FORbEST: Safeguarding Carbon and Biodiversity across European Forest Ecosystems through Multi-Actor Innovation


FORbEST devises solutions to harness healthy forested ecosystems as a means of achieving EU biodiversity & climate objectives. We use diverse technologies including AI, remote sensing, and citizen science in work with management and conservation practices across six key biogeographical regions in Europe and Thailand to understand governance’s impact and create roadmaps toward sustainable futures.


Project information

Project duration

Funded by

Horizon Europe

Funding amount

5 967 519 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Project description

Restoring and protecting natural and semi-natural forest ecosystems can play a vital role in creating climate-neutral and sustainable societies. Using advanced technologies and methodologies, FORbEST will devise solutions that improve forest function and harness the potential for healthy forested ecosystems as a means of achieving EU biodiversity and climate objectives. We will work with management and conservation practices across five key EU biogeographical regions and one non-EU tropical region, to understand the impact of past and current governance and create shared roadmaps toward sustainable futures. Using a strong complement of technologies including advanced remote sensing, artificial intelligence, citizen science, participatory action research and ecoacoustic methods, we will unlock powerful, comprehensive monitoring regimes of forest habitats, which will enable a better understanding of their resilience and functionality. FORbBEST understands and embraces the complex nature of the socio-ecological systems that characterize forested landscapes. Integrated socio-ecological modelling will enable us to identify win-win forest management practices that support forest protection and restoration, and community co-migration. Our research is grounded in a transdisciplinary approach, using participatory Living Labs to steer our engaged, knowledge-intensive research workshops across the project. These platforms will empower diverse local stakeholders to collectively imagine, iterate, and co-design new paths and best practices for forest management. Robust stakeholder engagement will disseminate tailor-made information on project results, which will, for example, encourage better forest protection and restoration via economic incentives and legal mechanisms. FORbEST will therefore achieve multiple objectives, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, economic diversification, and citizen empowerment across multiple spatial scales.