Work Packages & Research

SUPERB is structured in nine Work Packages coordinated by some of the leading forest restoration researchers, practitioners and institutions in Europe.

Here you can find more details on the general and specific objectives of each Work Package.

Group trees Illustration

WP1 – Project management

Lead: Elisabeth Schatzdorfer (née Pötzelsberger), European Forest Institute (EFI)

The main objective of WP1 is to provide the structure and conditions for the successful implementation and completion of SUPERB, as well as secure impact on the ground and upscaling. The more specific objectives are to:

  1. Implement and maintain efficient management structures and procedures for successfully steering the project at strategic and operational levels. Maintain continuous dialogue with stakeholders and the wider public and collaboration with other Green Deal call projects.
  2. Monitor progress and control the quality and ethics of SUPERB along the work plan and its milestones and deliverables, manage risks, correct course, anticipate and resolve challenges and ensure timely and precise financial and innovation reporting.
  3. Enable effective communication and decision-making within the consortium, based on a constructive working environment, as well as to ensure the sustainability of upscaling of restoration and project outcomes in the long term.

WP2 – Stakeholder engagement, communication and outreach

Lead: Nina Horstman, Prospex Institute

The goals of this WP are to:

  1. Develop a comprehensive mapping and analysis of stakeholders on all relevant levels (local, regional, national and European) and an online mapping of the demo sites to support effective stake-holder engagement and communication;
  2. Contribute to carving out pathways to successful restoration through engaging key stakeholders across Europe in dedicated restoration pathfinders;
  3. Enable demo areas to successfully engage local stakeholders through co-creating engagement strategies, supporting their implementation by coordinating and monitoring the engagement process, and ensuring follow-through of their input;
  4. Develop a comprehensive dissemination, exploitation and communication strategy that secures outreach to all target groups to stimulate ecological, political, economic & social paradigm shifts; and
  5. Facilitate effective stakeholder communication to ensure long-term impacts and transformation for forest restoration at local, regional, national and European levels.

WP3 – Practical knowledge

Lead: Iciar Alberdi, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

The objective of this WP is to implement a practical knowledge base on restoration and adaptation activities, providing insights into the ecological, social, economic and political factors for successful forest restoration activities in Europe.

This relevant information for practitioners, landowners, financiers, policy and decision makers will be collated through an online questionnaire to build a comprehensive restoration experience database, the identification of relevant past and ongoing restoration and adaptation activities and national narratives:

  1. The online questionnaire will be made available in different EU languages and linked with the RESTOR platform;
  2. Relevant restoration and adaptation activities supported by EU funding programmes (e.g., ERDF, LIFE, INTERREG, SUDOE, Operational groups) and other transnational restoration initiatives will be identified, together with the compilation of unpublished information and regional and local knowledge; and
  3. An overview of past and ongoing restoration actions in EU countries will be provided by national experts, who will describe the historical evolution of forest restoration as well as the major decisions and factors that have shaped it.

The long-term availability of the knowledge base will be ensured through the integration of the outputs into the SUPERB Gateway (WP8).

Research areas: Forest restoration, forest adaptation, dorest restoration narratives, historical evolution of forest restoration

WP4 – The economics and innovative sustainable financing of restoration

University Copenhagen
Lead: Thomas Lundhede, University of Copenhagen

This work package aims at facilitating increased and more effective sustainable financing of cost-effective forest restoration actions through mapping current financing mechanism and understanding stakeholders’ (land owners, mediating and financing agents) motivations for engaging in financing of forest restoration. The objectives are to:

  1. Deliver state-of-the-art insights into the role of sustainable finance of restoration in Europe;
  2. Transform these insights into a set of practice- and action-oriented lessons-learned, criteria and guidelines for restoration agents;
  3. Anchor findings and innovations for sustainable financing in major stakeholder groups; and
  4. Disseminate lessons-learned widely to stakeholders and for integration in SUPERB’s Marketplace (WP8).

Research areas: Forest economics, preference elicitation, valuation techniques, biodiversity finance, biodiversity markets, contract theory

WP5 – Governance and Society

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL
Lead: Marcel Hunziker, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)

This WP will advance forest restoration by ensuring that policy and societal demands are known and considered in practice. Objectives are to:

  1. Assess the coherence of EU and (sub-)national policy networks governing restoration across policy sectors, incl. assessment and validation by policy makers and stakeholders;
  2. Assess local stakeholder demands and conflicts surrounding the demos, and involve them in exploring governance solutions; and
  3. Map the demands of ecosystem services by landowners, managers, and community/society, on a local/demos and European scale, and provide a comprehensive tool for socio-cultural monitoring and governance of restoration projects that can be utilised in all large-scale European restoration projects.

