The actions of the LIFEGENMON project are shown in the interactive form below:
The project LIFEGENMON has started with with a highly intense Preparatory action in order to detailise the technical organisation of the project and overview the concepts of genetic monitoring that are going to be used during and after the project. The Preparatory actions have started at the beginning of the project and will last until June 2015. They are complementing the first phase of the Management actions (E) and preparing background information for the Implementation actions. All partner institutions are participating in the preparatory action.
Action leader: Barbara Fussi (ASP)
During the action A1: “Screening”, the project team is going to:
- Define national focal points (NFP)
- Compile national policies and European regulations and any other relevant documents at the European and national scale
- Collect information on existing plots within the transect, their characteristics, data collection per plot, management, financing schemes, and permanence
- Prepare a pilot overview of existing policies and sites
As part of the action A2, the project team is going to:
- Compile an overview of definitions and concepts in genetic monitoring
- Compile an overview of possible vegetation / ecological zones to be applied and considered in the transect
Compile an overview of considerations regarding the choice of tree species for preparation of genetic monitoring criteria
- Output: prepare an overview of definitions and concepts
To complement the Initial Phase of the Management actions, the project team will:
- Refine the Technical coordination of the project and standardize management according to LIFE+ requirements
- Establish the Advisory Board based on consultation with stakeholders in three countries (Greece, Germany, Slovenia)
- Initialize a database of experts, stakeholders and end-users at a national and international level
- Prepare a report about the redefined Action plan.
The Implementation actions are the largest part of the LIFEGENMON project. The project team will define optimal criteria and indicators for forest genetic monitoring and prepare guidelines, management strategies and policy guidelines for a European forest genetic monitoring system.
Action leaders: F.A. Aravanopoulos (FGL-AUTH), M. Konnert (ASP), H. Kraigher & M. Westergren (SFI)
The selection of indicators and verifiers will be one of the most important tasks within the LIFEGENMON project. It will fundamentally contribute to the development of a Pan-European genetic monitoring system. The B1 action will entail field measurements, laboratory work and data evaluation in order to define realistic and applicable indicators and verifiers for this criterion. These will form the basis for genetic monitoring activities and will be implemented into the guidelines developed in B2.
The aims of this action are:
- To select and test suitable indicators and their verifiers for genetic monitoring
- To perform a cost-evaluation of indicators and their verifiers that would lead to their valorisation
- To select indicators and their verifiers based on the optimal combination of costs incurred and information obtained for different levels of monitoring
During genetic monitoring the selection of suitable tree species is crucial. Priority shall be given to key species of ecological and economic importance. The monitoring areas will mainly be based on environmental/biogeographic zones and existing genetic data. The definition of monitoring areas will be done for seven tree species: Fagus sylvatica, Populus nigra, Fraxinus excelsior, Abies alba/Abies borisii-regis complex, Pinus nigra, Prunus avium, Quercus petraea/robur complex. Maps will be produced to show the delineation of the genetic monitoring areas for these species. This exercise will be carried out in a transect from Germany to Greece.
Action leader: F.A. Aravanopoulos (FGL-AUTH)
- To establish guidelines and strategies for a European forest genetic monitoring system;
- To prepare a stepwise genetic monitoring concept with different intensity levels of observation including related cost assessment;
- To survey the possibilities of data inclusion from existing long-term monitoring activities into the new genetic monitoring concept and to explore inclusion of genetic monitoring into preexisting monitoring sites;
- To derive consequences and guiding principles for sustainable forest management based on the results of genetic monitoring.
Strategies and guidelines for a European forest genetic monitoring system will be established to assist the dynamic conservation of long term adaptability of forest ecosystems. The main emphasis is on the European scope, the indicative value and cost-effectiveness. The use of results from genetic monitoring for sustainable management will be demonstrated. As a starting point, three different scenarios proposed by the EUFORGEN Working Group on genetic monitoring will be used. These comprise basic, standard and state of the art options mainly referring to field work, standard molecular assessments and next-generation sequencing methods, respectively. In response to the urgent need of a pan-European genetic monitoring system we will work with the partner countries to complement the NW-SE transect including a wide variety of partners on international, regional, national and local level. Development of a Manual for forest genetic monitoring will be the main result, and trainings for forestry sector officers will ensure long-term implementation of the monitoring.
Action leader: M. Konnert (ASP)
- Formation of an action plan on the procedures needed to obtain a discussion line with policy makers.
