Joint Network for wild Fungi (JoNeF)



Project description and aims

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the necessity of integrating Fungi (macrofungi) into European environmental policies on a par with Animals and Plants, in order to protect them in their natural habitats. 

Despite that, currently European environmental legislation focuses on protect plants and animals excluding Fungi, which are essential components of terrestrial habitats. Moreover, macrofungi can be used as indicators to describe the environmental conditions of forests and other terrestrial habitats. 

In order to fill this gap, Fungi should be incorporated into law-making and decision-making processes and in conservation and environmental initiatives, to create a comprehensive conservation strategy. 

In this context, the first step is to collect existing data of macrofungi in EU and to establish common census/monitoring protocols and standards, as well as the ones existing for plants and animals. 

We believe it is fundamental that environmental bodies coordinate these activities without leaving it only in the hands of associations, private entities and Universities. 

The overall aim of the project work is to support: 

  • Extension of the scope of the existing European environmental legislation with fungi in relation to monitoring of habitats and biodiversity and protecting/restoring forests 
  • Integration of fungal species in the Habitats Directive 
  • Development of an EU Database Platform for monitoring of macrofungi .

The expected outcome of the first phase of the project (in the period July 2023 – December 2024) is giving recommendations and proposals for the inclusione of fungi into  EU environmental policies. 

JoNeF Survey Report

A questionnaire-based survey was developed by the JoNeF project team and distributed from October to December 2023 to IMPEL and non-IMPEL member organizations, contacting experts and institutions that were interested in fungal conservation and data collection.

Respondents from thirty-two European countries replied to the questionnaire. The responses showed the interest for the subject as well as differences between countries.

Some European countries have developed laws, policies, and plans for the study of fungal diversity and its protection while others do not have any specific law on fungal conservation.

This variability highlights the absence of a common European operational framework (or a common European directive), and therefore the lack of common environmental policies and scientific initiatives at European level. This lack affects the possibility of obtaining a homogeneous framework of knowledge on fungal diversity in European countries, since different data acquisition systems cannot be interoperable in absence of common rules.

Here you can download the JoNeF Survey Report, which was approved by the General Assembly during the 26-28 June 2024 meeting.

Number: – Status: Ongoing – Period: 2023 – Topic: Nature protection - Tags:

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