Over one hundred and forty participants met in Arezzo (Italy) on 22th March, 2019 to the final workshop of the project.
Coppice is an ancient forest system that has modeled the European forest landscape and features nowadays more than 10% of forest areas in Europe. Coppice forests are especially widespread in Southern Europe, where they characterize most hill and mountain areas. In spite of their diffusion and attributes, coppice forests are poorly accounted for within Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) scenarios.
The main target of the project LIFE14 ENV/IT/000514 "Shaping future forestry for sustainable coppices in southern Europe: the legacy of past management trials " - LIFE FutureForCoppiceS (www.futureforcoppices.eu) was to contribute to the SFM of forests originated from coppice in Southern Europe, by means of Criteria and Indicators of SFM established by FOREST EUROPE. 38 Indicators (12 consolidated and 26 new ones, since they have been purposely formulated by the project or they have been used on a different scale) were tested.
Most of the tested Indicators (26 out of 38) turned out to be appropriate for coppice forests in terms of information capacity, applicability, replicability and cost. As regards the coppice management options considered within the project, each of them favours different aspects of the sustainability concept. Traditional coppicing promotes wood production and socio-economic aspects; coppice under natural evolution supports the carbon cycle, health and vitality, while coppice in conversion to high forest, that combines high standing biomass and periodical harvestings, highlights beneficial effects on environmental issues (biodiversity, energy from residuals) and socio-economic ones (net revenue, recreational issues). Since each of the above analyzed management options, promotes different sustainability aspects, their coexistence at a local level, with variable patterns according to the specific context, is heavily addressed in a global change context especially.
The project results were presented to over one hundred and forty participants, representing several stakeholders, to the final workshop held on 22th March, 2019 in Arezzo (Italy). The project results the future of coppice in Europe were discussed in a profitable way and in an European perspective thanks also to the invited talks of Prof. Gero Becker, chair of COST Action FP1301 “EuroCoppice” (www.eurocoppice.uni-freiburg.de/) and of Rastislav Raši of Forest Europe - Liaison Unit Bratislava. The participants agreed about the importance of updated statistics on coppice forests and on management options at regional, national and European level, which are at present very few or even lacking. They constitute a fundamental requirement to promote, via suitable SFM Indicators, the sustainable and multifunctional use of the coppice forests which represent over 10% of European forest areas, so contributing to the aims of the European Forest Strategy.