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Unveiling sustainable operating spaces for European forests

Coordinator: Matteo VIZZARRI, University of Milan, Italy


Other partners: IT, DE, ES, NO, RO
Duration: 2024-2027

Project objective: SOSFOR delineates sustainable operating spaces for European forests, i.e. boundaries and thresholds for forests, management and value-chain to intertwine with environmental, social and economic sustainability. Over 3 years of transnational collaboration, SOSFOR gathers expertise from five universities (UMIL, UNITBV, UNIZAR, NMBU, UFR) representing Italy, Romania, Spain, Norway and Germany. SOSFOR maps driver, pressure, state, impact and response indicators; builds local socio-economic pathways and climate scenarios through participatory processes and co-design approaches; simulates future development (2050 and beyond) of forests, ecosystem services, social and economic aspects; draws sustainable operating spaces; provides response options to policy makers and stakeholders to foster forest-related sustainability in European landscapes. SOSFOR advances current research, policy implementation and operationalization of forest sustainability through: extending data and information on forest sustainability in Europe; quantifying the impact of socio-economic and climate drivers on forest sustainability; promoting bottom-up, multi-actor, participatory approaches in forest governance for sustainability; integrating climate and socio-economic drivers into forest ecosystem models. SOSFOR provides key recommendations for incorporating multiple dimensions of sustainability into practical forest management and planning at landscape scale (e.g. climate smart forestry, ecosystem-based management). SOSFOR outcomes are relevant for EU Forest Strategy to 2030, Nature Restoration Law, Climate Action, and Rural Development and Cohesion Policies.