Restoration of tree plantations to natural forests

This is a LIFE preparatory project in the 2020 call. The call describes the project as follows:

The objective of the preparatory project is to demonstrate the feasibility and scalability at EU level of converting tree plantations (single species, single age stands, short production cycle) to natural forests or a close-to-nature forestry management suitable for the local ecological conditions to restore ecosystem services especially biodiversity, fire and drought resilience as well as water retention enhancement (in adequate scales) in different European Member States while taking into account socio-economic conditions. The proposed project addresses the EU commitment in the present Biodiversity Strategy target 2 to restore degraded ecosystems in Europe and target 3 to improve forest management.

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  1. Restore at least 2 sites of tree plantations per Member State in at least four Member States, covering at least three Natura 2000 Biogeographic Regions. The sites should be at least 25ha and should be selected with a view to cover a wide range of tree-plantation types, including different species, different ages, different geomorphological characteristics and different types of ownership. The project should foresee an integrated forest management approach ensuring that biodiversity is a key aspect in the forest management approach of the site while not excluding the socio-economic role it plays. This management approach should be based on existing scientific evidence.
    • The project should also display that strengthening ecosystem services and biodiversity reinforces its resilience while still supporting local and rural communities. Grantees are expected to propose management objectives for the sites which clearly aim at improving biodiversity. These objectives should include economic objectives that facilitate, not hamper, biodiversity.
    • Management objectives should be set for each site and implemented during the project duration, allowing for an adaptation of the objectives, where considered necessary. Local stakeholders shall be involved in the setting up of the new management objectives. Detailed reports should be prepared for each site highlighting the results of the restoration process and lessons learnt for tree-plantation restoration in general.
  2. Undertake an assessment of the ecosystem services provided before the restoration process and 3 years after its start, and deliver a synthesis report.
  3. Prepare a manual for tree-plantation restoration activities, on the basis of the project outcomes and of literature review, including results of other projects. A draft report shall be prepared within the first two years, with a final report finalised at the end of the project. In the implementation of task 3, the project shall organise at least two workshops, inviting stakeholders from all EU Member states, and non-EU states if considered useful, with a view to gather evidence and test the acceptability of the proposed methodology.

Also interesting: Information about the LIFE programme

General conditions

Duration: up to 4 years

Max. EU co-financing: € 900 000; co-financing rate 60% (costs for volunteers can be used as in-kind contribution)

Application deadline: 10th September 2020; Expected start: early 2021

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Other topics available

This is not the right topic for you? Check out the other topics:

  1. Strengthening primary and old-growth forest protection in Europe by capitalising on World Heritage sites
  2. Restoration of desertified land through nature-based solutions
  3. Designing mechanisms to increase the presence of biodiversity in urban and peri-urban areas
  4. Network of training activities for Natura 2000 sites managers

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