Dear Reader of the eustafor.express,
As you will see in this issue, we have been experiencing an exceptionally busy season in Brussels, with many concerns for forests arising from discussions around bioeconomy, bioenergy and climate change. Debates center around the trade-offs of using more wood in order to strengthen the forestry sector within a sustainable bioeconomy with the need for sustainably managing and protecting forest ecosystems. The Executive Committee has held discussions on key EU policy developments on the sustainability of biomass in the context of a future bioenergy policy (link) and the role of the LULUCF sector in the climate change policy post-2020 (link). EUSTAFOR’s members can expect to be consulted soon for their input and the head office continues to exchange views with other Brussels-based stakeholders in order to provide comprehensive input into the decision-making process.
EUSTAFOR has also been busy with continued participation in many other events and actions such as releasing a joint statement at the FOREST EUROPE process in Bratislava, participating in a preparatory EU Rural Development meeting in Ireland (in advance of a new Cork 2.0 Declaration) and attending a PEFC Policy Conference here in Brussels. In addition, Executive Director visits were made to several EUSTAFOR members –Ireland, Norway and Slovenia.
Meanwhile, our association continues to grow. Slovenski državni gozdovi from Slovenia will become EUSTAFOR’s 31st member as of 2017. Our office staff in Brussels is pleased to welcome Salvatore Martire as its new Policy and Communications Advisor. Pentti Hyttinen, newly appointed CEO of Metsähallitus, has joined the Executive Committee, replacing Esa Härmälä for the rest of his term. The internal Working Group on Climate Change has been re-launched under the chairmanship of Alexander Horst (ÖBf) and it is expected that the joint work of this WG and EUSTAFOR members will be crucial to positively affecting the development of policy proposals.
EUSTAFOR has increased its social presence via its new LinkedIn page. We continue to gain followers on our Twitter account which, in addition to the EUSTAFOR website, is constantly being updated. Readers are invited to follow, promote and interact with our association as much as possible. Members are also invited to consult the events page of the website in order to stay up-to-date on upcoming meetings and activities.
We hope you will enjoy this edition of the eustafor.express. Please feel free to forward it within your organization!