Our chair Mark Prior from Forestry Commission, UK, participated in a recent ForestPaths-project Policy Lab as part of an interdisciplinary group helping the project identify policy objectives and stakeholder needs. Being part of major EU projects as stakeholders is one of the benefits of the FOREXT network.
On 27-29 September 2023, some 15 experts came together with project partners to support the first ForestPaths Policy Lab with the aim of beginning to develop holistic forest-based policy pathways. The project will co-design, quantify and evaluate forest-based policy pathways to optimize climate change mitigation, adapt forests to climate change and conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Looking to focus on climate and Biodiversity Smart Forestry options through ‘next generation’ forest ecosystem and management models this, and future policy labs, will help the project explore and test solutions over the next few years.
The event included excellent interactive sessions and a good opportunity to get to know participants and share experience. FOREXT’s participation in the Policy Lab demonstrated the benefit of having our network of forest advice organisations, as it is essential that projects such as ForestPaths, that look to the climate and biodiversity benefits associated with European forests, take fully into account the needs and situation of the forest owners themselves, who at the end of the day have our forests in their hands.