Enhancing science-based knowledge on EU forests’, including old-growth forests, capacities to mitigate climate change

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Open Call Reference: HORIZON-CL6-2021-CLIMATE-01-09


Carbon sequestration by forest ecosystems has attracted much interest as a mitigation approach, as it can be considered as a relatively inexpensive option to address climate change in the short- medium- and long term. Forest lands, covered by the regulation on land use, land-use changes and forestry, are expected to contribute to the achievement of Europe’s climate ambition for 2030. As shown in the in-depth analysis in support of the “Clean Planet for all” communication, this contribution needs to be increasing to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.


– Forest managers adapting to sustainable management practices in view of climate change, bioeconomy, genetic diversity and biodiversity objectives;

– Improved knowledge on scenarios and sustainable pathways for forestry and the forest-based sector including measures and management strategies taking into account regional differences in Europe and changes in species composition;

– Increased forest-based carbon removals through forest management practices and uses of long-lived wood products;

– Better understanding on how forest management impacts carbon sequestration in comparison to non-managed forests;

– Pathways to achieve the ambition of the Paris Agreement ambition to limit climate warming;

– Transfer of knowledge from science to practice (good practice).


– Contribute to a better understanding of favourable management practices for both soil and vegetation, within-species genetic diversity upon, species selection and rotations to enhance and climate-proof forest carbon stocks and sinks.
– Consider the dynamics of the carbon stored in the different poolsunder different forest management regimes and at different scales (EU-wide, national, local) to identify possible adaptations to current European models of sustainable forest management.
– Improve the integration of European forests, including forest practices, in global and regional climate modelling.
– Contribute to progress in the certification and authenticity verification of carbon removals that are nature-based or through the forest biomass used for longer-lived and higher-substitution products.
– Design and monitor the efficacy of forest-based mitigation plans, combining the growing potential of satellite-based remote sensing with surface monitoring.
– Develop recommendations for up-take in practice, including specifying which silvicultural measures to apply to which types of forest in order to maximise their mitigation potential.
– Analyse socio-economic aspects of forest-based mitigation strategies, including forest managers’ and users’ perception and factors influencing their decision making such as consumer choices, sectorial integration and international/domestic competition.
– Improve knowledge on the environmental integrity, the social acceptability and the economic feasibility of forest-based mitigation actions such as afforestation, reforestation, forest restoration, forest protection, sustainable forest management and enhanced wood harvest and use, especially for long-lived products.

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