Climate change will not stop at borders of states or the limits of accountability of individual departments. It will inevitably have a marked ecological impact on the status of the main forest species in the NWE-region and threaten the multiple benefits provided by forests.

Adapting to climate change is thus a major tomorrows challenge and a transnational task of tomorrow and already today. Effective strategies and plans to support forest biodiversity and the last close-to-nature vegetation spaces in North-West-Europe are required. But forestry management also has to take the valued commercial, recreational and protective functions of forests into account. Furthermore the impacts on our water resources by climate change are already visible, and keeping in mind the fact that water management is a transnational task and itself can have severe effects on forest management and vice versa. This has been shown impressively in the INTERREG III B-project WaReLa.

The involvement of transnational partners from all sectors – administrations, decision makers, stakeholders, and research – with different cultural and governmental backgrounds will assure that all the aspects will be dealt with in a balanced way. The wide variety of expertise will guarantee a dynamic and workable framework adaptable to all North-West-European conditions. Furthermore the partners as key players themselves will create awareness and learning spaces on the topics of ForeStClim within their own institutional environment.

The forestry management strategies will be tailored to each partner region. Nonetheless, this specific regional touch will weld together in an overall framework that will be multifunctional and flexible in order to fulfil the responsibility for forests and for the sustainable management of natural resources and natural risks in Europe. The transnational and regional optimization models will support planners and decision makers in the development and assessment of strategies. By this it is possible to develop a joint strategy with a focus on economical and ecological aspects depending upon regional climates, site conditions and overall development.

For all of these reasons the framework and knowledge that the ForeStClim-partners bring will greatly enhance the development of transnational environmental policy (MCPFE, EU Forestry Strategy, INSPIRE; Natura 2000, WFD, EU Assessment and Management of Floods), promote adaptation to climate change on an international level (UNFCCC, ECCP) and enforce a sustainable policy on forest and risk management (MCPFE, EU Forest Action Plan, WBCSD -World Business Council for Sustainable Development-, Lisbon and Gothenburg strategy) within each partner region.