Summary on project’s progress – June 2018

During its three years of implementation, the project has progressed significantly and has delivered several outputs (including some important policy implications).

The needs assessment identified the situation of the Forest Community (FC), as regards their knowledge and skills in undertaking forest management, and as regards available and desired tools and information. This assessment was based on the analysis of 268 questionnaires (forest managers and other stakeholders). Complementary to this quantitative research, to help assess the baseline situation, 43 semi-structured interviews and 14 focus groups have been performed (qualitative research) among the members of the FC. The findings provided input, among others, to the design of the Collaboration Platform for Forests (CPF) and the Communication Strategy which have been also released.

The content development for: a) the CPF, b) the electronic application for smartphones and tablets (e-App) and c) the training seminars, is an on-going activity. The project team constantly gathers, organises and elaborates data (such as policy documents, guidelines, technical reports, scientific publications, geospatial data, maps, photographs, projects etc.). Regarding the production of both the CPF and the e-App (e-book “The Forests of Greece” included), a joint call for tenders is going to be published soon. In what concerns capacity building actions, the organisation of the training seminars on the five project topics is going to start in 2018.

The call for tenders for the monitoring of the project’s socio-economic impact has been published at the project’s website.

Regarding dissemination actions, the project website has been launched at the beginning of the project and has already received more than 24.000 visits from about 9.000 unique visitors. Also, seven newsletters (Gr and En) comprising news of the project and other information material have been sent to some 600 recipients each. The project has its own Facebook page, Twitter and ResearchGate account and the project’s Communication Team is continuously updating and uploading website and social media content. LIFE ForestLife has a steady presence on Mass Media (articles in press and on the web, press releases), it has participated in 15 meetings/events in Greece and abroad, and has exchanged information with relevant projects and organisations in the framework of networking activities. The production of the project printed material by the Directorate General for Forests and Forest Environment is underway.

The project has contributed significantly, through its representatives from both beneficiaries, in the two very important instruments for policy making in the fields of forest conservation and management, namely the Working Groups for the drafting of: a) the National Strategy for Forests and b) the New Standards on drafting Forest Management Plans.