Forest management plans are the main source of information for the Greek forest ecosystems. Both medium and long-term management planning of forests under public as well as private ownership is based on these plans.
Greece is one of the few European countries that support sustainable management of forest ecosystems with the use of forest management plans. These plans have been a part of forest management practice since the beginning of the last century, and are drawn either by the forest service, or they are outsourced to forest engineers of the privet sector. Until nowadays, they are exclusively use by the Forest Service, for the local management of the forest complexes.
Consequently, the information included in these plans is not available at regional or national level. This is further accentuated by the lack of a central storage and management system for these plans. Hence, the central forest agency is rendered incapable of generating general statistics, which could be further utilized by the Greek government to meet national and international commitments. In addition, due to the current situation this information cannot be used in any decision support system regarding rural development, at local, regional or national level.
The ambition of the NOF project is to fill in this gap, with the establishment of an integrated forest data management system. The vision of the establishment and pilot operation of the National Observatory of Forests is to significantly contribute in:
- the improvement of the Forest Service operations,
- the promotion of forest information included in the management plans, by ensuring the online accessibility of the digital forest data,
- the transparency of all processes related to the even access of all stakeholders to the management plans,
- the public quality control of the management plans delivered to the forest services.