A major challenge for the management of Europe's forests is balancing the provision of distinct forest ecosystem services with broad societal demands. If markets and existing governance arrangements fail, forest managers struggle to meet societal needs. There is a need to explore new approaches to connect profitable forest management with changing societal demands. Innovative mechanisms (IM), including novel policies and business models, could align ecosystem services supply and demand. Spurring INnovations for Forest ECosystem SERvices in Europe (SINCERE) sets out to:
1. Systematically map the existing knowledge and practical experiences with IM at the European scale.
2. With practice partners and researchers, design, implement and evaluate a complementary set of innovation actions that explore novel IM in different regional contexts. These actions encompass a broad spectrum of forest ecosystem services (e.g. biodiversity, climate change mitigation, water supply, recreation), governance mechanisms (e.g. new business models, 'reverse auctions' with forest owners, participatory governance) and regional settings (e.g. intensively managed commercial forests in Finland versus little-managed forest land in Spain).
3. Develop a learning architecture to connect these innovation actions across countries to incentivize cross-case fertilization and learning between research and practice.
4. With practice partners, policy makers and researchers, draw lessons from the innovation actions, including the upscaling of successful IM to be replicated elsewhere.
The project pushes for innovations at the interface between policies and on-the-ground IM, and delivers concrete suggestions for a coordinated European policy framework. Target group-specific communication and dissemination activities ensure SINCERE's impact throughout the entire project duration.