Spurring INnovations for forest and eCosystem sERvices in Europe

This project, funded under Horizon 2020 programme, aims to integrate research and innovation to integrate the demand for ecosystem services that society expresses towards forests with a sustainable and profitable forest management, through study and testing of new mechanisms.

The problem
One of the key challenges that European forests owners are facing is to balance the supply of forest-related ecosystem services (FES). In fact, the existing management and governance practices can only partially satisfy the wide variety of requests that come from society. There is a need to explore new approaches to link a successful forest management with the changing demands of society in different regional contexts in Europe. Many innovative mechanisms (IM, for example specific policies, business models and PES systems) have been developed and partially implemented in recent decades, with mixed results.

The solution
The project will systematically map the existing knowledge and practical experiences of IM on a European scale and provide a toolbox for policy makers and professionals to support the further development of these IMs: the second phase foresees the experimentation of a series of IMs in all over Europe, on some pilot areas that will host the so-called Innovative Actions (IA): these are 11 areas in 9 different States, from Croatia to Peru. A mutual exchange and learning structure will link the different cases, connecting countries, ecosystem mechanisms and forest services in order to stimulate the generation of practical knowledge. Finally, the project will create spaces for exchanges between politicians, scientists and professionals through a series of events and tools.

Our contribution
Etifor is a project partner as it is responsible for one of the Innovative Actions that will show how it is practically possible to create mechanisms for the exploitation of forests. The test, implemented through participatory approaches and collaboration with the University of Padua, will be carried out in the area of the three Lombardy Regional Parks Alto Garda Bresciano, Mincio and Oglio Nord, and provides many synergies with the Ecopay Connect 2020 Project, sharing with it the main purposes of enhancing ecosystem services through the negotiation and testing of PES schemes.