Final SINCERE event looks to the future for forest ecosystem services in Europe

After four and a half successful years, the SINCERE project celebrated a final policy dissemination event on 30 March, which was hosted together with a sister-project, NOBEL. Over 160 participants, including EU and national policymakers and policy stakeholders, researchers, forest owners and managers, joined online. The event featured selected conclusions and recommendations from these two European-wide research and innovation projects, based on experiences, practical work and findings on the implementation of innovations and policy learning relating to forest ecosystem services (FES).

The outputs presented were the culmination of project activities and a consultation process where key findings and recommendations were discussed with policy stakeholders in September and December 2021. These were complemented by additional consultation and research considering aspects beyond the scope of the SINCERE and NOBEL projects.

Georg Winkel (Wageningen University) presented a policy paper Governing Europe’s forests for multiple ecosystem services: opportunities, challenges, and policy options, jointly written by scientists from both projects. It introduces four policy pathways to govern Europe’s forests for multiple ecosystem services, highlighted in a Policy Brief also launched at the event. The data demonstrate that there is a substantial gap between forest ecosystem services supply and demand in Europe, and that European policies under the Green Deal need to effectively address this gap Exchange, at EU-, regional- and local level as well as between these different levels is key for success.

Sven Wunder (European Forest Institute) elaborated on the policy pathway relating to payments for environmental services (PES). He explained the arguments for and against an EU-wide PES scheme and also which principles need to be taken into consideration for such a scheme.

Miguel Sottomayer (Catholic University of Portugal) presented an innovative mechanism developed through the NOBEL project, Auction games and Forest Management: collaboration and competition for payments for ecosystem services.

Bo Jellesmark Thorsen (University of Copenhagen) discussed the upscaling potential of innovative cases developed in the SINCERE project and talked more widely on innovative business models for forest ecosystem services.

The chat was buzzing with questions leading to a lively discussion after the presentations. The take-home message is that despite the multiple challenges, there are many opportunities for forests, economically and socially.

Download the Policy Brief

Read the full Policy Paper (pre-print)

Did you miss the event? Watch the video! >

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