European Commission urged to release the EU Forest Strategy

European forest related organisations are seriously concerned that the European Commission has delayed publishing the new EU Forest Strategy. The European Commission is overlooking the importance of forests and forestry in EU policy by postponing publication of the Strategy, even though forests represent 40% of land use in Europe.

“The clock is ticking. Further delay in proposing a coherent approach on Europe’s forests can only lead to more fragmented and possibly contradictory decisions”, said Juha Hakkarainen, Chairman of the EU Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork.

Indeed it seems that the European Commission is hesitant in embracing a consistent and coherent approach on forests and forestry. The Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork, as well as Member States representatives (via the Standing Forestry Committee), recently urged the Commission to overcome the last obstacles and to release the Strategy so that it can be examined by the European Parliament and the EU Council. But no action has been taken.

The expected European Commission Communication on a new EU Forest Strategy would update and replace the existing Forestry Strategy which dates back to 1998. It would take into account the new challenges for forests and forestry policy in reference to climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity, resource efficiency and the green economy and establish a coherent framework with other policy areas. Moreover, the new Strategy would be based on the concept of sustainable forest management and the mutlifunctional role of forests.