SLU news

Conclusions from forest monitoring workshop

Published: 24 February 2023
Göran Ståhl

Final summary and conclusions from February’s workshop on forest monitoring have now been published. Impressions were generally positive.

SLU organized a workshop at campus Ultuna in February, titled Workshop towards harmonised forest monitoring and reporting. Some 90 people from 26 different EU countries participated.

Workshop towards harmonised forest monitoring and reporting was part of the ongoing work with developing a new legal framework for EU-wide forest monitoring. It was a continuation of the previous conference held in Kutná Hora, Czechia, in September 2022.

– It was a good meeting with many different stakeholders. Sometimes that’s a challenge but I think it went really well, says Göran Ståhl, professor at the department of forest resource management (SRH) at SLU, and one of the organizers.

What were your main takeaways from the workshop?

– A majority of the participants agreed on a “bottom up” type of philosophy, using the existing national forest inventories. Although that does require more work on standardisation and harmonisation.

Anna-Lena Axelsson, coordinator at SRH, agrees that national inventories like Riksskogstaxeringen have an important role to play.

– The workshop showed that inventories are an important factor in future forest monitoring.

– But they must also evolve and adapt. For example, carbon sinks are a big factor today. When we held our last conference during the 2009 presidency, it was a non-issue. That shows you national forest inventories are needed but also that they have to evolve to provide answers for future questions, says Anna-Lena Axelsson.

Cornelia Roberge is program manager for Swedish NFI Riksskogstaxeringen. She notes that many of Riksskogstaxeringen's initiatives for this year are in line with what was discussed during the workshop. Such as information on invasive species and dead wood. 

Cornelia Roberge thinks the future requires more investment in harmonisation and co-operation:

– We will have to put more time into this in the future. But we also need to secure our field data collecting so that we can deliver reliable results for decision makers going forward.

Conclusions from Workshop towards harmonised forest monitoring and reporting, as compiled by the Swedish presidency, have now been published. You can read them here.