Member States express significant concerns and request for clarifications of the new EU Forest Strategy for 2030
Brussels, 15 November 2021
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
European forest owners and managers welcome the Council Conclusions adopted today on the EU Forest Strategy for 2030 and fully share the concerns expressed by the Members States. These Conclusions make important requests to the European Commission with regards to actions proposed in the Strategy and a clear call to truly involve and listen to Member States and those who take care of our forests on a daily basis.
In line with the views communicated by European forest owners and managers, the Conclusions emphasise the key role of European forest owners and managers in delivering on the Strategy’s objectives, call for a balanced vision on the different dimensions of sustainability and stress the importance of Member States’ competence.
European forest owners and managers have called for major clarifications on actions included in the EU Forest Strategy for 2030. These actions raise questions and concerns also from the Member States who, among others:
- highlight the need to strengthen the socio-economic goals;
- request an assessment of the need and added value of new EU-level indicators, thresholds and ranges for sustainable forest management;
- recall that data collection, processing, reporting and interpretation should make best and most effective use of existing national forest inventories and international cooperation;
- emphasize the importance to clarify the need for new EU “closer-to-nature” certification schemes and their demonstrable added value.
Forest owners and managers join Member States in regretting that the Strategy was not developed together with the Member States and relevant stakeholders. Over the last months, European forest owners and managers have underlined repeatedly that the Strategy does not reflect the reality on the ground and that the one-size fits all approach taken in the Strategy overlooks the diversity of European forests. This is further confirmed by the Member States in the Conclusions that stress that such an approach may even prove counterproductive and emphasise the need to recognise, respect and maintain the diversity and specificities of forests across the EU.
European forest owners and managers are determined to deliver on their commitment. However, prior to any further development of the actions proposed in the Strategy, the necessary clarifications and thorough assessments identified by the Member States and stakeholders must be carried out.
Ms. Sophie HUGON
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