Forestry Commission logo
NEWS RELEASE No: 1351516 APRIL 2010

Forest sustainability assessment tool in the spotlight

This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.
View over the Uath Lochans

Progress in developing a decision support tool for assessing the impact on sustainability of various activities in forestry and the wood supply chain will be reported to an international audience at a workshop next month. (May)

The new tool is called ToSIA (Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment), and its use is being developed by scientists from Forest Research, the scientific research and technical development arm of the Forestry Commission, as part of the Northern Periphery Programme Northern ToSIA project.

The tool has been used initially in Forestry Commission Scotland’s Inshriach Forest in the Cairngorms National Park to refine aspects of its use, such as data input and output.

It is one of four regional case studies that have been designed to be applicable to forests and wood supply chains in different regions of Europe. The Northern ToSIA project intends to apply the tool across the Northern Periphery region of Europe, which comprises Scotland, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

The Inshriach study examined what impact forest management options attributable to changing climatic conditions had on a number of environmental, social and ecological indicators, as well as enterprises that depend on the forest.

The workshop, in Aviemore, Scotland on Thursday 20 May, will bring stakeholders together from the Northern Periphery countries to discuss how impact assessment in the forestry sector can be incorporated into regional and business development planning.

Stefania Pizzirani, Forest Research’s project manager for the Northern ToSIA programme, added,

“The UK’s policy on sustainable forest management is based on our international agreements, and to ensure that we are meeting the requirements of those obligations we need to be able to measure and assess the impacts of various forest-based activities in a meaningful way.

“Tools such as this can be valuable in helping policymakers and business planners choose the best options in terms of the environmental, social and economic impacts they will have.

“The next stage of the project is to roll it out across the whole of the Cairngorms National Park.”

There are places available at the workshop for anyone interested. Further information about the Northern ToSIA project is available in the sustainable forest management area of the Forest Research website at, where there is also a link to the workshop programme. There are still places available at the workshop for anyone interested.

Enquiries can also be directed to Stefania Pizzirani at


  1. The project is co-financed by: the Northern Periphery Programme 2007–2013; the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); the Finnish Ministry of Environment; the Regional Council of North Karelia, Finland: the Forestry Commission, the County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, Sweden; and the County Governor of Nordland, Norway.
  2. The project is being implemented by five main partners: the European Forest Institute (EFI), Finland; the Forestry Centre of North Karelia, Finland; Forest Research; Forestry Commission Scotland; the Department of Forest Ecology and Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU); and the Department of Agriculture of the County Governor of Nordland,  Norway.
  3. There are also several Associate Partners involved in the project’s implementation, such as regional organisations and development bodies, as well as forest sector companies.
  4. The project has developed from the EU 6th Framework EFORWOOD project, but with the focus at the regional rather than the European level.

MEDIA CONTACT: Charlton Clark, 0131 314 6500