Enhanced EU Forest Strategy is needed to enable multifunctional forests’ input to the objectives of a European Green Deal

European forests and the forest-based sector welcome the political guidelines of the President-elect of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen which aim to ensure the EU’s transition to a climate-neutral continent by 2050. An updated EU Forest Strategy is needed, alongside the EU Biodiversity Strategy towards 2030, to give appropriate recognition of multifunctional European forests as a part of the European Green Deal.

The roles of forests and forestry extend well beyond carbon neutrality. The sector should be centrally positioned in the upcoming discussions on how to defossilize the European Union while, at the same time, ensuring the sustainable development of European society and the green growth of the European economy.

European forests are a steadily growing and dynamically evolving resource, serving climate, people and nature. Over the last decades, they have been managed sustainably, meeting European society’s growing demands for climate change mitigation, protection against natural hazards, recreational space, development of the bioeconomy and providing a home for biodiversity. It is, therefore, essential to ensure productive coordination and synergies among the various forest-related EU policies and to ensure that sustainable forest management and the multifunctional role of forests are given an appropriate role in this work.

The main tool to integrate European forests and the forest-based sector into the Green Deal should be a robust EU Forest Strategy post-2020, as it provides a framework for a consistent and well-coordinated action at EU level. It provides a transparent and inclusive multi-stakeholder platform to find appropriate solutions for the many challenges related to forests and forest management at EU level.

The strengthened Council Working Party on Forestry, the Standing Forestry Committee and the Civil Dialogue Group on Forests and Cork are required for better coordination of forest related policies both in the EU and at forestry-relevant international dialogues.

Published 11/10/2019, Brussels

Mr. Piotr Borkowski

Executive Director

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