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Optimising forest management decisions for a low-carbon, climate resilient future in Europe


Project timeline
January 2023
48 months
December 2026
General Information
Significant reductions in anthropogenic emissions and increases in CO2 sinks are needed to meet the 1.5 centigrades threshold for global warming set out in the Paris Agreement and reach the climate-neutrality goal of the European Green Deal by 2050. The CO2 sink provided by forests, including old-growth forests, partially offsets the rise in anthropogenic CO2 emissions, providing a large-scale buffer to climate change. Depending on their characteristics and local circumstances, such as management practices or ecosystem services, forests may range from net CO2 sinks to sources. The OptFor-EU project will build a Decision Support System (DSS) to provide forest managers and other relevant stakeholders with tailored options for optimising decarbonisation and other Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) across Europe. Based on exploitation of existing data sources, use of novel Essential Forest Mitigation Indicators and relationships between climate drivers, forest responses and ecosystem services, OptFor-EU has five specific objectives: (1) Provide an improved characterisation of the Forest-Climate Nexus and FES; (2) Utilise end-user focused process modelling; (3) Empower forest end-users to make informed decisions to enhance forest resilience and decarbonisation; (4) Provide a novel DSS service; and (5) Bridge different EU strategic priorities, robust science, and stakeholders in the forest and forest-based sectors. Based on a supply-demand approach, the methodology combines an iterative process of data consolidation, modelling, and co-development of solutions alongside forest managers and other practice stakeholders in all European Forest Types. The DSS will be designed and tested at 8 case study areas, to provide a ready-to-use service, near to operational (Technology Readiness Level 7) at European level, while a user adoption and up-take plan will maximise the societal and business impact.
The Hereon team will implement future forest management scenarios into regional earth system modelling and evaluate the simulated effects and feedbacks of land use changes and climate-resilient forest management measures in Europe under present and potential future climate conditions. The scenarios will be developed according to user priorities and the results will be tailored to forest stakeholders and support suitable climate adaptation and mitigation options for enhancing forest resilience and its capacities to mitigate climate change across Europe.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaHORIZON-CL6-2021-CLIMATE-01-09
Project TypeResearch & Innovation Action (RIA)
Contract NumberGrant Agreement 101060554
Co-ordinatorAdministratia Nationala De Meteorologie R.A. (RO)
Funding for the Project (€) Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Dr. Diana Rechid, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS, KGK) Phone: +49 40 226 338 452
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

Administratia Nationala de Meteorologie (RO), AMBIENTA Ingenieria Y Servicios Agrarios Y Forestales Sl (ES), Asociatia WWF Romania (RO), Bluebiloba Startup Innovativa S.R.L. (IT), Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (IT), Institute For European Energy And Climate Policy Stichting (NL), Institutul National des Cercetare-Dezvoltare in Silvicultura (RO), Met Office (UK), Mykolo Romerio Universitetas (LT), Serveis De Suport A La Gestio SL (ES), Software Imagination & Vision SRL (RO), Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (AT), University of Exeter (UK), University of Leicester (UK), University Of South-Eastern Norway (NO)
OptFor-EU website
Last Update: 08. January 2024