Projecting the future of our forests: documentary and policy brief

The future of our forests is uncertain, especially with disturbances, like windstorms, wildfires and bark beetles, which are increasing due to climate change. In the I-Maestro project, researchers investigated how we can adapt our forests and their management to reduce the impacts of climate change and disturbances – while still be able to use wood and benefit from other forest ecosystem services. To fully understand the dynamics that are happening, we would need to do an experiment lasting maybe a hundred years, which would need to be replicated in different places. Since this is impossible and we don’t have enough time due to the pressing challenges of today, forest researchers use models to make projections for the future. In the documentary “Projecting the future of our forests” we produced for I-Maestro, you will learn what models can do, and how they can predict forest functions under disturbances. You will also explore the modelling of different climate and forest management scenarios – and find out how modelling actually works, and why not only researchers should be excited about it.

Decision making in forest policy and practice requires a solid evidence base. To contribute to this need, I-Maestro also published key results and policy recommendations derived from the project work in a policy brief with the same title as the video „Projecting the future of our forests”. In addition to the recommendations, the policy brief sheds light on the disturbance risks evolution in European forests, informs about forest recovery after disturbances, and discusses the role and contribution of forest simulation modelling to make our forests more resilient.