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Protection of forests against damage from atmospheric pollution has been a major EU concern since 1987.

To monitor pollution damage, the EU established one of the world’s largest bio-monitoring schemes. This comprised a systematic large scale monitoring network (comprising 6,000 Level 1 plots) and an intensive forest monitoring programme (comprising 860 Level II plots). Results, published annually by UNECE and the EU, have become a unique source of ecological reference data.

In July 2002, EU Member States proposed the ‘Forest Focus’ framework, to monitor forests and their environmental interactions until the end of 2008. Forest Focus built on previous schemes of information collection, but also monitored forest biodiversity, climate change, carbon sequestration and forest soils. This supported the:

  • EU Climate Change Programme
  • EU Biodiversity Strategy
  • Soil Strategy
  • Forthcoming work on the Soil Monitoring Directives.
Integrated forest monitoring
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Integrated forest monitoring