Harmonisation of forest information takes a step forward in Europe: Shared practices adopted in over 20 countries

February 14, 2019, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

National Forest Inventories (NFIs) provide statistically sound data, for example, to support evidence-based policy making. DIABOLO, a European Union Horizon 2020 project, has now provided new solutions to support policy making related to climate, environment, land-use and the bioeconomy. Over 20 countries have taken into use mathematical models that have been developed in this project that has brought together 33 scientific institutions in 25 countries.

Forest inventory data varies a great deal among European countries. When the data is harmonised, the data becomes comparable and summable. By developing and further enhancing mathematical models describing and their development the DIABOLO project has responded to European, regional and national challenges while addressing global Sustainable Development Goals. When exploited by the NFIs the results from the DIABOLO project can support the development of a sustainable and circular bioeconomy.

Forest inventory experts and scientists, data providers, national and regional policy makers and forest managers from over 30 countries gathered at the DIABOLO Final Conference in the Koli National Park, Finland, on 12–14 February. Presentations focus on future possibilities to exploit the results and tools developed in the project.

Among the speakers of the final conference were Antti Asikainen, Executive Vice President Research of Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), and Peter Mayer, Director General of Austrian Forest Research Institute. International organisations involved in forest statistics and forest outlooks are represented by Roman Michalak from the UNECE, Anssi Pekkarinen from the FAO, and Katarzyna Bialan from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The conference is organised back-to-back with the following events: National Forest Inventories towards 2020 in the context of DIABOLO and the UNECE Forest Sector Outlook Day.

As coordinator of DIABOLO, Prof. Dr. Tuula Packalen from the Natural Resources Institute Finland, Luke, explains: "We have provided solutions for sustainable, resilient and climate-smart forestry. For example, bioeconomy investments across Europe rely on the availability of natural resources. At the same time, ecological sustainability of the environment must not be compromised. DIABOLO solutions help understand the trade-offs between different forms of land-use and forest services and products."

Explore further: Using big data to help manage global natural assets

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