New funding call for climate-smart forestry projects now open

Press Release -

FORWARDS is an EU-funded project that will prototype The ForestWard Observatory, a pan-European monitoring and evaluation tool that will help in demonstrating the impact of climate change on forests, guiding decision-making for practical forest management.

With a total budget of €14m and more than 19 partners involved, our project FORWARDS – with the ForestWard Observatory – will provide timely and detailed information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change. The project will also deliver science-based knowledge to guide management using the principles of climate-smart forestry, ecosystem restoration and biodiversity preservation, developed in close consultation with relevant stakeholder groups.

To set up The ForestWard Observatory, FORWARDS launched one call to set up Climate-Smart Forestry (CSF) and forest restoration pilots across Europe, which will fund up to five projects. The data and the results from these projects will feed into The ForestWard Observatory.
The ForestWard Observatory will be a long-lasting practical tool to support decision making:

  1. at European and national scale to provide a strategic perspective of disturbances, future risks, and critical vulnerabilities and threats to European forests;
  2. at regional and local scale to deliver more operational information for local CSF & Restoration management practice.

By operating at both these scales, the project will help improve the accuracy and timeliness of threat detection for European forests while enabling local management teams to respond promptly using a scientific basis. In this respect, The ForestWard Observatory will draw on available networks and data streams to apply pioneering approaches.

Five projects for building new climate-smart forest and forest restoration trials will be supported in the first round of calls by FORWARDS, with a total grant value of EUR 700,000 with a single grant value of maximum EUR 150,000.

On July 31, the application window for this grant call was opened by the project’s partner EFI – the European Forest Institute. Projects resulting from successful submissions are anticipated to commence around the beginning of 2024. Each project has a maximum duration of 18 months. The project will issue numerous additional calls for funding for projects with various themes throughout the remainder of the year and until it is completed.

The call has been published on EFI’s grants webpage: 

For further information on FORWARDS, contact Angela Marzorati, Communication officer