Pan-European Forest Risk Facility
In the last decade, forest ecosystems have withstood increasingly frequent disturbances. Natural disturbances are an integral part of forest ecosystems. But, in recent times the negative impacts on forests reached a severe extent. And this will speed up as a result of climate change according to prediction models.
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 facility (FoRISK) to support forests adaptation to changing climatic and site conditions as well as to enhance the resilience and mitigation potential of forests at a pan-European level. The vision of the FoRISK is to provide relevant evidence-based forest risk and adaptation-related information to political decision-makers based on trustful cooperation with scientists, practitioners, and society. FoRISK is strengthening pan-European knowledge exchange on forest disturbance management while collaborating back-to-back with already existing initiatives.
The FoRISK Pilot, running from September 2022 to February 2024, tests policy tools for various disturbance factors like wildfires, biotic threats, and storms. The Pilot involves national focal points from signatory countries dealing with forestry issues to evaluate the feasibility, funding options, adjustments, and improvements related to the FoRISK concept. The Pilot has three successive but interacting pilot phases, each with a specific thematic focus on a forest damage agent and a comparable approach.
Wildfires are a natural part of forest ecosystems, but excessive and severe fires pose a threat to European forests. To address this, there is a need for political and social awareness and recommendations for sustainable forest management and wildfire prevention.
Extreme heat events and droughts have become more frequent and intense due to climate change. At the same time, bark beetle outbreaks have reached unprecedented levels in conifer forests challenging traditional management approaches in forests and leading to increasing public and political awareness. There is a growing need for coordinated international actions and a more comprehensive management framework that recognizes the social dimension of forest disturbances.
Building on the relevance for signatories and observers as well as the important role of Sustainable Forest Management in relation to minimizing negative impacts on pan-European forests, FOREST EUROPE will elaborate to focus on storms during its third FoRISK Pilot phase.
The added value of FoRISK is to be:
- Innovative: strengthen the information exchange within the policy-science-practice interface, providing evidence-based information as a basis for political decision making
- Inclusive: facilitate f.e. wildfire-related dialogues and cooperation representing the rich diversity of European regions and forest-related stakeholders
- Flexible: signatory and observer feedback with regular consultation allows for a rapid response to the dynamic developments in forests.
- Efficient: cooperation with existing initiatives results in increased synergies.
- Ownership: recognition of joint responsibility and willingness of signatories and observers to invest in risk prevention.
At the end of the pilot, the activities are evaluated, allowing us to define the Terms of Reference for the full-scale launch of FoRISK at the end of 2024.