ForestPaths 2023 annual meeting highlights progress and marks next steps

29 September 2023

ForestPaths’ annual meeting took place this week (26 & 27 September) in Helsinki, Finland. In the span of two days, it brought together representatives from the project’s 16 partner organisations, providing a platform for sharing project milestones and improving collaboration within the project. 

The meeting was opened by Hans Verkerk, ForestPaths’ coordinator, who highlighted the significant achievements of the past year. These included (but were not limited to):

  • the development of numerous project informational materials;

  • the analysis of policy and stakeholder requirements at the EU level relevant for the forestry sector; 

  • the creation of next-generation European forest disturbance maps;

  • the development of prototypes of forest structure and composition maps.

The subsequent presentations delved into the specifics of these milestones, with plans for their public release in the near future.

Furthermore, the meeting – conducted in a hybrid format – addressed a wide spectrum of topics, including climate and biodiversity-smart forestry, forest owner typologies, forest management approaches, and insights into forest land use and management modelling with the CRAFTY-Europe agent-based model. Particular attention was paid to ForestPaths' proactive approach to engaging stakeholders through its policy labs and the forthcoming policy engagement forum, both scheduled to launch in the days after the annual meeting.

On the second day of the event, participants dedicated their efforts to enhancing coordination and synergy across various facets of ForestPaths. Beyond strengthening internal collaboration, partners directed their attention towards improving communication with sister projects, PathFinder and ForestNavigator, during a joint session that highlighted each project's key achievements and explored opportunities for future collaboration. The event concluded on a positive note with valuable feedback from ForestPaths' stakeholder advisory board, highlighting the comprehensive approach of the project and its commitment to continual improvement.

With the annual meeting officially concluded, ForestPaths' partners eagerly anticipated the launch of the project's inaugural Policy Lab, held on 28 & 29 September in Helsinki, with further details on its outcomes coming soon!