About the project

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Today’s forest management decisions affect Europe’s ability to respond to the climate crisis in the long term. Because of forests’ enormous potential to absorb and lock up carbon as they grow, current forest practices will determine the continent’s climate change mitigation capacity throughout the next decades. And the latest science paints a positive picture in case better practices become mainstream: improved sustainable forest management can double forests’ climate change mitigation impact by 2050.

Still, crucial questions on how to manage existing forests for enhanced carbon capture, where and how to grow new forests and how to adapt to more frequent disturbances remain partially unanswered by science, unaddressed by policies and unexplored by carbon offsetting schemes.

To deliver meaningful knowledge and applicable solutions, INFORMA will pair up technological tools such as satellite imagery, data mining, and climate and ecosystem modelling with participatory approaches. This way, we will bridge the gap between stakeholders working in the field and science, policy, carbon markets and society in general. All this while considering various types of forest-climate interactions and the provision of other ecosystem services such as biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest products.

Running from July 2022 to June 2026 with a budget of

Project coordinated by the Valencia Polytechnic University in cooperation with 13 partners in

INFORMA is active across Europe’s largest biogeographical forest regions, representing

Demonstration sites in

Photo Circles

INFORMA will provide scientific and practice-based insights to help the EU tackle three main forest-related challenges in the fight against climate change: maintaining current carbon sinks, increasing its carbon sequestration capacity, and enhancing the production of materials and energy to substitute fossil fuels.


While reforestation and afforestation are essential practices to combat climate change, forest expansion in Europe is slowing down, mainly due to the prioritisation of other land uses. At the same time, forest-based carbon sinks show signs of saturation. This means that additional pathways to enhance carbon sinks of forests are needed. Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can enhance the capacity of existing managed forests to sequestrate carbon from the atmosphere, and further produce wood and fibre for human use, locking up carbon, for instance, in building materials.

Best SFM practices differ across forest types and regions and are highly dependent on management objectives and projected climate impacts, such as more frequent forest disturbances. By applying climate and forest management models and promoting consultations with interested actors, INFORMA will assess the interactions between these factors to devise viable, efficient, and tailored management options for five biogeographical forest regions in Europe

Forest-climate interactions are complex and cannot be reduced to a calculation of how much carbon individual tree stands are able to absorb. Several biochemical and biophysical factors come into play, such as how much radiation is exchanged between the Sun, the Earth, and the atmosphere (radiative imbalance), the reflection of light by forested land (albedo), the emission of organic compounds by forests into the atmosphere (BVOCs), transpiration, heat fluxes, among others. INFORMA will analyse the feedback mechanisms and trade-offs between these processes to determine the net climate impact of different sustainable forest management practices over time in different geographical regions, and at various spatial and temporal scales.

The project is developing a set of guidelines, roadmaps, and policy briefs to support decision-making at European and global levels, and further society’s knowledge of the best available SFM practices. Four portfolios of best practice guidelines, adapted to different forest management objectives, will be developed to support policy decisions, and facilitate the implementation of sustainable forest management practices by forest practitioners.

Project outcomes will also include an atlas and summary of forest management changes and related climate impacts, a catalogue of best regional management practices, and a guide on good practices on silvicultural mitigation pathways. Furthermore, we will develop policy action recommendations to address institutional and investment needs, as well as management recommendations for ecosystem optimization, among others.

Carbon offsetting and voluntary carbon markets, based on carbon certifications, can provide an important incentive to promote climate-compatible practices in forestry. Since 2015, five new schemes have been launched in Europe to generate credits from reforestation, afforestation, and other forest projects. However, only a few of them consider carbon credits generated by improved SFM practices yet, and just a minority of current SFM activities are eligible for funding in carbon schemes. INFORMA will transfer insights and propose methodological improvements to existing and future carbon certification schemes, carbon monitoring programmes, networks, and tools to help create long-term economic incentives for SFM.