Project Consortium

     INTEGRAL Partners,  Cross-Project Meeting in Dublin 2014  INTEGRAL Consortium   The INTEGRAL consortium consists of 21 partners from 13 countries. Due to the inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary nature of the project, the team involves experts with different disciplinary backgrounds and research interests inter alia...

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  • INTEGRAL Newsletter Issue 10/2015

7th Newsletter Header



Dear Readers,

After 4 years of intensive research collaboration on the future-oriented and integrated management of forest landscapes in Europe, the project INTEGRAL is about to end. In this last newsletter issue, we are giving you a brief overview of the project’s main research findings. They are intended to bring the landscape dimension closer to Europe and provide demand-driven information for European policy decision makers on the challenges of forest management in 20 case study regions throughout Europe. In addition, we will look back on the INTEGRAL Final Conference “SUSTAINABLE AND MULTIFUNCTIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT IN EUROPE: ACHIEVEMENTS, CHALLENGES AND FUTURE POLICY OPTIONS” and highlight the European Policy Paper as one of its main results. Enjoy reading!





1. Letter from the Coordinator

2. What have we learnt and achieved in INTEGRAL? Brief overview of the main project findings

3. INTEGRAL FINAL Conference

4. INTEGRAL EU Policy paper

5. Project partners´ voices: benefits from the research findings and methods of INTEGRAL in the participating countries

6. Latest Publications


Download the 7th INTEGRAL Newsletter




INTEGRAL involved 21 partners from 10 countries. About 600 interviews were conducted and some 80 stakeholder meetings held in 20 landscapes. Long-term projections of the development of landscapes with advanced computerized tools supported the participatory processes. This would not have been possible without vigorous research collaboration beyond disciplinary and national borders across Europe. The landscape approach, together with a bottom-up perspective, is one of the cornerstones of INTEGRAL. Within this approach, framework methods were developed to make it possible for forest owners and other stakeholders to analyse policy issues, develop various scenarios and thereafter prioritize policy measures to plan for the future. The research has affirmed the value of giving the landscape level a prominent role in the policy process. Scientifically, INTEGRAL has been very successful in terms of the publication of scientific articles and in the mobilization of young PhD researchers. In this regard, INTEGRAL has contributed to the formation of a new generation of researchers with an inter- and transdisciplinary training and outlook.


Ljusk Ola Eriksson,
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Brief overview of the main project findings


Since the implementation of the FP-7 funded large-scale collaborative research project INTEGRAL will soon end, it is time for a short résumé of the main achievements. The overall goal of the project entitled “Future-oriented and integrated management of forest landscapes in Europe” (2011-2015) was to contribute to a better understanding of forest land-use trade-offs and to explore futures of and approaches for integrated forest management in Europe. The project combined forest policy analysis and forest modelling with exploratory scenario development and backcasting in an inter- and trans-disciplinary approach. INTEGRAL scientists conducted research within twenty case studies in ten European countries and elaborated comparative cross-country syntheses as well as specific EU-level studies.

The results of the INTEGRAL research indicate that there is a pressing need for policy and management responses to address and integrate increasing and competing societal demands through a balanced approach towards forest management. Most important is balancing the material use of timber on the one hand, and biodiversity conservation, use of wood for bioenergy, and recreation on the other. In certain localities, demands by agriculture, water management, carbon sequestration and human infrastructure must also be discussed and balanced with forest management.
The project findings also show common patterns across Europe. While each case study has individual socio-ecological features, it is highly evident that in most future scenarios there is an expectation and desire for an increased supply of a mix of forest ecosystem goods and services (“more-of-everything”) by stakeholders. At the same time, the results point to future challenges associated with the managing of trade-offs between timber production, biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and recreation.

Furthermore, the results reveal that the desired provisions of forest ecosystem services can be achieved through various forms of financial, informational, and regulatory actions, the mix of which depends on the local conditions in different European regions. However, across all countries and regions, policy and institutional changes, followed by forest management practices, were identified as the most appropriate means.

Last but not least, public organisations and institutions at the national level are considered to be of key importance when addressing integration issues of current and future forest management in all EU countries under study.

Finally, the participatory methodology of the bottom-up approach of INTEGRAL has been extensively tested and improved. This includes the capacity of partners to conduct advanced analyses of long-term forest management strategies.



Metodi Sotirov, University of Freiburg
Ljusk Ola Eriksson and Ola Sallnäs, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences



The INTEGRAL Final Conference, held on 24th-25th June 2015 in Brussels, focused on “Sustainable and Multifunctional Forest Management in Europe: Achievements, Challenges and Future Policy Options“. The conference created a vibrant and inspiring atmosphere, with over 110 participants from more than 15 countries sharing knowledge, experiences and solutions, creating a wide range of networking opportunities. A series of cutting-edge keynote speeches, given by high-level representatives of various Directorates General of the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as lectures from internationally renowned scientists contributed to the success of the conference. Furthermore, different interactive sessions like the World Café and Working Group Discussions enabled lively discussions between participants, and fostered dialogue between researchers, policy-decision makers, and the stakeholders of the INTEGRAL project over ongoing forest-related political developments and the possibilities of implementing integrative forest policy concepts. The conference outcomes enrich the European Policy Paper that the INTEGRAL researchers published in September 2015 (see next article).


