Summer school: Resilience of Forest to Climate Change Remote Sensing and Machine Learning Applied to Forest Disturbances

Remote sensing and machine learning-based approaches to detect, predict and analyse changes in forests under climate change. The training will include theory lectures, on climate resilience and remote sensing, practical exercises and a field trip to disturbed areas. Other subject studies are dynamics of boreal forests and forestry in the boreal region.

Participants will have the opportunity to work in groups, learning how to retrieve remote sensing data, detect and analyse forest change, classify data, as well as making predictions of forest damage (i.e. disturbances).

The summer school will be organised at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu Finland, in collaboration with INRAe and the Horizon Europe Eco2adapt project and the support from IUFRO Division 8 on Forest Environment.

Dates: The Summer School will take place from 7 to 18 August 2023.

Topical contents

  • Forestry in boreal forests, Finland
  • Which forests are prone to disturbances in boreal areas?
  • Planetary Computer and remote sensing data
  • Monitoring disturbances and their management (i.e. mitigation measures)
  • Machine learning theory
  • Change detection analyses

Check the participation fee and how to apply here.

Alpha Innovation Platform

If you are a company, this is where you find your Alpha Innovation Challenges. 

As an expert, startupper, researcher, intrapreneur or student, here you can contribute to the challenges. 

Take your opportunity and create an Alpha Innovation account. Once you have completed your registration, the Alpha Innovation Platform is yours. It gives you access to the Alpha Innovation Challenges to interact with stakeholders, consult ideas, leave comments, and vote for solutions.

More information

Concurso Iniciativas innovadoras para impulsar la bioeconomía del Gobierno Vasco

La iniciativa está dirigida a start-ups y personas emprendedoras con un negocio o idea basada en la bioeconomía que, en caso de ser seleccionadas, participarán en la incubadora de proyectos del Centro de Empresas e Innovación de Güeñes.

¿Formas parte de una start-up o eres una persona emprendedora con un proyecto o idea de negocio en el ámbito de la bioeconomía?

Si es así, a partir de hoy puedes solicitar tu participación en el concurso de iniciativas puesto en marcha por el Gobierno Vasco, a través de HAZI, para captar ideas e iniciativas empresariales que impulsen el crecimiento económico en la comarca de Enkarterri.

La iniciativa, encuadrada dentro del Plan Estratégico Comarcal Enkarterri 2030, pretende generar proyectos innovadores en tres ámbitos: la cadena agroalimentaria, la cadena forestal y la economía circular. El objetivo es poner en valor los recursos naturales como motor económico en una zona con un sector primario muy especializado y con una superficie arbolada que abarca más de la mitad del territorio.

Este concurso de iniciativas cuenta con un presupuesto de 1.500.000 euros, que premiará las mejores ideas y proyectos empresariales y ofrecerá acompañamiento y servicios especializados a lo largo de todo el proceso de emprendimiento, desde la incubación de la idea hasta el lanzamiento al mercado del producto o servicio.

Más información

5th Forest Innovation Workshop 2023 Report

Started in 2014 as a joint initiative of European regions and forest sector organizations, the 5th edition of the European Forest Innovation Workshop devoted to Inform-Prioritize-Collaborate: Cooperation of Regions on Innovation in Forest Management, Use of Wood and Forest-related Services, has taken place on 18 January 2023 (full-day workshop) at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union in Brussels.

The role of innovation in managing new challenges in the forest-based sector at regional level in the EU.

Documentation of Plenary and Break-out Sessions

Main objectives of the event

  • Understanding the new framework for regional innovation policies addressing the forest-based sector in Europe
  • Presenting relevant innovations from different European regions that are helping address key European policy ambitions
  • Connecting experts and practitioners to speed up knowledge flows
  • Encourage public and private collaboration at EU and regional levels to foster innovation

Download the programme

Participant list

Photos from the event

Themes

The event provided an opportunity to learn about the most recent updates on European initiatives and connect with a selection of innovative cases, presented during the 2 rounds of breakout sessions.

