Motive Project

Tackling climate change: the contribution of forest scientific knowlegde

by: Ulla Vänttinen

An international conference looking at how forests can help tackle climate change is taking place in Tours, France on 21-24 May 2012. The conference allows participants to take stock of the scientific knowledge about present and expected impacts of climate change on forestry. It also discusses the adaptation and mitigation measures that could be taken, and the trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation and sustainable forest management.

The opening session of the scientific conference was held on 21 May. One of the keynote addresses in this session was made by Dr. Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Assistant Director of the European Forest Institute who gave an overview of new perspectives on the role of European forests in carbon sequestration. He pointed out that “views are changing on the climate mitigation potential of European forests. From a large interest and hype after Kyoto, it is now changing more to regarding the full value chain.” He also explained that “optimal combinations with local circumstances and adaptation options, local environmental services, and a small to moderate contribution to the green economy, are the ways forward.”

The conference focuses mainly on Europe, with some benchmarking regarding other continents such as North America and Oceania. Scientists and stakeholders will attend 18 sessions, including over 100 oral and poster presentations. There are also three parallel field trips in the surroundings of Tours.

The conference is jointly organised by the European research project MOTIVE, the European intergovernmental COST Action ECHOES, the European research project BACCARA, the Interreg European project REINFFORCE, the international research project TRANZFOR and a new IUFRO working group on adaptation to climate change.

More information on the conference is available at:

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