Adopting a holistic approach to maximise forest-based climate change mitigation

Adopting a holistic approach to maximise forest-based climate change mitigation

The European Forest Institute published a new study with the title Forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe in the From Science to Policy series. This analysis focuses on the role of forests and wood use in contributing to mitigate climate change. The 12 authors from 7 different countries conclude that European forests and wood products can play a crucial role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050. However, their potential is not enough to compensate for a lack of actions in other areas.

In particular, the study focuses on the role of forests in the removal of green house gas emissions. Moreover, the authors investigate how to maximise the effectiveness of forests contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The study recommends the adoption of a holistic approach, where multiple forest-base mitigation actions are combined to foster synergies, interactions, co-benefits, and regional applicability.

Read the full open access study

Download the associated policy brief

Reference

Verkerk, P.J., Delacote, P., Hurmekoski, E., Kunttu, J., Matthews, R., Mäkipää, R., Mosley, F., Perugini, L., Reyer, C. P. O., Roe, S., Trømborg, E. 2022. Forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe. From Science to Policy 14. European Forest Institute https://doi.org/10.36333/fs14



Post-doctoral opportunity in soil element cycles and GHG dynamics

Post-doctoral opportunity in soil element cycles and GHG dynamics

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is a research organisation working to promote bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources. Luke is looking for a post-doctoral researcher focusing on soil element cycles and GHG dynamics. The application deadline is 27 September 2022, at 4.00 pm Finnish time (EEST).

Work tasks

Luke has an open position for a post-doc researcher in a multidisciplinary research group of more than ten scientists. The group develops sustainable land-use and ecosystem management practices in several ongoing projects, including HoliSoils and SOMPA. The projects comprise field experiments on both peatland forests, where varied management regimes (including continuous cover forestry) are tested, and on mineral soils, where ecosystem processes are studied. The group also develops models to predict the impacts on ecosystem water, carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, especially focusing on peat soils. The post-doctoral researcher will be engaged in an active international collaboration that aims at improving the scientific knowledge base on soil processes and the effects of management practices on forest soils.

The researcher will study how ecosystem management affects soil element cycles, GHG fluxes and their drivers. The work will be focused on processes in managed peatland forests. The researcher will implement a field experiment, where effects of management practices on soil GHG fluxes and drivers of peat decomposition processes are studied, analyse the obtained empirical data, and participate in developing mathematical models that describe soil processes. The researcher will be responsible for scientific writing and reporting of study results as a lead author.

Qualifications

Luke is looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher with good understanding on biogeochemical cycles, soil processes and their drivers. Knowledge on ecosystem studies, experience in GHG data analysis and understanding of soil processes is essential. The applicant should have knowledge on the controls of soil element cycles and how experiments and soil measurements can inform process models. Understanding of peatland microbial processes is an asset. Competence in scientific writing should be proven by a good publication record.

The applicant should be able to steer their own study and experimental work. Good communication skills, as well as an ability to work as a part of international multidisciplinary research team are needed. Data analysis and programming skills (e.g. R, Python) and understanding of microbial analyses and isotope research are advantages.

How to apply?

The reference number for this position is 30-289-2022.

The application deadline is 27 September 2022, 4.00 pm Finnish time (EEST).

Send your digital application

You may also apply for this position by submitting your application to the address below. The job reference of the role must be cited both in the actual application and on the envelope. Applications will not be returned.

Luonnonvarakeskuksen kirjaamo
Latokartanonkaari 9
00790 Helsinki, FINLAND

Please attach your application letter and CV.

More information

How can we strengthen the contribution of forests in reaching EU climate goals?

How can we strengthen the contribution of forests in reaching EU climate goals?

Details

Start: 3:00 PM (CET) 20 September 2022
End: 4:30 PM (CET) 20 September 2022

Organizer

European Forest Institute
Website: https://efi.int/

Venue

Online / Zoom

Description

The European Union has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% in 2030 and to become climate neutral by 2050. The European Forest Institute organised a ThinkForest event to explore what forests can contribute to achieving these climate goals.

Forests and forestry play three important roles in climate change mitigation. First, reducing deforestation and forest degradation lowers GHG emissions. Second, forest management and restoration can maintain or enhance forest carbon stocks and sinks. Third, improving the use of wood products can store carbon over the long-term, and avoid emissions by substituting emissions-intensive materials.

Our ThinkForest event will ask:

  • How much can forest-based activities contribute to climate change mitigation?
  • What role do policies play?
  • How can we maximise forest-based climate change mitigation nationally/locally?

In this occasion, the coordinator of the ForestPaths-project, Hans Verkerk, will present a new study titled “Forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe”.

Review on greenhouse gas reporting in European forest soils

Review on greenhouse gas reporting in European forest soils

In the framework of the HoliSoils project, the Thuenen Institute is working on the soil monitoring framework. In particular, their work focuses on reviewing European GHG reporting in forest soils, developing guidelines for harmonized soil sampling methods for future reporting and providing a server for open-access harmonized European maps of forest soil properties. Furthermore, they developed a survey for GHG experts to gain their suggestions for improvement concerning GHG reporting.

Their work mainly focuses on carbon (C) data from forest soils remaining forest soils and differentiates between mineral and organic soils. On this poster, Vera Makowski and Nicole Wellbrock give an overview of the most important findings of the review process and the resultant actions within HoliSoils.

Read more on the full poster

How soil can help save the world

How soil can help save the world

Soil science is not usually considered the most exciting discipline by the general public. Many people – including in the science world – have underestimated what is beneath our feet.

However, we are now in the International Decade of Soils, and it is time to shine a light on the role of soil in providing food security, supporting biodiversity and mitigating climate change. This article from the BBC showcases how Pete Smith, Professor of Soil and Global Change at the University of Aberdeen, makes the study of soil appealing, for instance, considering how wetlands and peatlands are the “Cinderella” of climate change mitigation.

