> What is forwards?

What is forwards?

Forests and society can transform, mitigate and adapt to climate-induced changes thanks for climate-smart forestry (CSF). Drawing on this and alongside stakeholders, the project will develop tools for pan-European and spatially explicit projections on forests and for regionalised CSF & Restoration roadmaps. The aim is to evaluate synergies and trade-offs regarding conversion and restoration activities.

The forest ward observatory

Thanks to the ForestWard Observatory, FORWARDS will reconcile the current divide between forest information obtained from the ground and remote sensing. This will be achieved by incorporating the concept of monitoring supersites and novel approaches to more comprehensively characterize cause-effect relationships of forest disturbances.


The ForestWard Observatory will provide:

  • timely and detailed information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change impacts
  • science-based knowledge to guide management using the principles of climate-smart forestry, ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity preservation (CSF & Restoration)
  • stakeholder engagement and public participation in decision-making processes.


The ambition of FORWARDS will be to prototype The ForestWard Observatory – a European observatory for forests climate change impacts – 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.
FORWARDS will analyse factors that influencing forest owners’ decisions. It will document current restoration activities concerning forests, wood provision, biodiversity, carbon, and soils. This analysis aims to ensure that different measures can meet policy objectives effectively.
FORWARDS will support a wide range of activities that ultimately contribute to setting up the ForestWard Observatory and supporting the implementation and scaling-up of CSF and forest restoration pilots.

Expected impacts


Better understanding and mitigation potential of ecosystems and sectors based on the sustainable management of natural resources. Advanced understanding and science to support adaptation and resilience of natural and managed ecosystems, water and soil systems and economic sectors in the context of the changing climate

Policy / Societal

Efficient monitoring, assessment and projections related to climate change impacts. This includes the potential to co-design solutions for tackling emerging threats and support decision-making in climate change mitigation and adaptation policies at regional, national, European and global levels


Climate change mitigation encouraged in the primary sector, such as reducing GHG emissions, maintaining natural carbon sinks and enhancing sequestration and carbon storage in ecosystems