Upcoming work

Last changed: 30 October 2018

Assessment of Ecological Impacts

The objective is to assess synergies and trade-offs between forest ecosystem services in different forest management scenarios reflecting actors’ preferences and forestry at different levels of intensity. This relates to two sub-objectives: a) to assess with an assemblage of simulation models emerging conflicts and synergies between ecosystem services in different societal and ecological contexts at different spatial and temporal scales, and b) to provide decision-making support tools to help balance the synergies and trade-offs between different forest ecosystem services at the policy and management level.

This work will provide results on the possibilities of quantifying ecological and timber production impacts of various forest management strategies, and thus map the possibility-set of forest ecosystem services as a function of these strategies. This information, together with literature reviews of previous studies, is then used in upcoming work for identifying the potentially most interesting forest ecosystem services synergies and trade-offs.

Lead: Natalia V. Lukina and Vladimir N Shanin

Value assessment

The objective is to assess the economic and non-economic value of forest ecosystem services, taking into consideration the trade-offs and synergies between them. Such value assessment will be based on the combination of (i) results from different economic valuation methods (travel cost and contingent valuation methods, shadow cost estimations); and (ii) different non-economic valuations (values emerging at different levels of society – from individuals to communities, including different knowledge systems related to, e.g., scientific communities, practitioners, local actors, traditional ecological knowledge). This relates to the following sub-objectives: (a) to conduct a systematic review of existing value assessment methods and approaches for forest ecosystem services and identify gaps in these methods; b) to assess the economic values of marketed and non-marketed forest ecosystem services and their trade-offs; c) to assess societal values of forest ecosystem services from a social science perspective; and d) to integrate multiple perspectives of values into a coherent framework that is accessible for decision makers.

Based on earlier work in the project and results from previous studies, this work will provide a comprehensive view of the various value assessment methods and their strong and weak points in assessing values of forest ecosystem services.

Lead: Irina Prokofieva

Policy assessment (Pan-European - national)

The objective is to analyse how policies and their objectives (from pan-European to national) address forest ecosystem services to identify synergies and incoherencies of political goals and objectives leading to tradeoffs. This relates to the following sub-objectives: a) to systematically analyse pan-European forestrelated policies to identify synergies and trade-offs relating to policy ideas, goals and measures in relation to the long term provision of forest ecosystem services; b) for the EU-member countries to POLYFORES – Sumforest 22 of 33 systematically analyse as to how EU goals and underlying ideas in relation to forest ecosystem services are implemented in national forest policies; c) for BY, Norway and Russia to systematically analyse national forest-related policies to identify synergies and trade-offs relating to policy ideas, goals and measures in relation to the long term provision of FES (see a); and d) to compare results from non-EU and EU countries including an analysis of the mutual uptake of ideas and concepts, and to assess comparatively as to how policies address forest ecosystem services.

Lead: Helga Pülzl

Handling Conflicts and Promoting Synergies at the Forest Management Level

The objective is to investigate how policy objectives and regulatory frameworks (identified in policy assessment) operate in practice. Most countries have national legislation in place to safeguard the provision of forest ecosystem services, but it is unclear as to how they are implemented. Policy is traced from the national to the local forest management level where synergies and trade-offs in achieving objectives are analysed by interdisciplinary teams and approaches (e.g. modelling tools developed in Assessment of Ecological Impacts). This work entails three sub-objectives: a) to examine how the existing forest ecosystem services policy objectives are implemented, understood and operationalized by local actors, and b) to analyse how local actors’ land use priorities impact the provision of different forest ecosystem services in different governance contexts (comparative cases), and c) to explore synergies and trade-offs between different forest ecosystem services at the forest management level in the selected governance contexts.

Lead: Karin Beland Lindahl

Policy-Science-Practice Interface Facilitating Coherent and Integrated Decision-making

The objective is to facilitate a coherent and integrated decision-making towards sustainable and multifunctional forest management. The sub-objectives are: (a) to foster a comprehensive understanding of the synergies and trade-offs between different forest ecosystem services among decision makers in policy and practice across different levels, and scientists from different disciplines (two inter- and transdisciplinary workshops); and (b) to identify which forms of communication instruments support the awareness for and implementation of an integrated approach of forest-relevant policy decisions that take into account the different appraisals and evaluation of forest ecosystem services. 

Several case studies will be provided and will give a rather comprehensive overview of the weak and strong points in quantifying and balancing forest ecosystem services synergies and trade-offs. The sustainability challenges, in focus in this project, are not unique to these case studies – knowledge is thus developing knowledge, methods and tools, which could be applicable in other contexts. Sustainable forest management practices with the capacity to provide a broad range of forest ecosystem services are likely to strengthen the competitive edge of European companies in the growing global bio-economy. 

Lead: Metodi Sotiov

Expected impact and applications

This knowledge, together with knowledge on implementation of key policy objectives related to forest ecosystem services (on international level), is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the current policy frameworks. Such knowledge is needed by political decision makers at the European, national and local levels, as well as by authorities/civil servants involved in implementing and evaluating policies related to balancing forest ecosystem services, and by commercial and non-governmental organisations involved in related issues. The project will also generate knowledge about the usefulness of participatory research approaches. Such approaches are much encouraged in the scientific literature, by funders and decision makers, but little guidance exists as to how to make them meaningful and effective. The project also expects to give new information of policy ideas and goals in relation to forest ecosystem services in forest-related policies at the EU and national levels (both non-EU and EU member countries). Related synergies, contradiction and potential trade-offs as to how those forest ecosystem services are addressed in policies and policy instruments and can inform decision-making and foster improved awareness about the possibilities and needs of providing forest ecosystem services, thus giving policy-makers a better basis for deciding between various policies and policy instruments. Furthermore policy-makers can learn as to how policy ideas and goals in relation to ecosystem services are being implemented in EU-member countries to potentially increase synergies and decrease contradictions between policies. Lastly, expected results are that decision makers from policy and practice, as well as researchers will likely share their professional views and experience with synergies and trade-offs between forest ecosystem services. This should stimulate improved collective wisdom and better understanding of the interdependencies and implications of policy and management choices through policy learning, and potentially foster policy and behavioural changes towards coherent forest policy making and integrated forest management in the longer term.