“SINCERE could lay the foundations for a new European forest related policy”

“SINCERE could lay the foundations for a new European forest related policy”

Georg Winkel, Coordinator SINCERE and Head of Resilience Programme
at EFI The European Forest Institute (EFI), Finland

With the start of the project, what are your expectations for the project?
SINCERE in its entirety has some potential to not only increase our knowledge on innovative ways to incentivizing the provision of forest ecosystem services, but also has some potential to increase the visibility of this topic in the academic as well as policy arena.  At the same time, the intended close collaboration between a big group of practice partners and scientists from different disciplines on the topic has some potential to create new insights on issues that have been debated since a longer time, but in different separated silos.

Could you describe SINCERE project in a couple of words? What should people know about it?
SINCERE wants to bring together scientists, forest practitioners and policy makers to advance innovations relating to the entire spectrum of forest ecosystem services. The core idea is to establish a Learning Architecture where new solutions can be developed, tested and analyzed.

What is EFI’s role in SINCERE and why did you get involved in the project?
EFI is coordinating SINCERE. I became involved in the project at the idea stage after having joined EFI – after some back and forth I ended up as the coordinator of the application – this process was very intense and inevitable led to a deep attachment to the topic and the project’s ideas. The perspective on forests as something that is much more than only biomass is very much at my heart and believe – so SINCERE was will in line with this personal view and research interest.

How can improving forest ecosystem services (FES) help mankind to understand the environmental problems the planet is facing?
Forests are kind of a multifaceted character here – they are on one hand one of the victims of “environmental problems” (thinking about deforestation, climate change, overexploitation of forests), on the other hand they can also be seen as a solution (by integrating the provision of a huge set of ecosystem services in their management). They can contribute to mitigating climate change, are the essential backbone for global biodiversity, and can provide at the same time renewable materials and energy. The contribution of SINCERE is hence to illustrate different “importances” of forests and at the same time show possible solutions for environmental problems relating to forests.

In your point of view, how can SINCERE be a part of the solution in facing the global environmental problems? 
SINCERE explores innovative ways of providing a huge diversity of forest ecosystem services and in that regard also aims to bring together, to some degree, economic interests in managing forests with broad societal demands and the ecosystem per se. In that sense, SINCERE’s innovation may have some potential to bridge the gaps between economic growth, social welfare and the environmental state of the planet for the – arguably limited – case of (European) forests. Innovations relating to forest ecosystem services have some potential to solve environmental problems relating the world’s forests and societal demands for these services – one of SINCERE’s main ambitions is too find out how big this potential really is.

Imagining yourself at the end of SINCERE project, in 2021, describe what were the best results SINCERE had in Europe?
In a best-case scenario SINCERE could lay the fundament for a new European forest related policy that provides powerful incentives to innovate with the entire spectrum of forest ecosystem services – through scientific knowledge and compelling practical examples and experience.

2018-07-31T11:58:47+00:00 June 30th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Interviews|Tags: , |0 Comments

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