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The main task of the Institute is the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Austrian Forest Inventory (ÖWI). The aim of this large-scale monitoring is to provide information on the resources of wood as a raw material and on the condition and changes in the forest ecosystem. The results of the Austrian Forest Inventory serve as a basis for decision-making in forest and environmental policy and provide a rich database for a large number of scientific projects. The seventh national forest inventory survey period will run from 2016 to 2021. The interim evaluation ÖWI 2016/18 is therefore based on half of all forest sample areas.

The know-how is used for the participation in numerous international networks and projects. In the field of forest inventory, the Institute performs leadership work throughout Europe. In addition, the Institute carries out the Austria-wide monitoring of wildlife influence.