- Preparation of professional background documents to be provided to the national and European policy makers in order to harmonize national regulations in view of a future European legislation, and to support preparation of future strategies for protection of forests, for halting biodiversity loss and for support of socio-demographic trends in rural environments.
The purpose LIFEGENMON project is neither to go into acceptance, nor promise new legislation, but to prepare necessary background professional information for preparation of new legislative proposals or future national and EU strategies. The background information for the preparation of the legislation on genetic monitoring shall provide an added value to existing legislation, provide rationale for possible amendments or even new legislation.
Action leaders: H. Kraigher & M. Westergren (SFI)
The monitoring will be divided into two actions with distinct but inter-related aims:
- Monitoring of technical effectiveness of the project actions, which will control the timing, extent and quality of implemented activities and their results.
- Monitoring the outreach of project actions and assessment of their impact on the key stakeholders and target audience (general public, experts, policy-makers) in terms of raised awareness, expansion of knowledge base, better access to information etc.
Action leaders: V. Vodlan (CNVOS)
Monitoring of technical effectiveness of the project actions will measure and document the effectiveness of the project actions as compared to the initial situation, objectives and expected results. It will evaluate the progress against project milestones and deliverables.
Monitoring of the impact of the project actions – its outreach and relevance for target audience and stakeholders – will be supported by the Advisory board (gathering selected international experts from the National Focal Points, national ministries of partner countries and experts from EUFORGEN programme) to warrant an independent analysis of project development and impact.
The outreach of project actions and its impact on the target audience and stakeholders will be assessed against: the number and structure of participants in project activities, number of events organised for different target audiences and stakeholders, distribution of information targeted to general public and expert audience, number of visitors to project web-site and following in social media, information about the project and its results published in the media, intensity and quality of collaborations, contacts or exchange established with stakeholders, extent of dissemination of information about the project and its results through stakeholders’ networks, increased awareness about the need for FGM among key stakeholders.
The outreach of the project actions will be assessed through: participants lists, reports of events, web-site and social media statistics, number of copies of informational and other material disseminated, the impact of the actions will be assessed on the basis of: short surveys for gathering feedback from event participants, on-line polls to gather opinion of general public and questionnaires and targeted interviews to gather feedback from stakeholders.
Dissemination strategy is focused on promotion of knowledge on forests, forestry, forest genetics and climate change. The main activities will take place in the three project countries and shall be communicated within all European countries from Germany to Greece.
The strategy is twofold:
- Raising of general awareness of the roles of forests in a healthy environment, conservation of biodiversity and providing a number of ecosystem services,
- Raising the understanding of different publics, and especially different stakeholders and policy makers important for conservation and utilization of long-term adaptability potential of forest tree populations to withstand climate change and global challenges.
Action leader: K. Kavčič Sonnenschein (SFI)
The aim of the general dissemination of LIFEGENMON project is to raise the general awareness of the roles of forests in a healthy environment, conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services and communicate these topics as broadly as possible. Target groups include almost all aspects of the population: kindergarten children, pupils in primary and secondary schools, students at universities, socially active groups, media …
Dissemination activities will introduce knowledge through utilization of all senses (listening, watching, touching, smelling, as well as through personal experience on monitoring plots in the forest). Children, as well as their parents, will be addressed by children’s books on forest, forestry, forest genetic resources, and through selected modern educational techniques. For primary and secondary schools, teaching materials for teachers will be developed to spread knowledge to pupils. Pupils will use the new knowledge on workshops to create products to be presented and rewarded annually. The exhibitions will be presented to the parents, media and other stakeholders in TV reports, newspaper articles and social media coverage. A computer game exploring (genetic) diversity of forests will be prepared, and family activities, such as forest at night, festival of forest fairies, organized. A summer school will be organised for students. The general dissemination will use the advantages of the e-media. Printed material will be published for specific groups, general project information will be printed in newsletters, general pamphlets and short project reports.
Target dissemination is focused on policy makers and groups connected to forest, nature and climate change. The target dissemination will raise the awareness of the fact that genetic diversity is an integral component of biodiversity and long term adaptive potential of ecosystems. The desired objectives of target dissemination of the project will be focused on stakeholders, special groups such as policy makers, forest managers, representatives of the governance bodies and others.
The dissemination activities for groups connected to forest/nature and climate change include active stakeholder participation through workshops organised by the project or attendance on meetings with participation of the project staff. The focus of dissemination activities for these groups is transfer of knowledge on forest genetic resources and the results of the project.
