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The European Community and the Member States are committed to implementing internationally agreed activities relating to the conservation and protection of forests. In this context it is in the general interest of the Community to develop the monitoring activities that have been established and run under Regulation (EC) 2152/2003 called Forest Focus and the proceeding regulations in this area (EEC Nos. 3528/86 and 2159/92). According to Article 18 of Regulation (EC) 2152/2003 the EC requested a review which will be an integrated part of a Commission report to the European Parliament and Council by approximately the beginning of 2007.

The EU Forestry Strategy is developing, and forestry, environmental and rural development policies are becoming increasingly interdependent. Forest Focus and related measures after 2006 need to address a broad range of objectives and to facilitate the flexible application and utilisation of result.

This project provided an independent review of Forest Focus and perspectives for the development of Forest Focus related measures after 2006. It reviewed Forest Focus in the light of international and European policies and their associated needs for monitoring, and evaluated its capacity to provide biodiversity monitoring and to address the threats posed to forest ecosystems.

Development and review concerning Forest Focus – Final report (PDF-1570 KB)

Research objectives

  • To produce a review of existing forest monitoring initiatives in Europe and to critically appraise these monitoring programmes and their contribution to implementation of international and European policies (strategies, resolutions, legislation etc.) relevant to forest monitoring.
  • To assess the monitoring scheme on air pollution effects on forests (Regulations [EEC] 3528/86 and [EC] 2152/2003) taking on board lessons that can be learned from over 10 years of targeted, trans-national forest monitoring efforts.
  • To provide suggestions for biodiversity monitoring instruments based on a literature review of tried and tested (and costed) methods.
  • To evaluate the capacity of the scheme to address the direct and indirect threats to forest ecosystems posed by increased levels of greenhouse gases and associated climate warming.

Funders and partners

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This review was funded by the EU and following open tender was undertaken by:

  • Forest Research
  • The Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA)

with contributions being made by:

  • Forest Research Institute of Poland
  • The Polish Naturalists Club
  • University of Thessaloniki, Greece.


Started January 2005 and completed at the end of August 2006.

Team leaders

Peter Freer-Smith


Hannu Ilvesniemi

The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, PO Box 18, S-0301 Vantaa, Finland

Useful sites


PDF, 1.57 MB