Employment of Scenario Planning in Armenia’s Forest Management
Opportunities to employ scenario planning in Armenia’s forest management under changing climate conditions were considered during the seminar organised on October 17, 2012 in the scope the UNDP supported and GEF funded “Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts in Mountain Forest Ecosystems of Armenia” Project implementation.
Representatives of Project stakeholders and partner organisations discussed the use of hydro-meteorological observation data and forecasts in forest management and planning under changing climate conditions based on a study of the current system of hydro-meteorological observations as well as a survey on weather data/forecast demand and supply conducted in the Syunik region, which were presented at the seminar. It was highlighted that the current system of providing weather data and forecasts is not sufficient to meet the needs of forest managers. The need to significantly improve the mid-term forecast and early warning system was stressed.
The seminar participants considered the presented study on meteorological vulnerability of the Syunik region as well as observed trends and detailed forecast of climate change developed for the Syunik marz. Climate change is already affecting forest ecosystems and will likely lead to significant changes related to forest regeneration and intensification of disturbances in forest ecosystems. The urgent need to consider climate change factors in forest management and planning was highlighted.
Furthermore, the employment of forest models in forest management in Armenia under changing climate conditions as decision support tool was discussed. Participants considered different groups of forest models such as empirical, process-based, hybrid and forest gap models. The presented models were selected based on (i) model applicability under changing environmental conditions, (ii) model applications in analysis of forest vulnerability under climate change and in practical forest management to identify adaptive forest management measures, (iiI) geographic range, site qualities and forest types covered by the model, (iv) tree species for which the model has been parameterized, and (v) specific issues originally targeted by the models. It was highlighted that the introduction of forest models requires an improved forest inventory system. Possibility to apply specific forest models over implementation of an upcoming UNDP project was considered. Other organisations present in Armenia are also developing forest simulation models. Educational institutions represented at the seminar indicated interest in presenting the opportunities provided by modeling approaches also to forestry students.
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