EUSTAFOR Publishes Position Paper on the Role of Forests and Forest Products in the Post-2020 EU Climate Change Policy Framework: How can European state forests contribute to post-2020 EU climate policy targets?

Croatian forest (LULUCF Press Release)Forests and sustainable forest management (SFM) continue to be firmly on the international climate change agenda. At the COP 21 conference, 195 countries agreed on the first universal and legally‑binding global climate deal. The ambitious agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. Article 5 of the Paris Agreement strongly recognizes the role of forests and SFM in mitigating climate change.

EUSTAFOR and its members are firmly convinced that forests, forestry and forest‑based products not only have a great potential to contribute but are also an essential part of the global solution to climate change mitigation. It is of utmost importance that sustainable and multifunctional forest management is recognized by EU policies as an important part of the global solution for climate change mitigation. Future policy design, targets and implementation details must allow European forests and the forestry sector to realize their full potential. EUSTAFOR supports the full integration of forests, forestry and forest-based products in the 2030 climate policy framework as long as the latter is designed in a way which takes into account the special features of forests and their management, thus allowing the sector to realize its fullest potential to mitigate climate change.

There are significant differences between the Member States in terms of forest cover and natural conditions for forest management, as well as in the climate change mitigation potential of their forests. The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) shares the opinion that, whichever policy choice is made by the EU, it should take full account of the diversity of special features of forests and forest products as well as the diversified approaches to SFM across the EU. If successfully implemented, SFM, in connection with widespread use of timber products, can offer a means to counteract climate change and to make the transition towards low-carbon bio-based societies and economies.

EUSTAFOR believes that the services provided by forest owners and managers for climate change mitigation must be properly recognized and valued. EUSTAFOR supports a model that creates multiple avenues for the downward distribution of investment rewards.

EUSTAFOR is committed to contributing to the further development of the EU-wide LULUCF policy, including accounting rules for removals and emissions, and the development of a consistent and harmonized LULUCF reporting format.

EUSTAFOR acknowledges the importance of the general public’s support for sustainably managed forests and is committed to developing communications aimed at increasing public understanding of the role of forests in meeting the challenge of climate change.

For more complete information on the “EUSTAFOR Position Paper on the Role of Forests and Forest Products in the Post-2020 EU Climate Change Policy Framework: How can European state forests contribute to post-2020 EU climate policy targets?” please click here.

EUSTAFOR’s 30 members (state forest organizations managing state forests) represent around one third of the EU forest area. They are committed to sustainable forest management and work with the existing forest certification schemes. The total harvest of EUSTAFOR members is over 120 million m3 of round timber per annum and together they employ more than 100 000 individuals.


For further information please contact the EUSTAFOR office ( or consult our website


Any statement in this document is to be considered as a reflection of the best available professional expertise and does not necessarily reflect the political commitments of individual member organizations. 



Published 05/07/2016, Brussels

Mr. Piotr Borkowski

Executive Director

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