EU policies should better recognize multiple forestry values
The representatives of chief executives of European State Forest Management Organizations discussed with policymakers and stakeholders about the importance of multifunctional forestry as a public good and how to ensure the provision of forest ecosystem services.
An open seminar with policymakers and stakeholders entitled “Value Forestry Values” was held on 27 February 2018, back to back with the 12th General Assembly of the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR). The aim of the seminar was to foster dialogue between policy, practice and research & innovation on the options for coherent policies and managerial opportunities, which can boost innovation and attract investments in the sector while taking full advantage of the multiple goods and services forests provide.
“The delivery of multiple forest services requires a sound economic basis. We are deeply convinced that a strong forest-based bioeconomy needs to encompass the ecosystem management dimension, and properly value the provision of wood and other forest services,” states Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director of EUSTAFOR.
The seminar was highly attended by EU policymakers and stakeholders. Key presentations were delivered by MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (European Parliament), Ignacio Seoane (DG AGRI), Humberto Delgado Rosa (DG ENVI), Miranda Winram (Forestry Commission England), Johan Elvnert (FTP). The presentations were followed by an interactive panel discussion, including representatives of IUCN and Coillte (State Forest Organization, Ireland), on the Natural Capital of forest management organizations. Participants had the opportunity to interact on how to set a value on the ecosystem services provided by forests for the needs of society.
In EUSTAFOR’s view, EU policies, such as the ones related to Bioeconomy and Rural Development, should better recognize the ecosystem management dimension. At the same time, environmental policies need to clearly recognize the multifunctionality of sustainable forest management.
Forests cover more than 40 percent of the EU’s land area. They provide the bioeconomy with renewable materials as well as essential ecosystem services. On the one hand, the provision of many ecosystem services from forests is not always recognized and properly valued. On the other hand, wood provision, which is a predominant source of income in forestry, is often considered as a trade-off for other essential ecosystem services. State Forest Management Organizations constantly seek to balance the economic, social and environmental dimensions by taking care of the common good, which our forests represent.
A report of the seminar and its key outcome will be made available at https://goo.gl/pbxKaF in due time.
EUSTAFOR, the European State Forest Association, gathers together 33 State Forest Management Organizations from across Europe, which often are the single largest forest managers and biomass suppliers in the Member States. EUSTAFOR members employ leading forest experts with deep knowledge of forest management. In fact, the role of state foresters is to balance different demands through multifunctional forestry in response to local conditions and societal needs, by advancing sustainability and creating value in state forests. EUSTAFOR’s views are based on management expertise, which comes from their lengthy experience with the full diversity of European forests.