The themes addressed in the workshop are:

  1. Carbon market, bioeconomy, climate smart forestry and rural development
  2. Forest degradation and nature restoration
  3. Ecosystem services and better integration in forest management

Digitalization and social innovation are cross-cutting aspects contributing to the above themes.

Presentations

Plenary

Introduction to Regional Authorities Round-Table Discussion on priorities for innovation

Breakout Table 1: Carbon Market, Bioeconomy, Climate Smart Forestry and Rural Development

Breakout Table 2: Forest Degradation and Nature Restoration

Breakout Table 3: Provision of Ecosystem Services

Past editions

Wood Pulp Panels

The Basajaun project developed a thermal insulation panel from wood pulp (CTMP). The insulation panels are recyclable and biodegradable. The innovative panels present an equal thermal conductivity as current wood fibre-based insulation materials and have a good insulation performance. 

Learn more

IMIP Project Systems

The IMIP project has developed a variety of sandwich panels from wood and cork. Use cases include facades, roofs, and floors—implemented in different pilots. The innovative panels show good mechanical resistance and are compatible with conventional construction systems.

Learn more

Catalonia joins the Bioregions Facility

The government of Catalonia is joining the Bioregions Facility – as its fourth member – through its Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda. Catalonia is one of Europe’s most innovative regions, has a large bioeconomy potential and is already providing valuable contributions to the Bioregions Facility. 

According to Jaume Sió, Head of the Technical Cabinet of the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Catalan government, “For Catalonia, becoming a member of Bioregions Facility is a firm step to continue advancing in the implementation and dissemination of the Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 2030 (EBC 2030), especially in the fields of forestry and creation of resilient agroforestry landscapes. For us, promoting interregional cooperation is key to positioning Catalonia as a region that works to achieve the circular bioeconomy at the European level. It also offers a great opportunity to exchange experiences and successful practices with other regions, as well as strengthen the Catalan forest bioeconomy ecosystem.” 

Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 

The Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 2030, approved in September 2021, aims to strengthen the growth and sustainable development of the Catalan economy by promoting the production of biological resources as well as local and renewable processes. The First Action Plan 2022–2024 of the Strategy contemplates 15 Transformative Actions with a funding of over €200 million. This Plan also prioritises four value chains: 

1) Improvement in forest management and the use of forest resources. 

2) Creation of resilient agroforestry landscapes and the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. 

3) Recovery of coproducts and by-products from the food chain. 

4) Resource recovery from livestock waste and organic waste.  

In relation to the first two forest-related value chains, the strategy aims to increase the use of forest resources by 30% by 2030, this within a multifunctional landscape perspective, and an emphasis on the agroforestry mosaic. This approach will help create and maintain more cohesive communities and more resilient landscapes, preserving biodiversity and promoting economic and social development. 

The EBC 2030 is a cross-cutting, forward-looking strategy seeking to enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of every sector involved – particularly the primary sector. It focuses on underdeveloped value chains and uses knowledge generation as a driver for change. Creating quality jobs and anchoring population to the rural environment are also fundamental pillars of the Strategy. 

Discover the Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy 2030 factsheet

Forest bioeconomy in action 

The implementation of the bioeconomy needs to be guided by several principles; Mr. Jaume Sió highlights the following three principles: 

1) Bioeconomy should contribute to stopping the loss of biodiversity and preserving our natural heritage. We should work in favour of nature, not against it. 

2) Bioeconomy cannot compromise or compete with food production. We cannot divert our capacity to produce food to generate energy or materials. 

3) Bioeconomy is a great opportunity to create partnerships between urban and rural areas

Bioregions Facility is open to new regions 

Any European region making tangible advances towards the forest-based bioeconomy – committed to sustainable, circular actions that consider the landscape and forest resources in a holistic way – can apply to become one of the Bioregions.  

