Forests cover more than 30% of the Italian territory. They represent a large sustainable economic resource and they offer invaluable ecosystem services, such as protecting mountain region from landslides, preserving biodiversity, stocking carbon dioxide.

In the last decades, forest growth and health has been affected by global changes, such as increasing temperature, changing precipitation regimes, high level of atmospheric ozone concentration and of nitrogen deposition. Such changes and their effects on forest ecosystem need to be monitored to allow an informed management.

For this reason, since 1997 the National Forest Corps coordinates monitoring networks covering Italian forests. LIFE SMART4Action intends to redesign forest monitoring and its information and reporting system, in order to ensure financial sustainability to forest monitoring, despite budget restrictions, whilst maintaining scientific reliability.

The project has two main goals: (i) design a new system to reduce the current annual costs by 30%, while recognizing the importance of national and regional statistics on key variables linked to sustainable forest management and ecosystem services; and (ii) to improve communication with, and data transfer to, relevant stakeholders and citizens through a participatory process.

Report 2016: Report on time trends and spatial patterns of ecosystem chemistry

LIFE13 ENV/IT/000813 Smart4Action Layman's Report (2018)