What is Climate-Smart Forestry? A definition from a multinational collaborative process focused on mountain regions of Europe

Euan Bowditch, Giovanni Santopouli, Franz Binder, Miren Del Rio, Nicola La Porta, Tatiana Kluvankova, Jerzy Linsinki, Renzo Motta, Maciej Pach, Pietro Panzacchi, Hans Pretzsch, Christian Temperli, Gustino Tonon, Melanie Smith, Violetta Velikova, Andrew Weatherall, Roberto Tognetti

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forests in response to climate change. Specific CSF strategies are viewed as a way forward for developing suitable management responses and enhancing the provision of ecosystem services. However, there is currently a lack of comprehensive and cohesive assessment to implement CSF. This paper describes the step-by-step process that developed a comprehensive and shared definition of CSF, and the process for selecting indicators that assess the “climate-smartness” of forest management. Adaptation, mitigation and social dimensions are the core focus of the CSF definition, which recognises the need to integrate and avoid development of these aspects in isolation. An iterative participatory process was used with a range of experts in forest-related fields from the CLIMO
project, this was subsequently supported by a network analysis to identify sustainable forest management indicators important to CSF. The definition developed here, is an important first step in to promote CSF that will aid practice in the forestry sector. It can be used as a template across Europe, tailored to local contexts. Further work communicating CSF to practitioners and policy-makers will create a CSF practice and culture that will help to safeguard future forest economies and communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101113
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEcosystem Services
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2020



  • Sustainable forest management
  • Adaptation
  • Mitigation
  • Social dimensions of climate change
  • Bioeconomy
  • Indicator
  • Climate-smart

Cite this

Bowditch, E., Santopouli, G., Binder, F., Del Rio, M., La Porta, N., Kluvankova, T., Linsinki, J., Motta, R., Pach, M., Panzacchi, P., Pretzsch, H., Temperli, C., Tonon, G., Smith, M., Velikova, V., Weatherall, A., & Tognetti, R. (2020). What is Climate-Smart Forestry? A definition from a multinational collaborative process focused on mountain regions of Europe. Ecosystem Services, 43, 1-13. [101113]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101113