Research areas:

  • Forest-governance research from local & regional to (sub-)national and international level, in Europe and beyond
  • Forest-preference research including interviews and surveys on regional and multi-national level in Europe

WP6 – Biodiversity and ecosystem management

Uni Freiburg
Lead: Jürgen Bauhus, University of Freiburg

WP6 aims to provide the evidence base and best-practice guidelines for effective and successful implementation and monitoring of forest restoration. Specific objectives are to:

  1. Develop a knowledge base of scientific evidence on best practices for restoration to fulfill knowledge gaps jointly identified with stakeholders;
  2. Develop a tree-species and seed provenance recommendation system for restoration, and guidelines for adequate regeneration techniques;
  3. Develop cost-efficient systems of monitoring and reporting biodiversity and ecosystem services in response to restoration, at different spatial scales;
  4. Study the effects of restoration on soil carbon and soil properties, both by comparing degraded, reference, and restored conditions through sampling and analyses, and paralelly, through a literature meta-analysis; and
  5. Develop a system for projecting biodiversity and ecosystem services at the landscape scale, based on inventories and monitoring data from focal ecosystems.

Research areas: Forest restoration, silviculture, forest ecology, forest genetics, soil science, remote sensing, biodiversity monitoring, forest resources analyses, carbon sequestration

WP7 – Large-scale demonstrators

Lead: Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Wageningen University & Research

The overall objective of WP7 is to implement and test restoration measures in 12 large-scale forest-landscape demo areas that represent the variety of European restoration challenges. Furthermore, the basis will be laid for monitoring and further upscaling while involving landowners, communities, and investors.

The demos have developed elaborated restoration work plans, including background information of the areas and information on restoration measures that will actually be conducted in these areas. This is the basis for following the restoration over time and to assess the success of a variety of measures in different situations across Europe in the future. To draw any conclusions on restoration success also initial assessments will be carried out within the areas that will be restored. After the restoration is carried out, the initial success will be monitored.

While 4 years is too short of a time period to draw conclusions on the overall restoration success or failure, within this work package the research is focused on the initial success. The purpose of the initial forest inventory is to describe the state of the forest trees and optionally herb layer and dead wood to be able to assess future effects (success and failures) of the measures on the biodiversity and the functioning of the forest.

The demos are central for the research in other work packages as well. The demo locations are used for initial assessment and chronosequence monitoring. The collected data will subsequently be used to provide evidence-based and best-practice guidelines for restoration success. We will project the effects of restoration activities on biodiversity and ecosystem services in order to develop scalability plans and inform potential investors. We will adapt existing forest resource models to perform spatial modelling of future biomass carbon, dead wood, forest structure, tree species diversity, available wood assortments and soil carbon. The models will be calibrated using demo-sites data and run for three decades.

The demos are also central in developing the stakeholder engagement strategies. This includes mapping the stakeholders and organising stakeholder workshops which will result in insights on public interests, motives, concerns, conflicts, actors and intermediaries associated with the demos.

Summary of Sub-objectives of this WP:

  1. Develop 12 elaborated restoration work plans;
  2. Involve communities (WP2), landowners, stakeholders, and private funders;
  3. Carry out initial situation assessments and prepare restoration work (based on functional analyses of WP6, monitoring plans, economics (WP4) and governance (WP5) for the ca. 100-1,000 ha of restoration directly implemented in each demo;
  4. Carry out the restoration, monitor initial success and draw initial lessons-learned; and
  5. Develop the long-term maintenance of the demos and quantify projected goods and services laying the basis for scalability plans (WP8).

WP8 – Further Upscaling

Lead: Jo O’Hara, European Forest Institute (EFI)

Work Package 8 enables concurrent action by all relevant restoration agents beyond the demos through:

  1. Developing and applying best-practice models for scalability plans with the demo areas;
  2. Developing and launching the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Gateway as the reference place for forest restoration delivering agents; and
  3. Engaging stakeholder networks and establishing new stakeholder communities for upscaling.

WP9 – Ethics requirements

Lead: European Forest Institute (EFI)

This work package sets out the ethics requirements that the project must comply with.