COST Foresight - COST Strategic Workshop Foresight on Future Demand for Forest-based Products and Services


  • Foresight and Policy Support


Forest sector is in an interesting phase; there are high, sometimes even contradicting demands for forests, their products and services. There are already deliberations ongoing about a wider and legally binding international collaboration on forest and forestry strategies in Europe. The forest sector has developed methods and tools for making projections on the future, and several future oriented exercises are ongoing both at national and interregional level – mainly focused on the supply side developments. There is a need to extend the futures horizon and explore new emerging topics with regard to the future of forests and forestry in a wider demand context, taking into account the anticipated changes e.g. in global population, consumer markets and consumption patterns, public opinion and related societal demands, as well as the potential effects of climate change and the developments in related policy deliberations.

The aim of this COST Strategic Workshop series is to carry out a wide-angle foresight exercise on the future demand for multiple forest-based products and services.

Firstly, the exercise aims at providing futures information on the role that forests play in the future societies, the demand there will be for the forest-based products and services (i.e. not only the goods and services we know today, but also new needs and new products and services) and the drivers behind these developments.

Secondly, the exercise aims at a capacity building on foresight methodologies and approaches, development of new social and commercial networks, and elaboration of a shared sense of commitment which would result in new national and European scale foresight exercises in the forest sector. The networking – also at regional level – will be supported by the use of novel methods and internet-based tools. The series of workshops will be concluded in an informative material (briefing notes) for the policy makers and stakeholders illustrating the key findings of the exercise. Furthermore the exercise will conclude directions for future work that can be utilised e.g. in defining future research agendas in the forest-based sector (for example, revision of FTP’s SRA) and in the science community (for example, COST future research directions).

The series of strategic workshops combines expert workshops and a collection of data and perceptions by means of internet-based tools. Representatives of the foresight and forecasting exercises carried out in the forest sector will be invited to participate in the process to gain new perspective, new knowledge and new data. The exercise will complement the work already done and the work ongoing.

EFI coordinates the project together with the COST Domain Forests, their Products and Services (DC FPS). Several key stakeholders as well as national foresight exercises are centrally involved in the project.

Project Steering Committee:
Risto Päivinen, EFI
Sjur Baardsen, COST
Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld, FTP
Michael Kleine, IUFRO
Ines Marin-Moreno, SCAR/EC
Franziska Hirsch, EFSOS/UNECE
Göran Berndes, IEA
Elspeth MacRae, Scion, New Zealand
Annika Nordin, Future Forests, Sweden
Tamás Marghescu, Intenational Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation


A series of workshops is organised within this project.

• Foresight on Future Demand for Forest-based Products and Services: Setting the Scene. 7.-8.9.2010, Vienna, Austria. Website:

• Internet Survey (open registration, the survey open until 17.12.2010) Website:

• Foresight on Future Demand for Forest-based Products and Services: Scenario Building. 22.-23.2.2011, Barcelona, Spain. Website:

• Final Conference, 13.9.2011, Sekocin Stary (Near Warsaw)/Poland (, for information materials and conference presentations see this website). Back to back with the final conference, a workshop on foresight and forest(ry) strategies was arranged in cooperation between EFI and IBLES (for workshop presentations and outcome see here).

• Information event in Brussels, October 2011 - Information about the project is available in the Networks of Science and Technology: a COST exhibition in the European Parliament.

Further information and examples of foresight exercises are collected in the EuroForestPortal, see here


01.05.2010 - 31.10.2011



Project Management

Coordinator: European Forest Institute (EFI), Headquarters
Name: Päivi Pelli
Email: paivi.pelli (at)
Country: Finland

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