The objectives of the cooperation are to:


I. Combine existing expertise in order to identify and address gaps in the current understanding of the impacts of climate change;

II. Assess the potential of both current and future, state of the art, mitigating actions;

III. Collaborate to create a sustainable network of expertise to address the challenges faced by forests and forestry within and beyond the scope of this project;

IV. Establish significant exchange programmes of graduate students and staff for research and teaching opportunities respectively.


Predicted climatic change will have a major impact on forestry, typically because of the long term nature of forests and their production cycles. The synergies to be potentially capitalised on between the partners of the project, lie not only in their dispersed geographic locations but due to their different climatic regions and thus varying forest management backgrounds and knowledge.

Since South Africa is exposed to a warmer and drier climate than Europe is currently, this could potentially pre-empt scientific studies and investigations in Europe, which will be exposed to these conditions if climate change predictions hold true. The proposed partners are therefore aligned along a natural gradient in temperature and water availability from Germany / Switzerland through Italy to South Africa, creating a unique real world research laboratory.