Forests in Europe provide a range of ecosystem services, playing a vital role for citizens and the environment. However, the lack of a consistent and comprehensive pan-European forest monitoring service currently hampers the effective use of all available forest information. While National Forest Inventories remain the main source of data, these face several limitations: disparate methodologies, high data collection costs, difficulties to access data that can be several years old by the time they are released. At the same time the European Earth observation programme Copernicus and the Forest Information System for Europe of the European Environmental Agency provide a wide range of information of forests and of spatial data. While national airborne lidar programmes are surveying entire countries throughout Europe.
The aim of EFINET is to fill these gaps by establishing a network that can facilitate an increase in the openness of available and more real-time forest information in Europe, analyzing these changes of paradigm brought by new technologies and data available, and identifying opportunities for making effective use of all available source of information consistently with existing services already in place. Our intention is to reflect on a data assimilation system that integrates and reconciles ground-based, remote sensing and economic data sources.
The EFINET project is organized in four WPs. WP0 for coordination. WP1 to provide a comparative review of existing forest information and their shortcomings, as well as to critically assess the available data sources and stakeholder requirements in order to identify information gaps on forests at European level; WP2 to demonstrate a forest monitoring system in at least three test areas in different biogeographic regions of Europe; WP3 to lay the basis for next steps needed for the implementation of such a system in Europe.
Rubén Valbuena (deputy coordinator), Bangor University. United Kingdom (BANGOR)
Cornelius Senf and Rupert Seidl, Technische Universität München. Germany (TUM)