EU Forest Strategy
The EU Forest Strategy aims to be a framework for forest related EU action in support of sustainable forest management. The Strategy mostly relies on willingness of Member States to take action or on legal tools of the EU in other fields of policy, since EU itself doesn’t have direct competence in forest policies.
BirdLife Europe has been actively engaging in the drafting of a new EU Forest Strategy, published in 2013. BirdLife advocated for ensuring that the Strategy results in a real improvement of forest governance across the EU, in improved environmental conditions of Europe’s forests and addressed the growing demand on wood products.
While the Strategy is a signal of EU’s willingness to do better in protecting its forests but at the same time it lacks proposals for concrete action. The strategy also failed to address the conflicts arising from the increasing demands on forests from different sectors, notably the growing demand in biomass from the energy sector.
Current EU and national laws on forests are too weak to manage these threats and they are therefore unable to protect the forests. Both of these instruments already failed to provide a coherent and a robust policy framework for forests.
This was also highlighted by the Commission’s own study on “EU policy options for the protection of European forests against harmful impacts” which examined in detail the future challenges for European forests and the forestry sector. It concluded that the challenges ahead ask for a more coherent policy approach to European forest protection and forest management. This challenge still remains.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.