The social and economic value of mixed plantations and irregular forests in the SUDOE region is remotely recognized and taken for granted in policy and local development decision-making. Limited information sharing systems and structures prevents the SUDOE region from undertaking a concerted and coordinated approach in sustainable forest management and creating a favourable bioeconomy.
Complex forest, mixed plantations and ecosystems services
Forests provide a multitude of benefits to humans in terms of temperature regulation, water supply and purification, timber, energy, clean air, soil protection, recreation and well-being. They also provide a natural solution in mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration, substitution and conservation. Forests cover nearly one-third of the earth’s land surface and serve as a biologically diverse ecosystems to plants, animals and micro-organisms. Southwest Europe needs healthy and functional forests that guarantee the provision of goods and services for rural and urban society, as well as the protection of its rich biodiversity. Complex forests and mixed plantations, as a resilient alternative, can increase, and in many cases, improve the potential quality of ecosystem services compared to other forest systems.
The COMFOR-SUDOE Project
Organising, managing and making sense of siloed technical and scientific data can be complex and complicated. Opportunities are missed to transfer and share knowledge and innovation that could potentially help improve sustainable forest management across borders. Scientific studies often fail to inform policies beyond its local community. Integrating people, processes, information and technology within the SUDOE region is clearly necessary.
For this reason, a transnational consortium of forest stakeholders has launched the COMFOR-SUDOE project, a forest-based strategy, funded by the EU Interreg SUDOE Programme, that will help promote ecosystem services and the protection of biodiversity, as well as ensure resilience and sustainable management of the forest system and a favorable condition for a bioeconomy.
The COMFOR-SUDOE project is the integrated and intelligent information management of complex forests and mixed-species plantations in southwest Europe. It seeks to promote complex forests (mixed and irregular) and multi-species plantations as a resilient adaptive strategy in response to climate change and declining biodiversity. The project aims to strengthen transnational synergies and network partnerships in specific sectors in the SUDOE region by promoting research, development and transfer of technology and innovation.
A consortium of experts committed to results
The consortium is composed of a large panel of collaborators with complementary skills and expertise across Europe. They are organised in several interrelated and interacting task groups committed to evaluate the social and economic value of the ecosystem services provided by mixed plantations and irregular forests in the SUDOE region, create a joint experimental network of mixed plantations and irregular forests in the SUDOE region for capacity building and knowledge transfer, as well as strengthen transnational research and innovation synergies and network partnerships, develop an intelligent information management strategy for mixed plantations and irregular forests in the SUDOE region, encourage intelligent information management in the field of environmental services and energy from renewable sources in the SUDOE region, through knowledge networking, innovation and scientific exchange, and promote the technological value of complex forests and mixed plantations as local assets of the SUDOE region.
Complex forests are environmental heritage, natural resources and territorial assets. For more information visit www.comfor-sudoe.eu
By : Hubert COSICO (IEFC)