For more information about the INTEGRAL Final Conference, please visit: 

4. INTEGRAL EU Policy paper


Sustainable forest management (SFM) has been broadly established as an objective in European and national forest policy. Within the context of an uncertain and complex future, the integration of different forest-related policy objectives (e.g. bioenergy targets, climate change, nature conservation, recreation) remains a key challenge for implementing SFM in practice. Based on the findings of 4 years research on integrative forest policy and management approaches throughout Europe, INTEGRAL scientists published the Policy Paper: “Forest Policy Integration in Europe: Lessons Learnt, Challenges Ahead, and Strategies to Support Sustainable Forest Management and Multifunctional Forestry in the Future“. Here, they recommend various measures to improve the current policy and management framework using an integrated approach. Some of the suggested measures include participatory decision-making processes on the sub-national landscape level connected to national and European levels, conflict management procedures and systematic monitoring of implementation.

Feedback from policy-decision makers and stakeholders during the INTEGRAL Final Conference (24-25 June 2015) has greatly contributed to the final version of the Policy Paper, which is now available to all interested parties at



SWEDEN (Ola Sallnäs, SLU):  


“In Sweden, INTEGRAL contributed to develop better methods for representing forest owner behaviour in large scale forest projections, thus facilitating the use of the results in participatory planning processes.”


GERMANY (Peter Biber, TU München):   


"The results of the INTEGRAL project have taught us that the steering potential of forest landscapes has narrower boundaries than anticipated due to the intrinsic idleness of these large systems." 

"Using the research methodology we developed in INTEGRAL we could achieve a broad interest among stakeholders and initiate a constructive discussion process in Germany."


PORTUGAL (Jose Borges and Miguel Sottomayor, ISA):


“The results of the INTEGRAL project have taught us that participatory policy decision making processes are useless if no reliable data about forest ecosystem services supply potential and trade-offs are made available to participants.”

“The collaborative nature of the INTEGRAL project has brought together different research disciplines normally working in isolation and helped develop an interdisciplinary synthesis very relevant to enhance forest ecosystem management and policy analysis.”


THE NETHERLANDS (Marjanke Hoogstra-Klein, WU):


“The potential of the backcasting methodology for future thinking has become clear, and this has been taken up by the sector in at least one other project currently going on, exploring the future of the Dutch forest sector.”


SLOVAKIA (Jan Tucek and Yvonne Brodrechtova, TUZVO)


“The collaborative nature of the INTEGRAL project has contributed to ongoing research and publication record at TUZVO and expanded our collaborative networks in an interdisciplinary way.”

“Using the research methodology we developed in INTEGRAL we could achieve a slow start in introducing participatory ways to conduct forest management in future.”

“In Slovakia, INTEGRAL contributed to develop a participatory approach in analysing future forest management also in order to provide coherent policy advice.”


IRELAND (Maarten Nieuwenhuis, NUID UCD)


“The results of the INTEGRAL project have taught us that integrated landscape management allows for the delivery of interesting and unexpected mixtures of Ecosystem Services.”

“The collaborative nature of the INTEGRAL project has meant that we needed to learn each other’s languages in order to be able to communicate.”

 “In Ireland, INTEGRAL contributed to the development of stakeholders’ understanding of the complexity of integrated landscape management.”


ITALY (Davide Pettenella, UNIPAD)


“The results of the INTEGRAL project have taught us that in order to have a significative participation by stakeholders to the decision making processes related to forest resources we need to make the experience of some conflicts and perceiving some potential trade-off in the use of good and services. When, like in the last decades in Italy, strict command and control instruments are freezing the freedom for using forest resources and when profitability from forest related investments is low, participation is limited and stakeholders’ engagement is difficult. Participation needs room for decisions and stakeholders’ empowerment.”


 LITHUANIA  (Vilis Brukas and Gintautas Mozgeris, ASU)


 “The collaborative nature of the INTEGRAL project has prompted more candid discussions between forest scientists, practitioners and policy makers.”

 “In Lithuania, INTEGRAL constitutes a novel approach to multi-disciplinary and problem-oriented inquiry in forest sciences.”


FRANCE (Arnaud Sergent, IRSTEA)


“The results of the INTEGRAL project have demonstrated the feasibility and the added value of a meso-scale approach of forest planning, as a way to enrich the current French debate on forest multifunctionality.”

 “We are confident that the research methodology we developed in INTEGRAL will be of crucial interest in the process of implementation of the National Forest Program through the regional definition of forest strategies.”