In 2020 the European Commission published the Biodiversity strategy for 2030, setting the guidelines for future policy actions aimed at preserving and revamping biodiversity and nature across Europe. The document anticipated the publication of a dedicated EU Forest strategy expected in 2021. Waiting for this very much expected document, the information released so far in public by Commission officials lead to expect a renewed attention and push towards Forest Ecosystem Services and Forest Management. 

The experience of LIFE RESILIENT project shows that a very important aspect for biodiversity conservation is the actual management of forests and ecosystems. It is important to stress this concept and our project will devote special communication efforts to spread this idea.The last decades have dramatically shown the effects of wildfires plaguing most of Mediterranean Europe, areas hit by wildfires are then extremely difficult to restore and thus special efforts must be devoted to prevention. 

Forest management is an effective way to do so, as it can improve soil water recharge and  infiltration. This will in turn reduce drought and fire risks, improving the overall resilience of the forest. Likewise, biodiversity is also affected, which under a proper management scheme, is usually increased. In the view of our project, forest management should be driven by this “eco-hydrological approach”, made possible by careful data collection and analysis. This concept will be enshrined by the Decision Support System tool, the main outcome of the LIFE RESILIENT FORESTS project, a software capable of guiding forest managers in taking decisions aimed at improving the eco-resilience of the forest.

More readings:

Will 2021 be the year for forests? Implications of the upcoming EU Forest Strategy and other frameworks on forest ecosystem services (European Forest Institute)

Future EU Forest strategy: High-quality management of EU forests and woodlands (European Parliament)