Forest ecosystem services are benefits people obtain from forest ecosystems. These include forest products such as timber, food, alternative energy materials, as well as services such as climate mitigation, water quality, biodiversity, spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits. POLYFORES has been designed based on the observation of a trend towards intensification of forest use in many European countries.
The question as to how forest ecosystem services are valued in different political and management levels across countries in Europe depends on different factors and sparks a need for a comprehensive assessment of synergies and trade-offs between forest ecosystem services across different sectorial (policy) and disciplinary (academic) perspectives.
Recently developed tools for assessing forest ecosystem services and possible trade-offs to support political and management decisions on forests are lacking when it comes to taking interlinkage and possible incoherencies between different decision-making levels into account.
POLYFORES therefore aims to:
- map ecological impacts including trade-offs and synergies between different forest ecosystem services of variable forest management scenarios at different spatial and temporal scales;
- provide a holistic approach of value assessment taking into account different valuations across multiple levels of decision-making and diverse sectoral perspectives contributing to appraisal of trade-offs and synergies between different forest ecosystem services; and
- support decision-making processes of forest ecosystem services at different (Pan-European and EU, national and sub-national) levels through a transdisciplinary approach involving decision makers in a continuous participatory learning process level throughout the entire project.