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EU on forest info for Europe's roadmap towards climate neutrality

8 November 2022
A novel EU project provides forest information for Europe’s roadmap towards climate neutrality. A better monitoring of Europe’s forest will help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • Our overall aim is to aid Europe’s transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy, says Johannes Breidenbach, coordinator for EU’s newly launched PathFinder project.
  • Purposeful policy decisions are based on reliable information on the state and future development of forest resources, Breidenbach says.

All in all, 23 research organisations across Europe take part in the four-year EU-funded PathFinder endeavour to improve Europe’s forest monitoring capability – helping increase carbon storage and stop biodiversity loss in forests.

Forests are central to Europe’s economies, climate, and biodiversity

Firstly, the PathFinder project aims to develop a common monitoring system of Europe’s forests, based on existing national forest inventories. This is important forest monitoring ensures updated and consistent information about greenhouse gas emissions from forests across Europe.

  • Even between neighbouring countries there are differences in the way national forest inventories are conducted, Breidenbach says.
  • Through the PathFinder project we will harmonise the way data about forests are collected across Europe and harmonise the way this information is shared.
  • In addition, policies that foster a forest-based bio-economy that help mitigate climate change and promote biodiversity.
  • Currently, decision-making is hampered because timely and reliable information is missing.

A PathFinder method for climate mitigation and adaptation in Europe

A second aim of the EU-funded PathFinder project is to develop models that can project how European forests can contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation under various scenarios, using different natural and socio-economic drivers.

  • Such a system is required to monitor progress towards targets, and for policy makers to continuously adjust and adapt as new information becomes available, says Breidenbach.

This enables the third aim where PathFinder scientists together with stakeholders – including policymakers, landowners, forest managers, and nature & biodiversity conservationists – set forward to mobilise their understanding and evidence in ways that can help link short-term decisions to long-term outcomes, thus providing more effective and resilient future forest management pathways.

  • There are many options leading towards a future climate-neutral Europe. Our approach in the PathFinder project is to find the pathway for Europe’s forests that results in the least trade-offs and maximum synergies among the many ecosystem services forest provide, says Breidenbach.

Contact person:
Research Professor Johannes Breidenbach,
Telephone: (+47) 974 77 985
Twitter: @Jo_Breidenbach

For more information about the PathFinder project, please visit the webpage