Forests continue today to provide the high levels of commercial benefits to households, companies, and governments. The FAO estimates that forest industries contribute more than $450 billion to national incomes, contributing nearly 1 percent of the global GDP in 2008 and providing formal employment to 0.4% of the global labor force - the numbers of people that rely on forests for some part of their livelihood and income vary between $1 billion and $1.6 billion .

80% of the world's population relies upon natural medicinal products. Of the top 150 prescription drugs used in the U.S., 118 originate from natural sources: 74 percent from plants, 18 percent from fungi, 5 percent from bacteria, and 3 percent from one vertebrate. Nine of the top 10 drugs originate from natural plant products. Over 100,000 different animal species — including bats, bees, flies, moths, beetles, birds, and butterflies — provide free pollination services. One third of human food comes from plants pollinated by wild pollinators. The value of pollination services from wild pollinators in the U.S. alone is estimated at 4 to 6 billion dollars per year.

The Conservation Reserve Program in the United States, for instance, pays out over $1.5 billion to farmers each year in exchange for their protection of endangered wildlife habitat, open space, and/or wetlands

Many organizations provide ecosystem services. The ForEco team was not able to identify significant commercial on-demand smart forest ecological management systems. Using open data and applying open source software tools to build on scientific knowledge and customer relationships is a competitive advantage of ForEco team.

The ecosystem services market is multi-billion but still immature and fast growing. ForEco team providing smart forest ecological management services expects as an early entrant to build quickly a small but loyal customer base that will be essential to grow fast.

Customers are willing to pay for the information derived from processing data from various open data resources because of the high economic value of the information and knowledge produced by ForEco. The direct ForEco target group includes policy makers, governmental and municipal organizations (forest and landscape planners) which are involved in forest management activities, including planning new forests in an environmentally sound way with minimal negative effects on the environment; guiding forest managers and planners to select ecologically suited mostly native species to sites, instead of selecting a species and trying to modify the site to suit; economically effective resource management of forest timber; evaluate alternative strategies and providing comparable predictions; etc. Other prospective end-users are companies, clusters and experts from the Green Economy, Agricultural and Forestry sector, as well as - research and innovation organizations, innovative start-up and web-entrepreneurs, technology-transfer offices, and other stakeholders in the innovation chain. In addition, the ForEco platform provides access to its services to citizens, educational organizations and NGOs who are interested and engaged in the project area of applications.

    Potential customers are:
  • Government bodies defining policies related to forests;
  • Government agencies implementing policies related to forests;
  • NGOs interested in environment and forests like Green Balkans;
  • Forest owners;
  • Businesses interested in bio-products, forest plants and animals, and bio-fruits;
  • Citizen;
  • Global organizations like Development Program (UNDP), UN Environmental Program (UNEP), UN International Training and Research Center (UNITAR), World Food Program (WFP), Convention on Biological Diversity, World Meteorological Organization, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, International Energy Agency, Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Economic Forum (WEF), United Nations Environmental Program;
  • Regional and Local organizations like Executive Forest Agency, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Environment and waters, Executive Agency of Environment and Waters, Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF), Data and Statistics - Forestry and Timber - UNECE;
  • Municipalities;
  • Companies in agriculture and forest economy sector like SCA Group;
  • Green economy companies like Green Economy Group;
  • Farmers;
  • Research organizations like European forest institute, Institute of forestry - BAS, Institute of biodiversity and Ecosystem Research - BAS, Worldwatch Institute, Global Green Growth Institute, etc.

Forests have a crucial effect in provisioning of clean air (O2 generation/CO2 absorption), fresh water and bio-foods. They are essential to save biodiversity of our planet. A Smart Forest Ecological Management System - ForEco gives the opportunity to all interested parties (the society in general) to enjoy the benefits of healthy forests getting substantial economic effects. Ecological management of forests leads to improvement of human health and at the same time will be an engine for new jobs. A scientific ecological management of the forest resources provides a sustainable economic value in a long term not only in terms of revenues generated taking advantage of just selling the forest resources but also saving the costs to cure diseases, to provide fresh water, to clean the air, etc. Bio-waste utilization is another high added value business enabler. And last but not least a Smart Forest Ecological Management allows to a large number of society members to enjoy the recreational and cultural benefits.

Mariyana Lyubenova
E-mail: ryana_l@yahoo.com
Phone: +359898740115

Yuri Pavlov
E-mail: yupavlov15@isdip.bas.bg
Phone: +359885088397

Alexandre Chikalanov
E-mail: ctmdevelopment@yahoo.com
Phone: +359888209936

Kamen Spassov
E-mail: kspassov@gmail.com
Phone: +359898422585