Multifunctional forests hold the key to reaching the EU’s climate and biodiversity objectives

Brussels, 21st January, 2020 – EU Forest representatives, including CEPF, Copa-Cogeca, ELO and EUSTAFOR, teamed up to organise the event entitled “Seeing the forest for the trees – the multifunctional role of EU forests” in the European Parliament (EP). The event, hosted by MEP Petri Sarvamaa, rapporteur for the EP’s initiative report on the EU Forest Strategy, aimed to address the significant contribution of multifunctional forests to the EU’s climate and biodiversity objectives.

While more than one-third of Europe is covered by forests which provide European citizens with economic, environmental and social benefits, the multifunctional role of forests is all too often overlooked. This is mainly due to the spread of generalised messages, such as the degradation of EU forests, the purely commercial use of forests, etc. Such messages underestimate the continuous efforts undertaken by forest owners and managers to ensure sustainable forest development and to maximise their potential to serve people, the climate and nature. In fact, EU forest owners and managers have a long tradition of and hands-on experience in the sustainable management of multifunctional forests. This was showcased by three practical examples: the management of wetlands in Sweden, tools to enhance the multifunctionality of forests in Croatia and agroforestry in Portugal.

In addition, it was also highlighted that collaboration between policy-makers and the forest sector is central to optimising the multiple benefits provided by forests. This is particularly relevant within the context of climate change and emerging societal expectations in Europe.

MEP Petri Sarvamaa underlined that "A self-standing and robust EU Forest Strategy is the most appropriate tool to enable multifunctional EU forests to tackle the challenges of our time.”

Actors in the forestry sector believe that a balanced approach to all forest functions is key to ensuring consistency between forest-related policies. This is especially true when taking into consideration the scope of the European Green Deal. The future EU Forest Strategy should establish a framework for all relevant initiatives within the European Green Deal. These include the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the EU Climate Law – achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the EU bio-based circular economy, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and other policies.


10:00 – 10:10: OPENING
- MEP Petri Sarvamaa
10:10 – 10:25: SETTING THE SCENE
- Management of Multifunctional Forests – A difference that makes the difference by Roland Kautz, Österreichischen Bundesforste (ÖBf), Austria
- Northern Sweden: Wood, stone age heritage, wetlands and reindeers as an integral part of sustainable management choices by Kerstin Dafnäs, President, The Black Woodpecker- The Swedish association of women forest owners
- The multifunctional role of Croatian forests and tools to enhance this role in the future by Robert Sambolek, President of the WP Private Forests, Croatian Chambers of Agriculture
- Montado Agroforestry – a multifunctional system by Conceição Santos Silva, UNAC (União da Floresta Mediterrânica) - The Union of the Mediterranean Forest, Portugal
10:55 – 11:25: Q&A SESSION
- Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director-General European, Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
- Ossi Martikainen, Member of the European Committee of the Regions
- Robert Reลพonja, Director-General, Forestry and Hunting, Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of Slovenia
11:55 – 12:00: CLOSING REMARKS
-  MEP Petri Sarvamaa

Moderated by Johan Elvnert (FTP)  

For more information please contact:

Ana Rocha, Senior Policy Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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