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SCAR Forest and Forestry Research and Innovation (SCAR Forest)

Mission and aims

 

 

Co-Chairs:

  • Mika Kallio 
  • Anne Tolvanen 
  • Nicolas Picard
  • Martin Behrens (core group member)
  • Contact information:
    • Nicolas Picard

Mandate:

01/07/2023 to 30/06/2026

Members:

19 member states and 6 observers + EC and key advisors

Forest SWG map

Overview members SCAR Forest – update October 2023

 

forest

CONTEXT AND RATIONALE

Forests cover 35% of Europe’s total land area, an area equivalent to Europe’s agricultural land (Forest Europe 2020).

In addition to their high economic importance, European forests provide a wide set of environmental benefits. They are a major carbon sink: in the EU-28, carbon sequestration by forests corresponds to around 10% of gross greenhouse gas emissions. Forests also harbour the greatest part of terrestrial biodiversity, and scientific knowledge is increasing on the importance of forests on human wellbeing and health.

Building a research area for forests and forestry is all the more important as questions and challenges in forestry touch on many related topics such as carbon management, biodiversity, human wellbeing, rural development and economy. 

Moreover, in a time of accelerating global changes, it is important to foster transfers from research to innovation and policy.

The SCAR Strategic Working Group on Forests and Forestry Research and Innovation has a specific role to play in reinforcing expectations towards forest research and innovation. It can initiate research cooperation initiatives, follow the development of these initiatives, and review and disseminate their results.

 

MISSION AND MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THE SCAR FOREST

A source of advice on European forest-based research and innovation (R&I), thus contributing to the development of a coherent and ambitious forest-based research area.

The main objective of the SCAR SWG FOREST in its 4 th mandate will be to support the development of a European research and innovation partnership on forests and forestry. The development of such a partnership is set as an objective in the new EU forest strategy “in order to strengthen EU cooperation” and “overcome the fragmentation of public research efforts in the EU”.

 

SUB-OBJECTIVES

  • Identify knowledge gaps on topics of interest for the European partnership on forests and forestry;
  • Support future studies on European forests and the forest sector;
  • Map information systems and research infrastructures on forests;
  • Monitor trends in emergent forest-related value chains related to the transition of economies. 

 

PLANNED ACTIVITIES

The list of activities for the first year is presented below:

1. Develop the proposal for the European research and innovation partnership “Forests and Forestry for a Sustainable Future” in relations with the DGs of the European Commission involved (AGRI, ENV, RTD, CLIMA, GROW, JRC) and following the guidelines for European partnerships under Horizon Europe;

2. Coordinate with the team of the EUFORE project for all project activities that may support the development of the European partnership on forests and forestry, including the stakeholder assessment (task 3.1 of EUFORE), the interaction between stakeholders and the project team (task 3.3), the development of the SRIA and its research and innovation roadmap at EU-level (task 3.5), the stakeholder commitments towards the SRIA (task 3.6), and the liaison between policymakers and funding agencies (task 4.4).

3. Coordinate with the ForestValue2 Coordination and Support Action for the development of the European partnership on forests and forestry.

4. Follow-up on the portfolio analysis on carbon farming and carbon removal certification initiated in the previous mandate of the SCAR SWG FOREST with the support of the SCAR Framework Contract 2022-2023 so as to identify knowledge gaps on this topic.

5. Liaise with other SCAR groups (in particular the BIOECONOMY group) and liaise with the BIOEAST Initiative to identify synergies.

6. Review ongoing and new research and innovation projects on forest and the forest sector to identify relevant results to disseminate.

 

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

● Improved coordination between countries, research and innovation results, and finally better informed decision at the EU and MS levels.

● Better efficiency and effectiveness of the research and innovation system, with less fragmentation and enhanced transnational programming.

● Better consideration of the importance and complexity of forest issues in the scientific and policy arena, with a better recognition of the “forest” object being central to integrate connected issues (e.g. carbon, biodiversity, economy) and to structure European research.

● Increased outreach on forest and forestry questions to a widener set of EU countries.