The European Commission has recently closed a round of public consultation for an upcoming legislative framework for European forests. The EU Forest Strategy should advance the ambitions of the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the European Green Deal by promoting a holistic approach to forests when shaping domestic policies.
George Iordachescu welcomed the opportunity to offer feedback on the Roadmap and is looking forward to engaging in the next phase of the consultation process.
The mid-term evaluation of the previous Forestry Strategy and the recently published State of the Environment Report 2020 show that EU’s forested area increased between over the last two decades due to active afforestation and natural processes. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean healthier and more biodiverse forests. Only 15% of forests in the Natura 2000 network are in a favourable status.
The following recommendations are based on over five years of researching forest governance, forest livelihoods, illegal logging and timber trade within the EU:
- The strategy should contribute the wellbeing of rural areas;
- ICCAs are effective forest protection institutions;
- The strategy should favour long-term commitment;
- Illegal logging should be clearly addressed;
- The strategy should use clear definitions to avoid legal loopholes and development of grey markets;
- Planting 3 billion trees could harm biodiversity and forest resilience;
- The strategy should not overlook urban and peri-urban areas;
- Robust science should inform both design and implementation stages.
You can read George’s response to the public consultation Recommendations for EU Forest Strategy.