Alpine Forests are Rock Stars !

Worpackage T1: ROCK-EU: Development of an innovative AS rockfall assessment methodology using harmonized criteria and objective data.

The objective is to develop a common and harmonized methodology for defining the potential rockfall release and run-out zones in the whole Alpine Space. To date, such methodology does not exist. However, the basic principles have been developed and tested in the scientific community in the last 2 decades. This knowledge will be used and improved for building up an innovative spatial model dealing with Alpine Space countries specificities. This model represents the basis for implementation of T2 and T3.

Worpackage T2: TORRID: Construction of the first AS Toolbox for assessing the protective effect of forests against rOckfall and expressing the protective role in a Risk Reduction InDex

The objective is to develop a toolbox called TORRID that allows :

  • 1) to identify & map forests that contribute to Rockfall Risk Reduction (RRR) in the Alpine Space,
  • 2) to define optimal forest characteristics for an efficient RRR. 

The ROCK-EU GIS application of T1 will be used for identifying forests that are present below problematic rockfall cliffs interfering with relevant damage potential. In association with the T1 outputs, the ones of this workpackage T2 will be used for carrying out the T3 objectives.

Worpackage T3: Production of the first harmonised map of protective services of forest ecosystems against rockfall for the entire AS

The methodologies, tools andoutputs developed in T1 and T2, will be used to provide detailed first harmonized Rockfall Protection Forest map at NUTS3  level for the entire Alpine Space. This mapping will be done in 2 steps:

  • 1) localization and identification of protection forest by intersecting the maps of rockfall runout zone, damage potential, and forest coverage (applying ROCK-EU),
  •  2) evaluation of the mitigation efficiency provided by the forest stands (applying TORRID).

Worpackage T4: From the implementation of an economic model to the economic assessment of rockfall protection forest ecosystems services

T3 outputs allow clearly displaying zones where nature based technics are potentially usable for risk mitigation. It’s only the first step for evaluating the importance of rockfall protection forest ecosystems service. Indeed, the last step of this process is to assess the economic impacts of this service. To date, no harmonized methodology exists for providing such evaluation and allowing cross comparison between countries. The development of such methodology is the objective of the workpackage T4.

Worpackage T5: Implementation of guidelines, a Territorial Information System and recommendations for sustainably valorise rockfall protection forest ecosystems services

For sustainably promote and valorize the rockfall protection forest ecosystems service, there is a need of displaying, synthesizing the project's outputs and findings in formats which are readily accessible, usable by all relevant actors. 4 different formats are relevant for promoting the project results: digital maps, working events, factual data in newsletter form, synthetic guidelines (digital version). The outputs of the 4 previous workpackages will be used to set up the project results promoting materials.