Decision-making Support for Forest Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration Policy and Management in Europe: Trade-offs and Synergies at the Forest-Biodiversity-Climate-Water Nexus

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Project coordinator: Dr. Metodi Sotirov -

University of Freiburg (ALU-FR) - Germany


European Forest Institute Bonn (EFI-DE)


Luleå University of Technology (LTU-SE)


Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)


European Forest Institute Joensuu (EFI-FI)


University of Forestry Sofia (LTU-BG)


Forest Sciences and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC)


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)



Despite ambitious global and EU policy targets, biodiversity is under increasing threat. Biodiversity decline and degradation of ecosystems continue at an alarming rate, especially in forests that harbor 80 percent of terrestrial biodiversity worldwide. Only 0,7 percent of forests in Europe are in a primary condition; many primary and old growth forests lack effective protection and the majority of forest habitat and species in protected (Natura 2000) as well as managed forests are in a non-favorable conservation status. Enhanced conservation and restoration of forest habitats, species and functions are essential for biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services. Ambitious policy targets are important, but they are not enough to reverse the biodiversity crisis. While strong positive and negative interdependencies exist between biodiversity, forestry, climate change and water management, effective biodiversity goal achievement presupposes cross-sectoral policy coherence and implementation across EU, national and local levels. Effective implementation also depends on supportive behavioral responses by forest owners and conservation managers who have to respond to multiple policy and socio-economic drivers forcing them to make tradeoffs under complexity, uncertainty and climate change. Previous research suggests that cross-sectoral goal conflicts and failures to understand behavioral responses constitute major barriers to achieving desired forest biodiversity outcomes.

Reference documents

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project and other projects funded in response to the BiodivRestore joint call consult:

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BiodivRestore funded projects booklet Download pdf

Keywords: biodiversity conservation, biodiversity restoration, behavioral change, decision support, integrative socioecological systems, forest ecosystems, modelling, nexus approach, policy integration, scenarios

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published on 2021/10/15 11:29:00 GMT+2 last modified 2022-07-26T16:16:29+02:00