Climate smart forestry

Probos promotes the concept of ‘Climate Smart Forestry’ (CSF). CSF is a way to use forests for climate mitigation (capturing CO2) and prepare them for climate adaptation (resilience against climate change).

Climate mitigation and climate adaptation

Forests capture CO2 in their living biomass and soil. In addition, carbon is stored in harvested forest products. Therefore, forests can play a substantial role in mitigating climate change. At the same time, they must adapt to its effects. Only if they are resilient enough to cope with evolving conditions – drier summers, increased risks of forest fires, storms, pests and diseases caused by climate change – can they continue to be a substantial CO2 sink.

Aspects of Climate Smart Forestry

CSF aims to:

  • optimizing tree growth and forest growing stock
  • limit the negative effects of diseases, pests, storms and forest fires
  • produce high-end forest products which act as a carbon sink
  • preserve (soil) carbon
  • preserve forest cover
  • preserve drought stress

New forests

CSF is not just about optimising the management of existing forests. It also encourages creation of new forests as means of climate mitigation through:

  • afforestation
  • agroforestry
  • planting trees and creating small woodlands, hedges, etc

Probos on Climate Smart Forestry

Probos develops practical tools and provides knowledge on CSF. We also offer insights into its costs and benefits for forest managers and policy makers.

Examples of our CSF activities include:

  • development of an online CSF toolbox
  • undertaking a pilot project to promote agroforestry on free range chicken farms
  • development of climate smart regeneration options for forest stands affected by ash dieback
  • innovative afforestation projects, for instance on saline land and in association with architects and landscape designers
  • research into high-end applications for native tree species