Resilient Future Forest Laboratory

Mission:

The Resilient Future Forest Laboratory (RFFL) will develop innovative solutions for the transition towards a bioeconomy based on productive landscapes that are resilient in the face of climate change. This transition must restore ecological functioning, benefit local communities, and conserve and enhance biodiversity.

Objectives:

The Resilient Future Forest Laboratory will provide science-based but operationally realistic methods, sensitive to local context, for adapting forest ecosystems to emerging climatic and social conditions by informing society, landowners, and policy-makers of the consequences of choosing between alternative objectives and strategies for managing forested landscapes.


What we hope to accomplish:

The Resilient Future Forest Laboratory will establish a global network of demonstration and research landscapes that documents, demonstrates, and supports implementation of innovative silvicultural and restoration methods grounded in operational practice and applied science.

Forest research in all parts of the world has a rich legacy of field trials including long-term experiments and demonstration sites covering the entire lifespan of forest stands – inter alia under the auspices of IUFRO.

The Resilient Future Forest Lab (RFFL) offers demonstration opportunities and strengthening the science-practice linkage to support innovative solutions to address Forest Landscape Restoration and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation challenges and uncover conflicts and synergies with other sustainable development targets including protecting and enhancing biodiversity, providing economic, social, and environmental benefits and resources.


Current RFFL Sites


Expected outputs:

  • A network of partners who contribute to the overall objectives of the platform, establish RFFL demonstration and research locations that meet mutually accepted criteria, and share data and information with other participants.
  • A development platform based on multifunctional forested landscapes, separated functionally at the stand-level using a nested plot design.
  • Each RFFL location visualizes innovative solutions for society and policy-makers as well as demonstrations for professionals.
  • Landscape locations are placed across continental-scale gradients, with stand-sized plots embedded within landscapes.
  • Locations use new and rapidly developing technology for frequent, cost-efficient yet high-resolution inventory and monitoring.
  • Multiple ecosystem services may be evaluated depending upon local needs and site conditions (e.g., protection of water resources, erosion control, amenity values and aesthetics, biodiversity habitats, non-wood products, grazing by domestic stock, and game management).
  • Overall values estimated by techniques such as Total Economic Value will allow deciding between strategies, making trade-offs with full understanding of consequences.

We do this by:

  • Addressing key local questions related to management of forest landscapes;
  • Demonstrating innovative silvicultural techniques – e.g. around nursery techniques, stock type selection, improving soil moisture, reducing impact of grazers;
  • Testing new plant materials – provenances, species;
  • Utilizing new sensors and monitoring/inventory techniques to document benefits;
  • Communicating and openly sharing information locally, regionally, and globally to improve public understanding, engagement, ownership, and decision making among all stakeholders involved.