November 2017 - LIFE+ AdaptFor
Α) Identity of the project
LIFE+ AdaptFor «Adaptation of forest management to climate change in Greece»
LIFE+ ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, LIFE08 ENV/GR/000554
|Duration||01.01.2010 – 31.12.2014|
Coordinating beneficiary: Τhe Goulandris Natural History Museum / Greek Biotope – Wetland Centre (GNHM-EKBY)
Associated beneficiary: Directorate General for the Development and Protection of Forests and the Rural Environment / Ministry of Environment and Energy
|Location of activities||
Mount Pieria, Aspropotamos-Kalambaka Forest, National Park of Parnitha, Mount Taygetos
The key question that the project LIFE+ AdaptFor addressed is how to adapt forest management to climate change in Greece. The project demonstrated the approach of adapting forest management working at local level and then integrated the findings and results to provide guidance and training to the representatives of Greek Forest Services at regional and national levels. Specifically, the project aimed at:
• the demonstration of ways and means of forest management adaptation to climate change at four pilot study areas (where changes in vegetation, attributed to climate change, had already been observed),
• the training of the personnel of Greek Forest Services in forest management and climate change and
• the wide dissemination of the project’s results and of the need to adapt forest management to climate change, to other stakeholders and to the general public.
Β) Good practices
In the framework of the project LIFE+ AdaptFor, measures for the adaptation of four Greek forest ecosystems to climate change have been drafted and incorporated into the Forest Management Plans of these areas. The adaptation measures address management issues in a holistic way and no longer according to the traditional perception, by which forest management is implemented only for wood-production purposes. Furthermore, the measures promote the enhancement of the functions and services that forests provide to humans.
In addition, the project has promoted the cooperation between scientists and forest managers in practice, decision makers and other involved parties and stakeholders, integrating into forest management predictions and considerations on the changing climate, priorities on biodiversity conservation and socio-economic parameters.
The benefits from the project implementation are underlined by the importance of the forest ecosystems selected: a) Scots pine on Mount Pieria occurs at its southernmost distribution limit in Europe b) similarly, Greek fir on Mount Taygetos occurs at its southern distribution limit in Greece, c) Parnitha is a National Park and thus forest management is focused on biodiversity conservation and d) Aspropotamos and Kalambaka are among the most productive forests in Greece, intensively managed for wood-production purposes. Moreover, all four areas overlap with Natura 2000 Network sites.
Beyond the demonstration approach described above, the project aimed at the capacity building of the Greek Forest Services, in order to early detect and appropriately respond to the impacts of climate change at the forests of their competence. In this framework, “Guidelines for the adaptation of forest management to climate change in Greece” have been published and a two-day Training Seminar regarding forest management and climate change impacts has been held for the personnel of Forest Services.
The main outputs of the project were new or revised, officially approved Forest Management Plans (FMPs) for four Greek forest ecosystems, which include adaptation measures to climate change. The implementation of these measures in the following years is guaranteed, as FMPs are mandatory tools, indicating the management practices to be applied.
In addition, the establishment of the monitoring program (sampling plots, meteorological stations and field equipment) was of major importance, as data from these plots will be used to assess the measures’ success and to track the evolution of the observed phenomena.
Regarding the enhancement of the adaptive capacity of the Forest Services’ personnel, the main outputs have been the Training Seminar and the Guidelines on how to adapt forest management to climate change.
The approach demonstrated in the framework of the project, regarding the adaptation of forest management to climate change, can be replicated in other Greek or even Mediterranean forest ecosystems. Indicative of the replication potential of the project has been the statement by the Deputy Minister on the International Day of Forests 2015, in which the project LIFE+ AdaptFor is considered as “the inaugural effort of the FS to meet the challenge of climate change, while developing synergies with other EU policies such as the conservation of biodiversity”.