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Proposed new classifying tools capture condition of Europe’s forests

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European forest types, a new scheme for classifying Europe’s forests, is presented today in a report by the European Environment Agency. The scheme offers 14 new major forest type categories to replace the previous three categories - deciduous, coniferous and mixed – used in reporting of forest data.

European forest types will help experts capture the true ecological conditions in Europe’s forests and allow better analysis of the great variation in biodiversity, forest utilisation and other environmental factors, according to the report.

The new scheme is intended for international reporting and monitoring of forests in Europe, according to the Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for Sustainable Forest Management agreed within the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE). MCPFE comprises 44 European countries and the EU.

Forest data are collected by National Forest Inventories and reported internationally to the Forest Resource Assessments of UNECE/FAO. Data are used for regular reports on the state of Europe’s forests by MCPFE and the European Environment Agency. European countries and the EU will also utilise the scheme to monitor forest conditions in response to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution.

The scheme has been in development for almost 10 years, and involved a significant number of experts under the auspices of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). The final classification was synthesised by a consortium led by the Italian Academy of Forest Sciences, funded by the European Environment Agency.

European forest types will be formally discussed within the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) process.

Report: European forest types

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100