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European Union funded Finnish research to protect and maintain the resilience of tomorrow’s forests

Eco2adapt is a Horizon European Research and Innovation action project funded by the European Union (2022 – 2027). Eco2adapt gathers 31 European and Chinese world-class expert organisations on forestry, ecology and climate change from 14 countries.

Among all the partners, the University of Eastern Finland is one of the key leading partners, together with other Finland-based co-partners, i.e., the European Forest Institute, BITCOMP, the Finnish Forest Centre, and Green Estates Finland.  

Together, they will design portfolios of adapted management solutions and innovative bioeconomic and governance models to enhance the sustainability and resilience of tomorrow’s forests and of the forest-based bioeconomy.

“We aim to ensure that the right trees are planted in the right place for the right purpose so that in uncertain future climates, resilient forest ecosystems will protect our generations of tomorrow,” says Professor Frank Berninger of the University of Eastern Finland.

Changemaking to create a new future for forests

Using an ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approach that considers biodiversity and nature’s benefits to humans, and through innovative Decision Theatreseco2adapt will work with all levels of stakeholders to understand what drives their decision-making and to create change-making models, approaches and policies for resilient forest management, business and governance. In North Karelia, eco2adapt will introduce a new method to tackle bark beetle damages. 

Tailored innovation through Living Labs in climate hotspots

eco2adapt will co-create solutions for resilient forests together with stakeholders in 15 climate hotspots in Europe and China. LivingLabs will be set up in each hotspot to test the EbA-style management at the experimental sites and the best solutions demonstrated at lighthouse sites, with EbA training given to stakeholders. Living Lab activities will allow stakeholders to learn about new solutions across Europe and China, including novel forest insurance and business mechanisms and certification schemes.

Smart Tools to Create and Manage Resilient Forests 

The eco2adapt consortium will develop digital tools using cutting-edge artificial intelligence methods to harness information from big data in forestry archives around the world. The free smartphone application to be developed in the project will help forest managers choose the best species composition to plant depending on local conditions, climate projections and community needs.

Shaping a legacy for resilient forests at all levels of society

eco2adapt will create a legacy for future scientists, stakeholders, practitioners, students and communities, i.e., for all levels of society. Digital tools developed and data created will be accessible and evolve after the project ends and made open access and interactive via a knowledge base. A direct link will be made between the project’s knowledge base and the United Nations Data Hub so that policy-makers can constantly access forestry and ecosystem service data.

For further information, please see:

Frank Berninger +358 50 596 8481 (University of Eastern Finland)

Blas Mola, (University of Eastern Finland)

Jo Van Brusselen, (European Forest Institute)

Sanna Härkönen, (BITCOMP)

Leena Leskinen +358 50 308 4696 (Finnish Forest Center)

Kari Tuomela (Green Estates, Finland).

Project Acronym: eco2adapt
ID no: 101059498