Memorandum of understanding

The main objective is to harmonise the wide-range of Protected Forest Area catgories used in European countries within the context of existing international systems of protected areas.


To enhance the quality and clarity of information on PFAs at both the national and the European level, to allow comparison of data and information on PFAs and serve as a basis for international data collection.

To compile information on the historical background and restrictions applied to different national PFA classifications. To collect all relevant definitions of all categories of PFAs including forests with protective functions

To make the reporting of national PFA information from national sources to international organisations transparent and comparable, such that this information can be used in the assessment of forest resources.

To attempt a tentative description and quantification of the total economic value of PFAs.

To seek the best options for the harmonisation of national data and definitions on PFAs within the context of international data collection processes
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1. To deliver a comprehensive overview of European Protected Forest Areas including:
  • an account of their historical background, legal status and management
  • a tentative description of their totaleconomic value
  • an analysis of PFAs status
  • a comparison of PFAs-definitions and data collection processes
  • a proposal on the inclusion of PFA-data collection into national forest inventories.
2. To clarify the concept of naturalness as used for forest protection.

3. To find precise definitions e.g: management restrictions, restrictions on hunting, wildlife management, strictly protected, legal basis, voluntary, protection regime, protected and protective forests, naturalness, forests out of management, forest type, etc.)

4. To analyse the relationships of national to international classification systems like IUCN Guidlines for protected area management categories, EEA Common data base on designated areas, MCPFE Categories of protected and protective forests and other wooded land in Europe and others.

5. To analyse feasible options for the integration of data collected by national forest inventories

6. To contribute to the planning of PFA networks and collation of information on PFAs .

7. To develop a COST action, WWW-site and interactive data bank on national categories of PFAs in Europe including a comprehensive information source on international classification systems of PFAs and national and international organisations that are involved in PFAs.

8. To provide a basis for PFAs mapping using GIS based systems for various applications / purposes
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