Does climate change provide a moment for forests and sustainable forest management?
“Climate change: the moment for forests and the forest sector” was the headline of the seminar organized by the Union of Foresters of Southern Europe (USSE) on 25 May 2016 in San Sebastian, Spain.
The meeting focused on the review of the EU policy framework for climate and energy post-2020 and the role of forests, which was presented by María Gafo Gómez-Zamalloa (European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development). Pieter Johannes Verkerk (European Forest Institute, EFI) presented the results of recent research on how European forests can contribute to the mitigation of climate change. The problem of the adaptation of forest ecosystems to changing climatic conditions was given considerable attention. Michele Bozzano (EUFORGEN) presented current approaches to the conservation of forest genetic resources in Europe whereas the issue of the adaptation of forest species in the context of climate change was elaborated by Alejandro Cantero (HAZI) based on the results of the REINFFORCE Project. Ander Arias González (NEIKER) presented the experiences of the Basque Country (Spain) as regards the role of forest soils in the overall context of climate change.
Challenges caused by the changing climate are not only of a technical or environmental nature. They also influence the society at large. The ongoing debate on climate change therefore also provides opportunities to raise awareness among the society about the role of forests and their multiple benefits for social well-being. Luisa Cabello, a journalist and an expert in communication, explained methods which can be used to reach public opinion and build overall understanding and consensus about the importance of forests and their functions.
Piotr Borkowski, EUSTOAFOR’s Executive Director, participated in the discussions and presented the views of state forests on the topic. The presentations of the seminar are available under this link.