Type of project


Project status


Implementation period


Contract number

Source of funding

Financing amount

Program 2005: 1,2 mln EUR, Program 2006: 1,6 mln EUR


Coordinator / leading department

Project supervisor

Project description

Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community.

Project goals

A Community scheme for broad-based, harmonised and comprehensive, long-term monitoring of the condition of forests, was established to:

  • monitor of air pollution and air pollution effects and of other agents and factors that have an impact on forests, such as biotic and abiotic factors and factors of anthropogenic origin;
  • monitor of forest fires and their causes and effects;
  • prevent forest fire;
  • assess the requirements for and develop the monitoring of soils, carbon sequestration, climate change effects and biodiversity, as well as protective functions of forests;
  • continuously evaluate the efficiency of the monitoring activities in the assessment of the condition of forests and the further development of monitoring activity.

The scheme shall provide reliable and comparable data and information on the condition of and harmful influences on forests at Community level. It shall also help to evaluate ongoing measures to promote conservation and protection of forests for the benefit of sustainable development, with particular emphasis on actions taken to reduce impacts negatively affecting forests. The scheme will take account of, and where appropriate link to, existing and planned national, European and global monitoring mechanisms and will be in line with relevant international agreements.

Characteristics of the project

Forest monitoring, as it is in Poland and Europe presently, origins from the need to observe changes in forest health state that came out at the end of 1970s, due to process of forest decline that has been observed on vast areas in many European countries. In general opinion, the major reason of that phenomenon was high concentration of air pollution.

Because of long-range transboundary air pollution, a problem of its impact on forest has pan-European dimension. The necessity of monitoring of phenomena that occurs in forests, initiated works on Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution that came into force in 1979. Signatory states to that Convention, including Poland, are obliged to reduce air pollutant emission to the atmosphere and to assess impact of air pollution on forests. In 1985, within the Convention, the Inter Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forest (ICP-Forests) was started. In 1986, European Union decrees the Regulation „European Scheme on the Protection of Forest Against Atmospheric Pollution” (Council Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86) to enhance forest protection. The Regulation with later amendments was the first regulation constituting the basis of forest monitoring in Europe. Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community (Forest Focus) that has been effected Poland since the 1st of May 2004 is continuation and expansion of Regulation from 1986. Intention of the Forest Focus Regulation is to extend forest monitoring, which has covered until now mainly forests protection against air pollution and fires, with environmental interactions in the Community forests. The Article 6 of the Regulation allows the Commission and the member states of EU to carry out studies, experiments, demonstration projects or a monitoring test phase to:

(a) enhance the knowledge of the condition of forests and other wooded land as well as the relationship between their condition and natural and anthropogenic stress factors;

(b) assess impacts of climate change on forests and other wooded land, including impacts on their biological diversity and their relationship with carbon sequestration and soil;

(c) taking into account the relevant existing indicators, identify key structural and functional ecosystem elements to be used as indicators for assessing status and trends of biological diversity in forests and the protective functions of forests.

Inventory of soils properties and biodiversity on permanent observation plots Level I in 16 x 16 km grid is carried out in all UE member states within BioSoil demonstrative project. As for now, it is the greatest undertaking connected with soil and biodiversity monitoring that is conducted in whole European Union. Its results will be a ground to develop environmental interactions monitoring programme in European forests.

An essential feature of forest monitoring system in Europe based on Regulations 3528/86 and 2152/03 is its connection with pan-European programme of forest monitoring ICP-Forests. The programme creates methodological basis of system functions and guarantee harmonisation of research methods in all European countries, in member countries of European Union, herein. Poland has participated in ICP-Forests programme since 1989 using methodological programme recommendations and sending collected data to the coordination centre. Implementation of Forest Focus Regulation is in a high rate continuation and extension of functioning in Poland forest monitoring within ICP-Forests programme.

Forest Focus Programme allows the Member States to conduct research on forest fires dynamic, its reasons, as well as on their impact on forests. Those studies supplement activities and means concerning forest fires according to Decision 1999/847/WE, Regulation (EC) no 1257/1999 and Regulation (EEC) no 1615/89.

The Programme continues and still develops the information system to collect comparable date on forest fires on Community level (Forest Fire Information System), using achievements of Regulation (EEC) no 2158/92.

Member States implement forest monitoring programme through national programmes those are approved by European Commission. In 2004, Poland submitted national programme of forest monitoring for years 2004-2006 and it was accepted by the Commission. It allows – for observation plots in 16 x 16 km grid – to obtain refinancing of claimed costs in amount of up to 50% for routine works carried on in plots grid of forest monitoring and up to 70% for pilot projects. In Polish conditions, denser grid of observational plots in 8 x 8 km is advisable to obtain diverse territorially view of forest health state.

Scope of IBL participation

IBL’s responsibilities in the Forest Focus Programme

System of forest monitoring in Poland is implemented in close connection with pan-European programme of forest monitoring ICP-Forests and European Union Regulation Forest Focus. Poland has participated in ICP-Forests programme since 1989 using methodological programme recommendations and sending collected data to the coordination centre, that are put in annual reports on state of forests in Europe.

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The Forest Focus Programme on forest fires prevention covers primarily the forests which are administered by the ‘State Forests’ National Forest Holding, that occupy 78.4% forest area surface, and the National Parks, which occupy 2% forest area surface. Thus, more than 80% of all the forest in Poland those are subject to planned prevention of forest fires is covered by the Programme. In other forests which are owned mainly by natural persons no planned prevention of forest fires is carried out. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of those forests, in particular, private adjacent to the state-owned-forests, are monitored by the State Forests National Forest Holding, who participates also to extinguishing actions in case when a fire occurs there.

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Project contractors

Contact persons in the Forest Research Institute


Department of Forest Management Planning and Monitoring
MSc Jerzy Wawrzoniak, Eng.
tel. + 48 22 7150 657
fax. + 48 22 7200 397

Department of Forest Protection
Dr Marek Dobrowolski, Eng.
MSc Sławomir Ślusarski, Eng.
tel. + 48 22 7153 831
fax. + 48 22 7153 557

Department of Forest Pathology
Dr Paweł Lech, Eng.
tel. + 48 22 7150 825
fax. + 48 22 7150 558


Department of Forest Site Science
Dr Józef Wójcik, Eng. (BioSoil Soil)
tel. + 48 22 7150 510
Dr Janusz Czerepko, Eng. (BioSoil Biodiversity)
tel. + 48 22 7150 538
fax. + 48 22 7150 539


Independent Forest Fire Protection Laboratory
Dr Barbara Ubysz, Eng.
Dr Józef Piwnicki, Eng.
Dr Ryszard Szczygieł, Eng.
tel. + 48 22 7150 430
fax. + 48 22 7150 422


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