EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Forest Practices and Climate Change: Final Report. Lindner, M., Guimarey Fernández, B., Raa, I., Atkinson, G., Blennow, K., Blujdea, V. N., Calado, N., da Conceição, S. M., Doblas Miranda, E., Ecker, J., Holmberg, G., Horst, A., Kašpar, J., Pantera, A., Picard, O., Picos, J., Sarvaš, M., Schwichtenberg, G., Stover, D., Tsartsou, E., Turok, J., Valentar, V., & Ventura, A. European Innovation Partnership "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability" (EIP-AGRI).
EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Forest Practices and Climate Change: Final Report [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
[Summary] Climate change poses a major challenge to society in the 21st century. In 2018 we experienced extensive drought especially in Central and Northern Europe, deadly forest fires in Greece (and across the globe in California), fire damages in untypical regions including the UK, Latvia and Germany, as well as bark beetle damages that seriously threaten sustainable forest management in some central and east European countries. [] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change alerted the public that we need to step up our ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we wish to avoid dangerous climate change. Several reports underlined that achieving the Paris Agreement of December 2015 of limiting climate warming under 2 °C (preferably under 1.5 °C) will hardly be possible without effectively using the potential of forests and the forest sector to contribute to climate change mitigation. [] This was the backdrop for the Focus Group on 'New forest practices and tools for adaptation and mitigation of climate change'. 20 experts from different regions in Europe gathered to identify forest practices & tools to tackle climate change and to explore successful experiences and innovation in practice. The group discussed how adaptation strategies are selected and implemented, collected experiences on the use of decision support tools at the science-practice interface and reflected on training approaches and ways of sharing experiences. [] The challenges posed by climate change, although global, show strong regional differences. Considering the diversity of forest types and different management traditions across Europe, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies must fit region-specific climate change projections and local circumstances. This report summarises the work of the Focus group. 10 Minipapers presented recommendations and innovative practices spanning a range of topics: [::] Forest management at stand level [::1.] Small scale forest management [::2.] Climate smart silviculture and genetic resources [::3.] Decision Support Systems (DSS) and tools [::] Scaling up management and tackling climate change risks [::1.] Integrated landscape management [::2.] Early warning and innovative risk management [::] Fostering adaptation and mitigation by promoting good practices [::1.] Forest fires prevention [::2.] Economic incentives as trigger to promote adaptation: Climate Smart Silviculture and payment for ecosystem services (PES) [::3.] Innovative value chains to enhance climate change mitigation [::] Knowledge exchange beyond the forest community [::1.] Science-Policy-Practice knowledge exchange [::2.] Effective communication for mitigation of climate change and adaptation to its impacts [] The group identified a number of ideas for Operational Groups to bring innovation into practice: [::] Explore methods to boost the use of broadleaf species by increasing their potential in forest regeneration [::] Develop or gather resources and tools to foster local adaptation in forest management by enhancing awareness and peer to peer learning [::] Test methods to improve assisted regeneration or afforestation in drought prone areas [::] Develop a user-friendly early warning system on local forest health issues which can assess the situation and raise the alarm when necessary [::] Explore ways to enhance landscape management by helping individuals to make decisions aligned with strategies to fight climate change [::] Develop collective and effective plans to mitigate climate change effects (drought, forest fires), promote actions for ecosystem resilience and/or increase awareness of all actors [::] Analysis of mitigation options along specific value chains (e.g. for pine) to improve carbon balance [] To foster innovative practices in climate change adaptation and mitigation the following research needs were prioritised: [::] Local/regional guidelines for the implementation of innovative silvicultural practices to adapt the forests to the expected future conditions [::] How to make climate change adaptation incentives more effective and efficient? [::] Study carbon dynamics related to the fire regime: forest species (fire prone vs resistant), land uses and practices (e.g. monocultures, agroforestry) and management options (e.g. wild vs prescribed fire) [::] Evaluation of how to institutionalise knowledge exchange, including a forester exchange programme [::] Participatory research on climate change effects and measures that can be taken at farm/plot level [::] Characterisation of existing collective approaches effectively improving forest management in a context of climate change [] [...]

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