ProForPES logo

Acronym: ProForPES

Title: Promoting effective forest PES through the EU financial and state aid programs


Duration: 36 months (01/01/2023 – 31/21/2026)

Coordinator: TESAF

Total Budget: €  554.001,06

Total EU Contribution: € 498.600,93

TESAF Budget: €  154 500.51 (EU Contribution € 139 050.45)

Responsible Scientific Officer/Investigator: Paola Gatto

Research Team: Paola Gatto, Giulia Corradini

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. Weakness 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.


Kick-off meeting

On 30 and 31 January 2023, the first meeting of the LIFE ProForPes project was held.

Representatives from the Universities UNIPD (Italy), BOKU (Austria), HNEE (Germany), the European Forest Institute (Finland) and ETIFOR srl (Italy) met in Padua to launch the new project, which aims to collect, synthesize and integrate knowledge on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) in forests, aiming at fostering their inclusion in the EU funding frameworks.

During the meeting, the consortium was able to meet with representatives of the EU Directorates-General for Environment, Climate, Agriculture and Competition. The meeting was also an opportunity to view the PES system implemented in the Brenta River basin.

Kick-off meeting photo 1

Kick-off meeting photo 2

Kick-off meeting photo 3