Building on the Bratislava Ministerial Resolution “Adapting pan-European forests to climate change” (2021), FOREST EUROPE is currently working towards the pan-European forest risk knowledge mechanism (FoRISK). The aims is to support forests adaptation to climate change and enhance resilience and mitigation potential of forests.
The FoRISK Pilot is set to be implemented from September 2022 to February 2024 with a subsequent evaluation and transition phase. For the first FoRISK Pilot phase (9/2022 – 2/2023), the focus will be on forest wildfires.
The risk associated to wildfires is of highest relevance in Europe as mentioned in the UNEP report “Spreading like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires”. The reasons are manifold, yet particularly climate change and associated dryer conditions as well as land-use change (e.g. land abandonment) leading to fuel accumulation drive an increase in burning throughout Europe. Wildfire events, especially large-scale events, were prominent in the media throughout recent years, which increased the awareness of fires among society and policy-makers.
The role of sustainable forest management (SFM) can also lead to an important preventive measure by maintaining or reducing the vulnerability of forest ecosystems to wildfire disturbances. In addition, the support of desired recovering forest ecosystem developments (e.g. restoration, resilience) following wildfires can be also closely linked to SFM.
The pilot will include policy briefs, capacity building and networking activities (workshops), communication products, reports, etc.
FOREST EUROPE will work towards the FoRISK based on current scientific knowledge and in close coordination with existing and emerging initiatives on forest risks to ensure synergies and avoid duplications. The development of an innovative, inclusive and efficient FoRISK will ensure the provision of ongoing support for signatories and observers in times of rapid and dynamic developments of risks in pan-European forests.
Forest fire prevention video playlist