MULTIfunctional SILViculture environmental and economic Assessment tool

SCHEME: Industrial Fellowships

CALL: 2018

DOMAIN: SR - Environmental and Earth Sciences


LAST NAME: Petucco




KEYWORDS: Forest management; Ecosystem Services; Decision Support System; Multifunctional Forest Management; Payment for Ecosystem Services.




Submitted Abstract

In the last decades, researches and policy makers addressed the importance of Ecosystem Services (ES) for the society’s wellbeing. Forests are an important component of the natural capital and provide a large variety of ES. ES provision depends on the structure and evolution of forest ecosystems, which are eventually influenced by forest management. In Luxembourg as in many EU counties, the increasing society’s need for ES demands for a more sophisticated approach to forest management and planning that integrates ecological and socio-economic dynamics to promote ES provision. The research objective of this study is hence to develop a Decision Support System (DSS) that responds to the challenge to integrate the financial interests of forest owners with the ES provision, in spatially and temporally explicit way, identifying and focussing on the services that are demanded at a local level. The DSS will firstly identify the local ES needs using geospatial analysis methods. Then, it will simulate the forest evolution under the business as usual, i.e. the management paradigm currently used in the forest property, as well as a set of management alternatives specifically defined to respond the ES needs. For each alternative, the DSS will provide a biophysical estimation of the additional ES provided and the direct and indirect costs of each management alternative. The DSS will be delivered as a web-based application to the project partners. In a fist stage, the tool will support public forest managers in addressing the demand of ES from the local stakeholders, understand the trade-offs between different management alternatives and better communicate the management strategy and the expected outcomes. In the long run, the DSS will also help forest owners to identify potential buyers of ES and hence set the road toward the implementation of payment of ecosystem services.

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