EU Forest Strategy supports Sustainable Forest Management
In a recent meeting at the European Parliament, Commissioner Phil Hogan followed up on the EU Forest Strategy implementation
A joint meeting between 3 committees – Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), and Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) – was held last 21 November 2016 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan opened the meeting which was an occasion to follow up on the EU Forest Strategy. As some MEPs observed no explicit competence exists in EU treaties allowing the EU to legislate in the specific area of forestry. However, investments and commitments of the EU to other policy objectives put forests and the forest-based sector under the spotlight of the EU policy agenda.
Commissioner Hogan emphasized how the Forest Strategy connects with the Commission’s priorities defined by President Juncker. He presented the latest State of the Union. In fact, forest management is important not only for growth and jobs, through developing a strong forest-based bioeconomy, but also for climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as for building a resilient Energy Union. Mr Hogan noted, “Integrated forest management is key to long-term sustainable, multifunctional forests” and there can be no sustainable management without the economic viability of the European forest sector. In addition, the EU is committed to strengthening forest governance outside Europe with FLEGT and REDD+ initiatives.
Forestry measures under rural development programs and Horizon 2020 calls are examples of the financial involvement of EU institutions to develop a sustainable bioeconomy. However, it is important that the role of sustainable and multifunctional forest management in Europe is fully recognized in the field of promoting renewable energy and in tackling climate change.