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Coupling water, fire and climate resilience with biomass production from forestry to adapt watersheds to climate change

R&D Projects
"Enhances forests resilience to wildfires, water scarcity, environmental degradation and other effects induced by climate change”

Forests across Europe are at major risk from increasing temperatures as a result of climate change. They will also be affected by the related increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as droughts, high winds and heavy rainstorms, which will lead to increased flooding and the outbreak of fires. Not only will Mediterranean areas and eastern Europe will be affected but Central Europe too.
The number and intensity of continuous dry days experienced in Europe is thus expected to increase, affecting an increasingly larger area. Moreover, Mediterranean countries, where forests are considered low production, trees provide vital protection from soil erosion and degradation, as well as improving the landscape and stabilising the hydrological cycle. Forest management in Europe must urgently change, with decisions being made on the basis of the provision key goods and services.


  • The first objective of the LIFE RESILIENT FORESTS is to develop a Decision Support System (DSS) for forest managers, which introduces them to the climate change adaptation processes. This system will comprise updated management practices on the watershed scale and climate change-related issues. The support system will be then demonstrated on two levels, sub-catchment and catchment, in Germany, Portugal and Spain. At each location the DSS will be modified by involving the relevant stakeholders.
  • The project also plans to develop a complete monitoring system, including a Life Cycle Assessment of the forest management approach (following ISO 14040/44), that will demonstrate the positive environmental impact of the project, as well as its socioeconomic impact. A further objective is to develop a strategy for transferring management approaches around Europe and to organise networking activities to facilitate the transfer of information on forest management and climate change initiatives. The project will contribute to the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy by 2050, as well as 2020 Energy Strategy targets and the EU’s strategy on adaption to climate change, among other EU policy areas.

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