Forest ecosystems (approx. 42 % of the European Union’s total land area) have been affected by changing climate conditions, e.g. droughts, heavy rain events, frequent and intensive storms, pests and forest fires. The EU-funded ONEforest project will address this challenge by studying sustainable forest management (SFM) practices in four European biogeographical case study regions, which shall ensure or even increase Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) at the same time. This includes also forest operations and the application of engineered topsoil cover. A newly developed Multi-Criteria Decision Support System will provide information for decision-making to stakeholders by assessing SFM, synergies and trade-offs of FES, reliable wood supply, and stakeholder interests through indicators of social, economic, and environmental dimensions.
Europe's forests are facing major challenges. Due to climatic changes, they are increasingly vulnerable to storms, insects and dry periods. At the same time, European forests are expected to contribute to climate protection as well as to fulfill a variety of functions, e.g. a steady supply of wood for the wood processing industry, protection against avalanches and erosion, retention of rainwater, place of recreation for tourists. As a result, forest management decision making regarding the enhancement of forest functions is becoming increasingly difficult and complex. In order to present this complexity to all actors in the forest-wood value chain and to support decision making, the ONEforest project is developing a multi-criteria decision support system.
The overall objective of ONEforest is to develop a Multi-Criteria Decision Support System (MCDSS) that supports decision-making by assessing sustainable forest management, synergies and trade-offs of forest ecosystem services, reliable wood supply, and stakeholder interests through forest-wood value chain indicators of social, economic, and environmental dimensions. This will, through an interdisciplinary approach, contribute to achieving multi-functional resilient forestry and optimisation of the forest-wood value chain while considering the interests of participating stakeholders as well as supporting the development of bio-based society. ONEforest will cover different stakeholders of the forest-wood value chain, such as forest owner, industries, operators, logisticians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), recreationists, etc. by multi-level stakeholder participation.
The ONEforest project investigates in four biogeographical model regions (northern boreal forests in Estonia, alpine forests in Switzerland, mediterranean forests in Spain, and continental forests in Germany) how the forests and the forest-wood value chain are to be evaluated holistically under economic, ecological, and social aspects. For this purpose, different scenarios for the next 30 years will be developed in order to show a future-oriented development of the forestry and wood industry in the EU. Due to the close links between forestry and the wood industry, a special focus is put on the integration of stakeholders in order to prepare companies and other stakeholders for changing material flows and products along the forest-wood value chain and to create common perspectives for the future use of wood. Based on different target indicators, a multi-criteria decision support system will be developed, which will then be made available to stakeholders in the forest-wood value chain.
ONEforest is expected to lead to great innovations (e.g., Multi-Criteria Decision Support System, Dynamic Value Chain Model, Sustainable Forest Management concepts, Topsoil Cover) across the forest-wood value chain enhancing and supporting Europe’s bioeconomy. Findings have the potential to stimulate the economy through encouraging innovation and building of new and competitive industries across the forest-wood value chain, leading to a greater and more sustainable use of renewable resources. The full integration of findings, and showcasing of opportunities across the entire forest-wood value chain both from a wood-user (industry), and wood-producer (forest) perspective will naturally lead to an increase in forest resilience, supporting situational tree species selection, adapted stand structures and innovative silvicultural concepts, efficient forest operations and transparent decision making on regional level. It advances the state-of-the-art by creating a common vision of sustainable forest management and wood utilisation across Europe.