Harmonisation of National Forest Inventories in Europe: Techniques for Common Reporting


Workgroup 1 Workgroup 2 Workgroup 3 (timetable)

WORK PLAN 2004 - 2008

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the COST Action E43 "Harmonisation of National Forest Inventories in Europe: Techniques for Common Reporting" entered into the force on June 10, 2004. The first Management Committee (MC) meeting was held in Brussels on June 28-29, 2004. A Draft Work Plan, prepared on the basis of MoU, was presented, discussed and revised during the meeting. This Work Plan was further developed by the Steering Committee (SC) in Helsinki on July 15-16, 2004, and also after this meeting. Prof. Erkki TOMPPO (Finland) was elected as the Chairman of the Action and Dr. Klemens SCHADAUER (Austria) as Vice-Chairman. In the first MC meeting, three Working Groups (WG) were established. The elected leaders and deputy leaders are, respectively, Dr. Claude VIDAL (France), Dr. Adrian LANZ (Switzerland), Prof. Göran STÅHL (Sweden), Dr Emil CIENCIALA (Czech Republic), Dr. Annemarie BASTRUP-BIRK (Denmark) and Prof. Marco MARCHETTI (Italy). The Steering Committee is composed of these eight persons.

The work plan is outlined on the basis of the MoU.

The objectives of the Action are:

  1. To improve and harmonise the existing national forest resource inventories in Europe

  2. To support new inventories in such a way that inventories will meet national, European and global level requirements in supplying up-to-date, harmonised and transparent forest resource information

  3. To promote the use of scientifically sound and validated methods in forest inventory designs, data collection and data analysis

  4. To provide Examples of harmonised forest resource information about key parameters for Europe

The ultimate goal of the Action is to build up the forestry information services on the national level inventories in order to get maximised benefits from inventories and maximised advantage of local knowledge and requirements together with international requirements. The goal is also to maximise the synergy between NFIs and European and global level processes and policies that require forestry information.

To achieve its objectives, the Action will

  • Establish and maintain a forum for sharing experiences and new ideas, ensuring continuous improvement of the NFIs

  • Work actively with harmonisation issues, in order to provide a core set of harmonised forest variables at regular intervals

  • Cooperate within different projects for scientific development work within the field of data acquisition for sustainable multi-functional forestry

  • Promote active and open dialogue with key organisations and openness to new requirements on forest data for emerging policy needs

  • Assess methods for reporting and supplying comparable European level forest resource information

  • Identify research needs for joint projects within the EU Framework Programmes and regional (as SNS) and national funding.

The objectives of the work will be met through the activities done in the Working Groups (WG), through seminars, workshops and other meetings.

The Working Groups of the Action will collect and distribute information in currently applied definitions, measurement practices and methods to improve the dialogue between NFIs on one hand and between NFIs and NFI data users on the other, and to promote the use of harmonised definitions, measurement practices and scientifically sound methods. The practical work of WGs and the Action consists of the following phases

  1. Review of the current definitions and concepts using field manuals, questionnaires and interviews, timetable: completed by the end of 2004

  2. Compiling and writing a report about the current practices, timetable: completed by the mid of 2005

  3. Initiate discussion and method development on basic harmonisation alternatives, timetable: January 2005 - June 2005

  4. Identify main harmonisation options, timetable: year 2005

  5. Writing of the report based on the questionnaire and the interaction with other projects regarding state-of-the-art and harmonisation options, timetable: July 2005 - December 2005

  6. Initiate and carry out work on sensitivity analysis, i.e. and analysis of the consequences on the estimates of the selected parameters when using different definitions and procedures (working with the main harmonisation options identified), timetable: July 2005 - December 2005

  7. Work on details on how to harmonise estimates for different countries, timetable: year 2006

    • definitions

    • measurement practices

    • data analysis

  8. Compilation of report of harmonisation by countries, timetable: July 2006 - June 2007

  9. Development of plan for implementing common definitions in NFIs, timetable: year 2007

  10. Finalisation of report showing, timetable: July 2007- June 2008

    • the current status of inventories by countries,

    • methods and possibilities to produce comparable and harmonised forest resource, forest carbon pools and forest biodiversity information

    • examples of harmonised estimates of core variables for participating countries

    • scenarios about possibilities to move common definitions in participating countries with time schedule

Meetings for Working Groups, Management Committee and Steering Committee, as well as, seminars and workshops will be organised to plan, carry out and coordinate these activities.

Training courses in practical work will be organised to promote the harmonisation of the definitions and to activate the use of modern and efficient techniques in data collection and analysis.

Short Term Scientific Missions will be organised to provide possibilities to exchange experiences and to learn practices in of different inventory systems for young scientists.