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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

Case 05 - Regional and national forest management planning: Case French Alps Vercors Mts Range

Please read the OpenNESS case study booklet 'Ecosystem services in operation' for the final outcomes of the cases. More detailed information about the cases and the tools and methods used can be found on Oppla: www.oppla.eu

The Vercors’ Natural Regional Park (VNRP) is an area located at the border between the northern and the southern French Alps. It covers 206,000 hectares of land among which 139,000 hectares are forest lands. The case focuses in particular on 25,000 ha towards the North, known as the “4 Mountains”. The area is part of to the Long Term Ecological Research’ sites (LTER) network and contains areas with different levels of exploitation and conservation. The Forest landscape within this area is dominated by cold Norway spruce forests with broadleaved and mixed forests, encompassing a diversity of forest structures managed mainly for timber production. The heterogeneous mountain topography and a long history of human interventions have led to a diversification of management practices that imprint a forest landscape characterised by a diversified mosaic of stand types embedded in a wide range of natural and semi‐natural habitats. Nowadays artificialization of the landscape matrix is gaining the valleys interlacing forests with the consequent loss of valuable grasslands habitats.

The mains tasks include:

1) Identification of ways to incorporate the notion of ES into regional forest management planning, mainly to balance the loss of grasslands and openland.

2) Analysis of trade‐off/synergy in relation to loss of traditional practices (pastoralism) and tourism (ski resorts); impact of afforestation and suburban sprawl ‐ related services shift.

3) Temporal analysis to understand changes, shifts, pressures and plan trajectories for the whole landscape (scenario analysis: business as usual vs. stakeholders’ perception, visions and needs).

4) Identification of Pressures and conflicts in relation to key regulatory frameworks: Green Infrastructure, Fisheries Policy, Habitats Directive, Birds Directive, Water Framework Directive.

Experience gained in this area is targeted towards improvement of our understanding on how forest biodiversity impacts ecosystem function and the provision of forest ecosystem services. The case‐study leaders S. Luque, F. Archaux and T. Cordonnier are working with stakeholders at different levels of decisions making from the public and private sectors. The participatory work with different stakeholders provide key inputs for scenario analysis to integrate the visions and needs in order to improve the use of forests considering related ecosystem services and trade‐offs. Our ultimately objective is to integrate scenario analysis into planning ecosystem services and supporting the decision making process.