-making by comparing Sustainable Forest Management, synergies and trade-offs of Forest Ecosystems, reliable wood supply, and stakeholder interests through Forest Wood Value Chain indicators of social, economic, and environmental dimensions.

The application will be available for stakeholders. In the long run, all ONEforest results will be as far as possible implemented in the processes of establishing new Model Forests, being part of the International Model Forest Network for regionally adapted forest management concepts.

The solutions implemented by ONEforest will allow obtaining multiple benefits such as increasing the long-term resilience of forest production systems and their value chains, strengthening the protection and restoration of the biodiversity of these ecosystems, adopting actions to enhance climate change mitigation, adaptation, and rural development objectives, promoting the increase of green jobs, and overcoming existing barriers between the different actors of forest management.

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