10 May 2024

ForestNavigator publishes Modelling Workflow, Socioeconomic indicators and Market Scenarios

ForestNavigator recently published three public deliverables with details on
(i) the biodiversity modelling workflow,
(ii) a collection of socioeconomic indicators for recreational and cultural services, and
(iii) market scenarios for selected material uses of wood and bioenergy in the EU.

Report on the advanced biodiversity modelling framework

The ForestNavigator project helps to improve our understanding of how forests can contribute to climate change mitigation. Through an integrated modeling framework, we evaluate the potential of forest-based climate change mitigation pathways. A crucial part of this work analyzes how different climate change scenarios and forest management pathways impact biodiversity.

Forest ecosystems are under immense pressure due to global environmental changes, resulting in direct and indirect effects on biodiversity. Climate change is anticipated to increase extinction risks and shift current species distributions. Moreover, disturbances caused by climate change and forest management practices significantly influence forest structure, thereby impacting overall biodiversity.

The project uses integrated species distribution models to model the response of diverse forest taxa to climate change scenarios and forest management pathways. These models predict species habitat suitability in space and time, thus enabling the assessment of climate change and forestry impacts on biodiversity. Unlike previous approaches that primarily focused on forest tree species, ForestNavigator extends its scope to encompass multiple forest taxa, including mammals, birds, and arthropods. Additionally, climatic, environmental, and importantly detailed forest structure covariates influenced by management practices are incorporated into the modelling framework. Thus, the project contributes to informed decision-making in conservation and sustainable forest management.

Report 4.1 ‘Report on the advanced biodiversity modelling framework’ outlines the modelling workflow in detail, including gathered biodiversity data, the selection of covariates, data pre-processing, modelling algorithms, and biodiversity indicators.


Collection of socioeconomic indicators in different analyses and modelling

The ForestNavigator project develops a series of policy pathways aimed at achieving climate neutrality for the EU and its member states. These pathways include the effects of forest management decisions on ecosystem services, e.g. the varied benefits provided by the forest ecosystems to  economic and other human activities.

ForestNavigator develops methods to improve the representation of forest biophysical attributes under the influence of climate change and assesses various management options towards climate targets. ForestNavigator uses the biophysical representations to evaluate impacts on ecosystem services and supply-and-demand dynamics. For this, biophysical and socioeconomic inputs are integrated to spatially analyse the profitability of wood provisioning, employment opportunities and the monetary evaluation of cultural services, including recreation.

As homogenous, spatially explicit, and timely EU data regarding forest management profitability and the monetary values are lacking, the project spatialises/extrapolates data from one geographic point to another. For this, ForestNavigator aligns the underlying forest structures variability with socioeconomic indicators in benefit transfer approaches (Di Fulvio et al. (2016), Kerry Smith (2018), UN (2021), Elsasser et al. (2021), Grammatikopoulou et al. (2023)). The EU-wide socio-economic indicators  are typically compiled at the administrative region (NUTS2 /Country). ForestNavigator incorporated these indicators into a suitable modelling framework, which allows for the extrapolation of the effect of socioeconomic conditions to fill missing information, and estimate monetary values across entire regions.

Report 4.2 presents the collection of socioeconomic indicators in different analyses and modelling to assess employment opportunity, profitability of wood provisioning, and monetary values for recreational and cultural services.


Market scenarios for selected material uses of wood and bioenergy in the EU

The ForestNavigator project just published its an assessment of demand in the forest bioeconomy, which was used to create plausible scenarios and projections for selected material uses of wood, as well as bioenergy and biofuels. ForestNaviagtor applied complementary approaches, such as partial equilibrium modelling (PRIMES and GLOBIOM) and elicitation of expert views.

The created scenarios are grouped into material uses, energy uses and combinations of material and energy uses. The scenarios portray i) baseline developments following business-as-usual, ii) scenarios depicting a realistic increase in the market share of wood, and iii) “what if” scenarios for examining the sector level responses to structural changes of unprecedented scale.

Read the full report here

ForestNavigator Main Concept


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