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Welcome to the start of INTEGRAL - 7 million euro research project!

A kick-off meeting will be held in Uppsala on the 14th and 15th of November marking the start of the INTEGRAL project. Future- oriented integrated management of European forest landscapes. All 20 partners from 14 different countries and representatives from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research & Innovation will gather for the first time.

SLU and the Department of Forest Resource Management, SLU Umea, is the lead partner of INTEGRAL. The project has a duration of 4 years and has received funding by 7 million euro from the Seventh Framework Programme for Research within the area of Sustainable management of resources. All partners will cooperate to put forward a coherent policy process for integrated management of European forest landscapes. The challenge is to meet the different demands for ecosystem services.

"It is tremendously exciting to lead this venture which embraces the most important forest environments in Europe. The research will be applied in a total of 20 landscapes in 10 European countries that differ in key characteristics, such as ownership, the importance of forestry and forest-based industries and the priorities of allocation and management of new and existing forestlands. We will give the possibility to both local and national stakeholder groups all the way through the project, they play a decisive role, and I think this was a central element in the selecting of our project in tough competition with other applications", says professor Ola Eriksson, project coordinator.

Short press conference: Time: 14th November, 12:20 pm Place: room Stora Patologen, SVA-hous, Travvägen 12 D, Ultuna, Uppsala. What: media will get more information about INTEGRAL and have the possibility to ask questions to project coordinator Ola Eriksson and George-Eugeniu Predoui, from the European Commission Directorate-General for Research&Innovation.

Short background: The vital environmental and socio-economic role of European forests is well documented and acknowledged in policy documents of both the European Union and its member states. However, there are critical incoherencies within and between trans-national, national and local forest-related land use policies, the central issue being mismatches between the policies and their implementation at the landscape level. Hence, there is a need to improve existing policy and management approaches capable of delivering a better balance between multiple and conflicting demands for forest goods and services. Diminishing mismatches and providing a new policy and management approach that is sensitive to ecological, socioeconomic and political issues of are the main objectives of INTEGRAL.

More information: Professor Ljusk Ola Eriksson, Ljusk.ola.eriksson@slu.se Tel. +46-90 786 8378, mobil: +46-70 644 0004 Information Officer: Birgit Fischer, Birgit.Fischer@moez.fraunhofer.de Phone: +49 (0) 341 231 039-145

idw :: 04.11.2011