ABOUT 2019-07-26T11:16:46+01:00

 Spurring INnovations for forest eCosystem sERvices in Europe


Spurring INnovations for forest eCosystem sERvices in Europe (SINCERE) is a four-year project funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. From 2018 to 2022, SINCERE will develop novel policies and new business models by connecting knowledge and expertise from practice, science and policy, across Europe and beyond.

An international Learning Architecture facilitates continuous collaborative learning from the project’s innovation actions, located in nine regions in Europe and two international cases in Peru and Russia. Innovations developed through SINCERE are intentionally varying in nature but, as a whole, aim to explore new means to enhance forest ecosystem services in ways that benefit forest owners as well as serving broad societal needs.

SINCERE’s research also contributes to the development of a coordinated European policy framework to maximise the value to society of forest ecosystem services and their sustainable provision.



One of the major challenges relating to the management of Europe’s forests is to balance the provision of distinct forest ecosystem services with broad societal demands. If markets and existing governance arrangements fail, forest owners and managers struggle to meet societal needs.

Only some of the services that forests provide are formally part of markets or value chains and some important services have no direct monetary value. Forest ecosystem services need policy and economic incentives to support them, and ways to value services with no direct market value, so that forest managers and owners have additional motives to supply these services.

There is a need to explore new approaches to connect profitable forest management with changing societal demands. Against this background, innovative mechanisms (IM), including novel policies and business models, have the potential to align ecosystem services’ supply and demand.


Forests are one of Europe’s main natural resources. They supply Europe’s societies with a set of highly valued ecosystem services and are in return subject to many, varied societal demands. Aligning the provision of forest ecosystem services (FES) with societal demands is the focus of an increasing effort in forest policy and management across Europe, as well as the subject of substantial research efforts.

SINCERE’s main strategic goal is to advance innovative mechanisms (IM), including novel policies and business models, that support the provision of FES across Europe and beyond, and to align them with a coordinated supportive policy framework in view of working towards a Europe-wide incentive system for FES.


The brochure is available (PDF) in the following languages: English, CatalanPortuguese and Croatian.

SINCERE objectives towards this goal:

  • Provide an evidence base for innovations for forest ecosystem services through systematic reviews

  • Build and run a Learning Architecture to facilitate learning between practitioners, policy makers and academia

  • Develop, implement and analyse innovations for forest ecosystem services

  • Synthesise knowledge gained across all innovation actions and from all involved disciplines for upscaling

  • Work towards a coordinated European policy framework to support forest ecosystem services provision

  • Disseminate knowledge on how to enhance forest ecosystem services

What are forest ecosystem services?

We can think of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) as the contribution made by forests to people.

FES are forest products and services that bring direct or indirect advantage to people, whether economically, materially, health-wise, emotionally or socially.

Examples of FES include edible and non-edible products that come from trees or grow in forests; water, air and soil quality; hunting, fishing, tourism and leisure activities; and nutrient and water cycling.

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FES Innovations for local benefit

Eleven Innovation Actions applied in distinct regional settings undergo a rigorous process of co-design and cross-fertilisation. They locally align provision and demand for FES and create benefits from environmental, social and economic perspectives.

FES Innovations for all

 Innovation Mechanisms, particularly novel policies and business models are established which have benefitted directly from the SINCERE co-design process. These are documented and shared for the benefit of forest managers / owners, entrepreneurs and policy-makers.

Increased capacity for innovation

 Forest owners / managers (FES suppliers) and broader society have increased knowledge and capabilities to innovate at the frontier between FES supply and demand.

The business case for FES

 Entrepreneurs have increased knowledge about sustainable Innovation Mechanisms that are replicable or can be upscaled. The opportunities offered by FES are clearly demonstrated, making the concept more attractive for relevant spheres of the business world and generating interest from the sector.

Policy support for FES

 Policymakers have access to clear recommendations on supportive and hindering factors for the provision of FES, based on actual cases and which have been developed jointly with policymakers themselves.

Global connections for worldwide innovation

 European scientists, entrepreneurs and policymakers are connected with global counterparts in the development of IA cases in Peru and the Russian Federation. International activities and networking ensure that Europe’s contribution to the development of IM for FES is well-recognised at a global scale.

FES for society

 Public awareness about FES in the communities local to the project increases, demonstrated by (perceived) increased demand for FES and uptake of services provided. FES have an increased perceived value as society looks increasingly towards a sustainable bioeconomy.

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