Joint Statement: Draft new EU Forest Strategy: time to consider the opinion of EU forest and forest-based sector

After the leak of the upcoming draft EU Forest Strategy post-2020, FTP and 13 other organizations sent a joint statement to the European Commission to express their concerns.

The views expressed by the sector over the last months have not been taken into consideration in the draft. In addition, the calls from the European Parliament  and Council regarding the new Forest Strategy appear to have been overlooked.

The organizations urgently call on the European Commission to seriously take into consideration the opinion of the forest and forest-based sector and make significant changes to the draft. Continuing to ignore the views of our sector risks provoking a disruption of the EU’s entire forest and forest-based sector and completely disregarding the need for motivation and endorsement of the millions of people who “make it happen” on the ground. This would result in a failure in the implementation of the Strategy.

The organizations state that “the new Forest Strategy must create a balance between  the various functions which deliver all ecosystem services, including supporting the entire forest-based value chain to remain competitive and continue to contribute to a greener economy.”

Furthermore, using the existing Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SIRA 2030) of the European forest-based sector as starting point when proposing any future research an innovation activities is essential.

Five attention points are raised by the sector:

  1. Data about the state of forests should be complete and properly utilised
  2. Sustainable Forest Management and multifunctionality should continue to be the main principles of the new strategy
  3. The bioeconomy should be more than long-lived wood products and should rely on an integrated value chain
  4. Support foreseen for forest owners and managers should be comprehensive
  5. A thorough assessment should be undertaken prior to developing any new forest certification scheme

Read the full joint statement here.