Award for the project “Building with wood” – development of a model and competence region in South Westphalia

On December 7, 2022, the REGIONALE 25 project “Building with wood” – development of a model and competence region in South Westphalia, has been awarded with the second star. The project is an important part of the efforts of South Westphalia to develop sustainable and complementary projects to anchor resource-saving construction in the region.

The project is aimed at forest owners, the wood processing industry, companies in the wood construction and carpentry trades as well as planners, private and public builders. From the headquarters of Zentrum HOLZ in Olsberg, Germany, they are to be brought together in a network to share knowledge about new technologies and innovations in timber construction and to build up expertise. And at the same time, to initiate and make visible good examples in South Westphalia. This applies to the use of wood in industrial and commercial buildings as well as in public and private buildings.

Source: Wald und Holz NRW

Photo: PK-Media Consulting

Bioregions Open Innovation Challenge 2022 launched!

Submit a solution to our forest bioeconomy challenges and make chance to win a grant for developing your idea!

Bioregions Open innovation Challenges provide a framework to identify and support the development and scaling-up of innovative solutions (technologies, business ideas, etc.) to pressing challenges in forests management and the forest bioeconomy. Its final objective is to facilitate sustainable transitions in European regions putting into value the full range of ecosystem services provided by forests. The Bioregions Open Innovation Challenge 2022 focuses on following challenges:

• Carbon Farming & Climate-Smart Forestry

• Forest Monitoring, Early Warning and Response

• Unleash the potential of Non-Wood Forest Products

Commission proposes certification of carbon removals to help reach net zero emissions

The European Commission adopted a proposal for a first EU-wide voluntary framework to reliably certify high-quality carbon removals. The proposal will boost innovative carbon removal technologies and sustainable carbon farming solutions, and contribute to the EU’s climate, environmental and zero-pollution goals. The proposed regulation will significantly improve the EU’s capacity to quantify, monitor and verify carbon removals. Higher transparency will ensure trust from stakeholders and industry, and prevent greenwashing. Carbon removals can and must bring clear benefits for the climate, and the Commission will prioritise those carbon removal activities which will provide significant benefits for biodiversity. Moving forward, the Commission, supported by experts, will develop tailored certification methods for carbon removal activities delivering on climate and other environmental objectives.

To ensure the transparency and credibility of the certification process, the proposal sets out rules for the independent verification of carbon removals, as well as rules to recognise certification schemes that can be used to demonstrate compliance with the EU framework. To ensure the quality and comparability of carbon removals, the proposed regulation establishes four QU.A.L.ITY criteria:

  1. Quantification: Carbon removal activities need to be measured accurately and deliver unambiguous benefits for the climate;
  2. Additionality: Carbon removal activities need to go beyond existing practices and what is required by law;
  3. Long-term storage: Certificates are linked to the duration of carbon storage so as to ensure permanent storage;
  4. Sustainability: Carbon removal activities must preserve or contribute to sustainability objectives such as climate change adaptation, circular economy, water and marine resources, and biodiversity.

This proposal is essential to the EU’s goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this goal, the EU needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum. At the same time, the EU will have to scale up the removal of carbon from the atmosphere to balance out emissions which cannot be eliminated.

Industrial technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) or direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS), can capture carbon and store it permanently. In agriculture and forestry, carbon farming practices can sustainably enhance the storage of carbon in soils and forests or reduce the release of carbon from soils, and create a new business model for farmers and foresters. Long-lasting products and materials, such as wood-based construction products, can also keep carbon bound over several decades or longer.

Today’s proposal will promote cutting-edge clean technologies and support the New European Bauhaus by recognising the carbon storage capacity of wood-based and energy-efficient building materials. The proposal will enable innovative forms of private and public financing, including impact finance or result-based public support under State aid or the Common Agricultural Policy. The Commission will continue funding carbon removal action on the ground through the Innovation Fund (which can finance BECCS and DACCS projects, among others), the Common Agricultural Policy, the Regional Development Fund, the LIFE programme and the Horizon Europe programme (including the Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’).

Source: European Commission

Read more

Read Factsheet