The DIABOLO European Workshop on “Policy needs for and provision of forest information for policy making and practice in Europe” was hosted at the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW), Vienna, from 19-20 September 2016. The workshop brought together policy makers, forest managers, data providers and key stakeholders from different levels and policy sectors to identify options for bridging “gaps” between forest information (data) demand and supply, and to suggest strategies on how to improve the knowledge communication and information exchange for bioeconomy outlooks.
Key note speakers opened the event highlighting the perspectives of policy makers as information users and the perspectives of forest data providers. The opening was followed by working group sessions on the needs for forest information for evidence based policy making on sustainable forestry and forest-relevant policy fields as biodiversity, climate and energy.
Two main challenges were detected during the two-day workshop:
First, the diversity and often oppugnancy of strategies and regulations relating to forestry on a European scale and hence diverse policy makers’ needs for information is a challenge for data providers, especially in the light of decreasing funding.
Secondly, the diversity and comparability of data over time and between the different European regions is a challenge for policy processes.
To overcome these challenges, the workshop outcomes offer three solutions:
1. A closer cooperation between European Union member states and the European Commission for interpretation of national data, in accordance with the EU Forest Strategy;
2. An optimisation of National Forest Inventories value-chains and value-networks for various end-user needs at sub-national, national and international level to solve decreasing funding and
3. Knowledge sharing and developing joint efforts among data providers, in particular among the National Forest Inventories. Well-established collaboration as the European National Forest inventory Network (ENFIN) will facilitate the success of the effort.
The DIABOLO project coordinator, professor Tuula Packalen of Luke, emphasized the potential of DIABOLO in bringing added value to bioeconomy data by developing and sharing new methodology between 25 European National Forest Inventory systems: “The importance of bringing together policy makers, researchers and practitioners to listen to each other’s needs and develop joint strategies was the objective and success of the workshop and will definitely motive us in our challenging work.”
More information on the DIABOLO European Workshop:
Policy needs for and provision of forest information for policy making and practice in Europe: state of the art and the way forward,19-20 September 2016, Vienna, Austria
DIABOLO – Distributed, Integrated and Harmonised Forest Information for Bioeconomy Outlooks -project (1.3.2015–28.2.2019) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The DIABOLO-project is coordinated by Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).