Towards an open and dynamic European forest research area: SUMFOREST starts!

European forest research is internationally recognized in many scientific areas. European collaboration and coordination in forest research has been increasing since the late 1990s, for example through the EU Research Framework Programmes. However, forest research is still rather fragmented, often mono-disciplinary and unevenly distributed. There is also a lack of large-scale infrastructures and long-term experiments.

In this context, a new ERA-NET scheme, SUMFOREST (Tackling the challenges in sustainable and multifunctional forestry through enhanced research coordination for policy decisions) has begun. It aims to reduce existing fragmentation and maximise the impact of research activities on SFM and multifunctional forestry in Europe.

SUMFOREST will be instrumental in building a European forest research area which promotes European-scale research as basis for sound forest management and policy-making. SUMFOREST will also establish cooperation with Russia and other eastern countries, with the aim of identifying common research priorities and initiatives.

The SUMFOREST project (2014-2017) is coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria. EFI is the vice-coordinator, and leads the work package on foresight on policy needs, as well as the task of developing a comprehensive method for mapping forest research initiatives and transnational cooperation. EFI also has the task of establishing cooperation with Russia and other eastern partnership countries. EFI Member Countries as well as EFI member organisations will benefit from the new funding opportunities available, and the development of further transnational cooperation.

More information: Marc Palahí, Deputy Director (marc.palahi(at)efi.int)

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