An exciting new initiative to promote pan-European research collaboration was unveiled at the EFI 2017 Annual Conference. The EFI Network Fund is a unique instrument which will provide €1m over the next four years exclusively for EFI Associate and Affiliate Members.
The Fund supports networking activities like joint research initiatives, knowledge networking and capacity building, focusing on EFI’s three strategic themes: bioeconomy, resilience and governance. Funding can be spent on coordination, travel, events, short visits and dissemination.
EFI Director Marc Palahí said: “The Network Fund is EFI’s pro-active contribution to building an ambitious pan-European forest research area. This is a historic decision, which will empower EFI member organisations to bring our new Strategy to action!”
Two calls are planned, the first for 2018-2019, and the second for 2020-2021. The first call will be launched in mid-October.
To be eligible, a proposal requires at least 4 EFI member organisations from at least 4 different European regions. Non-EFI member organisations can join as partners, but will receive no reimbursement. The maximum Network Fund contribution available for each proposal is €100k.
Forests are of crucial importance for Natura 2000, the EU-wide ecological network of protected areas. Nearly 25% of the total forest area in the EU is part of the network, but knowledge about how Natura 2000 is implemented in forests, and its effects on biodiversity, forest management and other land uses across the EU is fragmented.
The new What Science Can Tell Us Study from EFI, ‘Natura 2000 and forests: Assessing the state of implementation and effectiveness’, bridges this gap in knowledge. It looks from policy, economic and ecological perspectives at the monitoring of forest biodiversity in Europe, as well as the challenges, achievements, effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of Natura 2000 in forests in the EU.
Lauri Hetemäki, EFI Assistant Director said: “the new EFI study brings together scientific knowledge and makes recommendations to help policy makers to deal with the many issues related to the practical implementation of biodiversity conservation in EU forests.”
The interdisciplinary scientific study was conducted by a team of 20 scientists from 11 research institutes in 11 countries. Ten of EFI’s Associate Members were involved.
The study’s main outcomes and policy recommendations will be discussed at the ThinkForest seminar, ‘Implementing Natura 2000 in forests: Lessons learned and looking ahead’ in Brussels on 27 September. More information can be found here: http://www.efi.int/portal/policy_advice/thinkforest/upcoming_events/
Metodi Sotirov (editor). 2017. Natura 2000 and forests: Assessing the state of implementation and effectiveness. What Science Can Tell Us 7. European Forest Institute.
The publication is published on 21.09.2017, and is freely downloadable: http://www.efi.int/files/attachments/publications/wsctu7_2017.pdf
An executive summary is available: http://www.efi.int/files/attachments/publications/wsctu7_summary2017.pdf
Further information from Lauri Hetemäki, EFI Assistant Director (lauri.hetemaki @ efi.int)
The European Forest Institute is an unbiased, science-based international organisation that provides the best forest science knowledge and information for better informed policy making. The What Science Can Tell Us series brings together cross-boundary scientific knowledge and expertise to strengthen science-policy dialogue on a focused issue.
This work and publication has been financed by EFI’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for policy support, which is supported by the Governments of Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.