Working Group 3: Protective Function of Forests 

(Co)-leads: Austria

Participating countries: France, Germany, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia (observer status), Slovenia and Switzerland

Protective Function of Forests Strategy Paper 

Core themes:

  • Climate change impacts and adaptation governance in protective forests
  • Climate-related risks for protective forests, including forest fires, storm, drought and bark beetle - as well as other risks such as avalanches, mass-movements, ice sleet, humus loss, and soil erosion
  • Management and policy of mountain forest fire and interrelated risks
  • Ecosystem services of forests in mountain areas, their social significance and supporting services as a contribution to climate change mitigation
  • Synergies and conflicts concerning the protective function to other policy issues such as development planning and land use, nature conservation, forest economy, hunting, tourism and recreational use. Work on the governance of multiple functions
  • Policy issues in the interlinkage of spatial planning, urbanization, socio-economic development and forestry ownership
  • Knowledge transfer of theory and practice in protective forest management and maintenance: training, academic education programs
  • Raising public awareness on the role of the protective functions of forests and on the related management activities


  • Baseline publications and training programmes
  • Transnational network development concerning academic education and research in mountain/protective forest management
  • Identification and coordination of joint research initiatives and activities and related network projects
  • Serve as knowledge hub and information access gateway
  • Exchange and transfer of governance processes and best practices, leading to policy advice and arrangement of expert consultations related to protective forests and ecosystem services, and novel challenges such as mountain forest fires
  • Exchange and development of protective forest management plans, standards and best practices, especially for game and hunting
  • Establishment of an international policy network for the issue of protective functions of forests


last updated:  Thursday, July 22, 2021