The main communication activities will take place in the countries involved in the project: Greece, Germany and Slovenia. Project partners will communicate with the whole area of South European countries from Germany to Greece. Particular attention will be given to communication of project objectives and deliverables at the EU level.
In target dissemination the following communication tolls will be applied: home page – restricted part, workshops on portal establishing activities, internal workshops for specialists doing forest inventory, internal workshops for Forest Owners, Users of Forest Reproductive Material, Tree dealers, Nurseries, Seed dealers, silvicultures and forest managers, internal workshop for scientists from forest management and silviculture forest genetics, participation on management/planning meeting of forest services and officers involved in management and planning forest services, compilation of scientific publication in scientific papers, Project Report with technical information, the guidelines for selection for/and use of tree spices provenance, leaflets for promotion legislative documents processed within the project on EU level.
Action leader: H. Kraigher (SFI) – Project Coordinator
An operational Advisory Board has been formed with representatives of important national and international stakeholders from the three participating countries, the countries from the transect across the SE Europe and from the EUFORGEN programme to organise an efficient networking with other relevant LIFE+ projects, other EU and regional projects, and the EU programmes on forest genetic resources, monitoring and conservation of biodiversity at different levels.
The transnational dimension of the project will be enhanced by participation of experts, as National Focal Points, from the countries in a transect from Bavaria to Greece. They shall provide information on forestry policies and the state of forest genetic resources in their countries, potentially also in their neighboring countries. They shall have (and/or provide) access to any permanent sites and information in their countries and shall facilitate interactions with policy makers within their territories. Also, a number of stakeholders and policy makers from the three participating countries will be consulted, and participation of ministry or forestry directorates/ministries/decentralized ministry units representatives is expected.
Coordinating the participants is crucial to reach the LIFEGENMON goals. The project management will be oriented towards an optimal rate result/effort to maximise the efficient use of human and financial resources and guarantee the quality of results. The day-to-day management will be conducted at two levels, namely the activity and the overall project management. The figure illustrates the tools, roles and policy in management, the roles of actors intervening in the management and their interrelations.
The final report will include a chapter on the communication plan for the period after the end of the LIFEGENMON project. The After-LIFE Communication Plan shall target the national, regional and the European scales. The objective is to set out the dissemination and communication activities after the end of the project. The plan shall consider extended dissemination of project results, how shall the guidelines be disseminated, translated into other national languages, how shall the trainings in other countries for better understanding of the manual for forest genetic management be organized, how will the indicators be upgraded if the new knowledge develops, how shall the Decision support system be upgraded if the costs per any level of monitoring, and the budget available for FGM changes. Furthermore the plan shall include the perspective of how to maintain and update the project web-site after the project finishes. The project shall communicate its results through technical reports, a number of other published materials, in guidelines for forestry experts and for forestry policy makers, but also through scientific reports.
An independent auditor will be nominated by SFI to verify final financial statement provided to the European Commision within three months after the end of the project. The independent auditors to verify the associated beneficiaries statements shall be from these beneficiary’s country of origin. All partners will be included.
The project team will be formed of 6 project partners from 3 countries: Germany, Greece and Slovenia.
The coordinating partner is Slovenian Forestry Institute, leading the actions Policy guidelines (B3), Dissemination (D) and Project management (E), and participating in all other actions, except Monitoring (C).
The second partner from Slovenia, Slovenia Forest Service, will participate with two forest experts contributing to all actions, except Monitoring (C), predominantly in providing forest inventories data, site determination and measurements, help in dissemination, contributions to policy guidelines and help in dissemination activities.
The third partner from Slovenia is Center nevladnih organizacij osrednje Slovenije, who will lead and be the sole participant in action Monitoring (C), and participate as an adviser in Dissemination (D).
Two associated beneficiaries are from Greece. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will be leading Preparatory actions (A) and Defining of Optimal Criteria and Indicators (B1), and actively participate in all other actions except C. General directorate of Forests and Agricultural Affairs – Decentralized Administration of Macedonia – Thrace will participate in all actions except C, and shall provide help especially in implementation actions on policy guidelines and in both dissemination actions.
Bavarian Office for Forest Seeding and Planting from Bavaria, Germany, will be leading the implementation action Preparation of guidelines and management strategies (B2) and actively participate in all other actions except C.
Learn more about LIFEGENMON Partners and people here.
Dr Marjana Westergren recording statement for #Forests and #climatechange film on the importance of #forest #genetic #diversity and its #monitoring for future of forests. At @LIFEGENMON forest genetic monitoring plot in Dvor, Slovenia.