EFICENT-OEF: The Observatory for European Forests inaugurated!

The integral component of the European Forest Institute (EFI) and its Central Regional Office EFICENT,the Observatory for European Forests will be inaugurated on Friday, 9 April 2010. By establishing the Observatory for European Forests (OEF) in Nancy, France is actively supporting international forest research and information provision for different policy needs.Because of the long tradition and high level expertise in forest research at INRA and AgroParisTech-ENGREF and other high level research infrastructure in the region, Nancy offers perfect conditions for setting-up the Observatory.

One of EFI’s main aims is to be an acknowledged contact point for researchers, decision-makers and the public seeking unbiased and policy-relevant information on European forests and forestry. The Observatory in Nancy will support the EFI particularly in this work. The main objective of the OEF is to strengthen the communication between data and information processes on one side and policy decision making processes on the other side.

The OEF implements its activities primarily at the pan-European level. Close interaction is envisaged with European and international organizations and policy processes in forestry and adjacent environmental and socio-economic sectors. Close cooperation, like in the form of joint research projects or supervision of Master/Doctoral theses is planned with INRA and AgroParisTech-Engref in Nancy but also with other Universities and research institutions in Europe.

Current activities at the Observatory include research on improving international forest products price information and elaboration of forest ownership maps for Europe and selected regions. OEF also gives support to international organizations like FAO , UNECE and FOREST EUROPE (former MCPFE ) in collecting, analyzing and disseminating various forest information, like to the pan-European Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. Together with INRA, the OEF is organizing a PhD course on “International Forestry and Global Issues" from 17-21 May 2010.

Core funding for the OEF is provided by four different French donors: the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Regional Council of Lorraine, the Urban Community of Greater Nancy and INRA. The direct institutional support, via the Observatory, allows EFI being more active and present in the international and regional research and policy arena. The core funding provided is crucial for the development and maintenance of high-level information products, high-quality research and long term European and international networking and cooperation.

Dr. Aljoscha Requardt, the Manager of OEF, is responsible for coordinating its team, programme and activities in accordance with EFI's strategy. He started his work 1st of September 2009. Located in the heart of Nancy, the newly renovated EFI premises welcome researchers and guests interested in OEF activities and modes of cooperation.


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