Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde

ProForPES - Promoting effective forest PES through the EU financial and state aid programs



Duration: 36 months (01/01/2023 ‚Äď 31/12/2026)

Research Team: Prof. Dr. Carsten Mann, Gino Garcia

Brief description: PES schemes are considered a promising economic instrument for diversifying income to forest owners and rural communities, while supporting biodiversity and climate mitigation. However, benefits from the provision of ecosystem services are rarely rewarded and the application is often limited to small scale, often within pilot-stage initiatives. Building from the experiences of key Forest PES Horizon projects (SINCERE, InnoForESt, and Nobel) the LIFE ProForPES project aims at collecting, synthesising and integrating the knowledge and the know-how already present at the national and EU level on PES and PES-like schemes. Weaknesses and strengths of the selected cases will be investigated through an assessment framework that will be developed for the project’s aim. Secondly, the project will investigate the readiness and possibilities to integrate PES and PES-like within the EU financial program and the state aid framework through an in-depth institutional analysis of the existing gaps and potentialities present within the two frameworks. The analysis of the current policy and financial EU programs flanked by a robust consultation process with the key stakeholders will provide the knowledge needed to design appropriate policy and business recommendations regarding PES and PES-like schemes integration and potentiality, which will ultimately contribute to sustainable forest ecosystem services provision in Europe and to achieve key targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

The LIFE ProForPES will ensure high level results and impacts through a strong EU-wide partnership, involving the European Forest Institute as EU research network, three universities with specific background on the topic, and PES implementers such as Etifor. The project has the relevant support from EU and national forest owners and protected areas associations such as the Ministry of Agricultural, Forest and Food Policies, FSC Italy, CEPF, and EUSTAFOR.



HNEE is responsible for assessing the gaps and potentials for the integration of PES in EU financial programs and strategies for FES provision. This will be done through a scoping study of Europe's institutional landscape, qualitative expert interviews with policy makers and further key stakeholders, and a scenario-based policy assessment process.