FORWARDS is an EU-funded project that will prototype The ForestWard Observatory, a pan-European monitoring and evaluation tool that will help in demonstrating the impact of climate change on forests, guiding decision-making for practical forest management.
Five projects for building new climate-smart forest and forest restoration trials will be supported in the first round of calls by FORWARDS, with a total grant value of EUR 700,000 with a single grant value of maximum EUR 150,000. By the end of July, the application window for this grant call will be opened by EFI – the European Forest Institute.
Projects resulting from successful submissions are anticipated to commence around the beginning of 2024. Each project has a maximum duration of 18 months. The project will issue numerous additional calls for funding for projects with various themes throughout the remainder of the year and until it is completed. If you work in Climate-Smart Forestry, watch out for the launch at the end of July. The call will be published on EFI’s grants webpage https://efi.int/grants-training/grants.
With a total budget of €14m and more than 19 partners involved, FORWARDS – with the ForestWard Observatory – will provide timely and detailed information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change. The project will also deliver science-based knowledge to guide management using the principles of climate-smart forestry, ecosystem restoration and biodiversity preservation, developed in close consultation with relevant stakeholder groups. To set up The ForestWard Observatory, FORWARDS will launch at least five grant calls with a total value of EUR 6 million to fund 50 projects.
The data and the results from these projects will feed into The ForestWard Observatory.The ForestWard Observatory will be a long-lasting practical tool to support decision making:
- at European and national scale to provide a strategic perspective of disturbances, future risks, and critical vulnerabilities and threats to European forests;
- at regional and local scale to deliver more operational information for local CSF & Restoration management practice.
By operating at both these scales, the project will help improve the accuracy and timeliness of threat detection for European forests while enabling local management teams to respond promptly using a scientific basis. In this respect, The ForestWard Observatory will draw on available networks and data streams to apply pioneering approaches.