Head of Programme: vacant
European forests are an essential element of the European landscape, substantially contributing to the welfare of our societies. They provide valuable goods and services, and have a positive effect on the most strategic resources to sustain life on our continent: water, soil and biodiversity.
- The diversity of forest goods and services implies a broad range of stakeholders, whose needs and preferences are often only poorly understood. Yet knowledge of their interests is essential for understanding the demands, expectations and confines facing the forest sector.
- The ‘public good’ nature of most forest services precludes the effective establishment of markets for many of them. This limits the opportunities for their providers – forest owners who bear the costs of forest management – to capture benefits from their provision.
- Forest owners’ profiles, motivations and preferences have themselves changed during the last decades, affecting their forest management objectives and the provision of different forest goods and services.
- Forest-related policies at EU level are fragmented and prevent a holistic approach in meeting the multifunctional demands on forest resources and unlocking their potential contribution to a green bioeconomy.
In this context, the creation of new institutional arrangements (eg markets, policy instruments, governance solutions) to correctly capture the value of forest goods and services and better mobilise forest resources (including non-timber products), can help to improve the profitability of forestry. It can also improve social wellbeing, by aligning the preferences of forest owners and managers with those of society.
EFI’s Forest for Society Programme aims to generate scientific knowledge and information for a better understanding of:
- The full value of European forests, the socio-economic viability of Sustainable Forest Management and the profitability of forestry in Europe.
- Stakeholders’ motives, values and preferences regarding forest management, products and services as well as responses to different policy approaches.
- The socio-economic nature and potential of forest products and services in the context of the emerging EU policy framework (green economy, rural development, Forest Strategy, Europe’s strategy 2020, etc).
- The performance of different policy instruments and governance solutions to promote the multifunctionality of forests and their sustainable management.
- New policy approaches and institutional innovations for improved forest policy cohesion and effectiveness in Europe.