Since the 1950s the forest area in Europe has increased by more than 300,000 km2. Part of this increase is by spontaneous forest establishment, especially in areas where farming ceases and people move away to cities. How does this forest development happen? What does it mean for forest character and functioning? And how do these new forests contribute to climate change mitigation, erosion control, or other benefits provided by nature, in addition to biodiversity?
These are some of the questions that were addressed in the SPONFOREST project. This research was funded by BiodivERsA, the European network that programmes and funds research on biodiversity and ecosystem services across European countries and territories. BiodivERsA in turn is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme.
Now that the project comes to an end it is time to identify its main outcomes and to communicate the key messages to policymakers and other stakeholders across Europe. One way of doing so is by producing a policy brief, a short synthesis presenting the key messages.
Delbaere Consulting is tasked to produce the BiodivERsA policy brief on SPONFOREST and to identify the best channels to reach out to those making decisions on forest management.