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Division of Forest and Forest Resources


Active Last updated: 02.06.2023
End: aug 2026
Start: sep 2022

Towards an Integrated Consistent European LULUCF Monitoring and Policy Pathway Assessment Framework


Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg (ALU), Germany

National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information (IGN), France

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA), Netherlands

Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems (TI), Germany

Croatian Forest Research Institute (CFRI)

Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)

Federal Research and Training Center for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW), Austria

Slovenian Forestry Institute (GIS)

Czech Forest Management Institute (UHUL)

Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. (VTT)

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain

Center for International Climate Research (CICERO), Norway

University of Göttingen (UGOE), Germany

University of Helsinki (UH), Finland

TreeMetrics (TM), Ireland

Eigen Vermogen van het Instituut voor Natuur- en 
Bosonderzoek (EVINBO), Belgium

European Landowners Organisation (ELO), Belgium

Institut Européen de la Forêt Cultivée (IEFC), France

Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)


Associated partners:

Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forests Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)

University of Bristol (UB), United Kingdom

Joint Research Center (JRC), Belgium

European Environmental Agency (EEA), Denmark

Partners and supporters of PathFinder
Status Active
Start - end date 01.09.2022 - 31.08.2026
Project manager Johannes Breidenbach
Division Division of Forest and Forest Resources
Department National Forest Inventory
Total budget 57492664

The overall aim of Europe is to transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy enabled through advanced climate science, pathways and responses to climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and behavioural transformations. To address this challenge, we need to further our understanding of the changing climate and its implications, close knowledge gaps, and develop tools that support decision makers for mitigation and adaptation actions on various time and spatial scales, and evaluate the societal impact of climate change and the technologies required for the desired climate neutral society.

European forests form a central component in achieving EU and national climate, biodiversity, and economic goals. While there is a lot of scientific information available for decision making on climate change, it is exactly the knowledge on European forests that is falling short:

  1. The EU needs policies that foster synergies and avoid trade-offs such that the forest-based bioeconomy can help mitigate climate change and promote biodiversity (Grassi et al. 2021). Currently, decision making is hampered because reliable scientific information is missing to device policies that ensure optimal mitigation contributions from forests with acceptable trade-off towards effects on biodiversity and bioeconomy.
  2. Specifically, there is a lack of a coherent European forest monitoring that ensures updated and consistent information about the state of the forest and ensure consistent and reliable reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from forests. Such a system is required to monitor progress towards targets and continuously adjust and adapt as new information becomes available.
  3. Further, there are insufficient scientific and reliable models that can predict and project how European forests contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation based upon various scenarios using different natural and socio-economic drivers.

However, it is often not the knowledge that hinders change but the acceptance of the knowledge by stakeholders and uptake in transformative policies. PathFinder aims to demonstrate a mobilization of scientific approaches in co-design of forest management pathways that navigate these trade-offs to identify the decisions and policies that act as steppingstones in achieving these pathways. All stakeholders involved – e.g., scientists, policymakers, landowners, forest managers, nature & biodiversity conservationists, interested public and decision-makers, will thereby mobilize their understanding and evidence in ways that link short-term decisions to long-term outcomes, providing more effective and resilient ways forward.

The PathFinder methods will be applicable in all Member States (MS) and thus also in those with the lowest IPCC monitoring Tiers. Together with JRC, the latter MS will be addressed specifically in our dissemination activities. The methods to be developed will be useful in National Forest Accounting Plans, and we believe that we will reach countries working on NFAPs either directly through the project partners that are involved in these developments or in our dissemination activities.

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Structure of the integrated forest monitoring and pathway assessment system developed in PathFinder


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