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Alternative models and robust decision-making for future forest management (ALTERFOR)
Start date: Apr 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2020 PROJECT  ONGOING 

European forests are expected to provide a broad range of ecosystem services (ES). This capacity is however threatened by the uncertainties of climate change, the complex dynamics of evolving global markets and the pressures for increased use of bioenergy. Such challenges cannot be effectively addressed with an uncritical regional or national commitment to traditional forest management models (FMMs), as these are unlikely to ensure the sustained long-term provisioning of desired ES, let alone their optimised delivery. ALTERFOR’s goal is thus to facilitate the implementation of FMMs better suited to meeting the challenges of the 21st century by: (1) Identifying and developing FMMs robust in their capacity to deliver ES and overcome projected socio-ecological risks and uncertainties; (2) Assessing the impact of different FMM combinations in terms of resultant ES baskets on the European and landscape level, and (3) Facilitating the implementation of desired FMMs and improving cross-national knowledge transfer regarding their benefits, costs, management, and utilization. The project will involve a consortium of 19 organisations from nine countries chosen due to their possession of the transdisciplinary expertise necessary to achieve these objectives, and for ensuring an encompassing representation of Europe’s socio-economic conditions and prevailing forest management paradigms. Based on carefully designed case studies, the consortium will make sure realistic models of forest owner behaviour are employed; guarantee the involvement of forest stakeholders throughout the project; anchor the desired FMMs to relevant forest actors; and help disseminate project findings to local, national and European stakeholders. The main long-term impact of ALTERFOR is the implementation of FMMs that secure the capacity of Europe’s forests to continue providing a balanced ES basket that societies will depend upon over the coming century.
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