Read on to find a myriad of ways in which soil can indeed help save the world.

How soil can help save the world, BBC Radio 4 in Four, https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/39xtyKjNyrGSGhVTMZjPLkv/how-soil-can-help-save-the-world



Listen now to why soil matters for many challenges beyond climate change

Listen now to why soil matters for many challenges beyond climate change

In the BBC’s podcast The Life Scientific, Jim Al-Khalili interviews Pete Smith, Professor of Soil and Global Change at the University of Aberdeen, on the underestimation of soil science and how throughout his career he realised that studying soil can be key to deal with a variety of global issues.

The conversation focuses on how soil is vital not only for climate change mitigation, but also for improving biodiversity and tackling many more sustainable development challenges.

Listen to the full conversation and get to know why soil is so crucial for our future.

Pete Smith on why soil matters, The Life Scientific, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0017tgl



New funding opportunities for the EU Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’

New funding opportunities for the EU Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’

After an amendment to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-2022, new opportunities for funding have been published on the Commission’s funding and tender opportunities portal to contribute to the A Soil Deal for Europe Mission.

The goals of this mission include but are not limited to reducing desertification, conserving soil organic carbon stocks, enhancing soil biodiversity, and improving soil literacy in society.

Apply by 27 September 2022.

More information

Survey on forest soil greenhouse gas inventories in Europe now launched

Survey on forest soil greenhouse gas inventories in Europe now launched

In scope of the HoliSoils project, the Thuenen Institute (consortium partner) launched a questionnaire to review the different methods of calculating and reporting GHG fluxes in European countries. The aim is to gain knowledge of the applied methods, but also assess uncertainties and challenges of national inventories and pinpoint areas that can be improved. Based on the results of the questionnaire, we want to develop practice-oriented recommendations for improving future forest soil GHG inventories.

The questionnaire is targeted towards national experts specialised in either soil GHG inventory reporting procedures, national soil surveys or soil carbon modelling. For each target audience, a separate survey was created:

  1. GHG inventory reporting procedures
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/735421?lang=en
  2. Soil monitoring programs used for GHG inventories
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/189485?lang=en
  3. Soil carbon modelling approached used for GHG inventories and Forest Reference Levels
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/293423?lang=en

If you are a national expert in the field of GHG reporting, please help us by filling out the questionnaire(s) that applies to you until 22 May 2022.

Please feel free to distribute this news to your colleagues. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us:

Webinar: Recent developments in modelling water balance and ghg emissions from forested peatlands

Webinar: Recent developments in modelling water balance and ghg emissions from forested peatlands

Details

Start: 9:00 AM (CET) 4 March 2022
End: 12:00 PM (CET) 4 March 2022

Organizer

Luke Finland
Website: https://www.luke.fi/en/

Venue

Online / Microsoft Teams

Description

In recent years, significant model developments have been made in modelling peatland ecosystems. These developments have been motivated by the importance of these ecosystems to green-house gas emissions and to forestry. Therefore, it is also central to understand how they respond to changing conditions and management.

In this seminar organized by Luke Finland, we will take a look at processes driving peatland ghg emissions and growth, as well as novel modelling approaches to quantify their ghg impacts at larger scales.

New project focuses on management, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils

Soils are increasingly recognised to have an important role, both for human wellbeing and for the global climate. There are clear benefits for people and the planet in the sustainable transformation of land management to practices that reduce soil degradation, mitigate erosion, and maintain or restore soil organic carbon, nutrients, and soil water. From maintaining biodiversity to providing ecosystem services, good forest management practices start in the soil.

Yet there are significant knowledge gaps on forest soil processes and soil monitoring is not sufficiently harmonised, which limits the EU’s ability to maintain soil-related ecosystem services and to reach climate policy targets.

HoliSoils (Holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils) is a new EU H2020 project which will provide an improved, integrated, and harmonised monitoring and modelling framework for forest soils across Europe.

The 4.5-year project, which kicked off in May 2021, will identify and test soil management practices aiming to mitigate climate change and sustain provision of various ecosystem services essential for human livelihoods and wellbeing. HoliSoils incorporates novel methodologies and expert knowledge on analytical techniques, data sharing, model development, and soil properties and biodiversity. It will develop tools for soil monitoring and for greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment in the land use, land-use change & forestry (LULUCF) sector. It will also enhance efficiency of GHG mitigation actions, and improve numerical forecasting of soil-based mitigation, adaptation, and ecosystem services.

Through a collaborative, multi-actor approach, the multidisciplinary consortium brings leading expertise on soil analysis and databases, development of advanced analytical techniques, complex system modelling, digital soil mapping, soil ecology, disturbance ecology, forest and GHG inventories, social sciences, and communications. From the outset, HoliSoils will engage actively with its diverse stakeholders, including forest owners and managers, industry actors, forest extension services, a certification body, forest and soil researchers, climate policy support and greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory experts, and policymakers.

HoliSoils is coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), and is made up of a consortium of 20 project partners, 18 from across Europe with partners from South America (Uruguay) and Asia (Japan) broadening the perspective globally.

HoliSoils coordinator, Raisa Mäkipää, stated that she is “really excited about the multidisciplinary work initiated by the HoliSoils consortium. We have such wide expertise from soil scientists to mathematicians and social scientists that we can address timely and challenging global problems on sustainable soil management and mitigation of climate change.”

More information: Project Coordinator: Raisa Mäkipää, Luke; raisa.makipaa @ luke.fi
Communications: Sarah Adams, European Forest Institute; sarah.adams @ efi.int