Briefing 
 

Future EU Forest Strategy: Balancing ecological and economic sustainability 

Ways to support high-quality forest management, reinforce disaster resilience and promote sustainable forestry, will be debated on Tuesday.

The Commission’s post-2020 EU Forest Strategy, due out at the beginning of 2021, should not only be aligned with the European Green Deal. It must also guarantee that forests can continue to play a multifunctional role and promote forest management models that seek to ensure their environmental, but also societal and economic sustainability, says the draft text tabled by the Agriculture Committee.

The new strategy, MEPs say, should help to bolster European disaster resilience and early warning tools to increase prevention and preparedness e.g. for fires, floods or pest infestations. MEPs also push for wood to be used more widely as a sustainable construction material, call for the fight against illegal logging to be stepped up and insist on promoting sustainable forestry globally.

Background

Forests and other wooded areas currently cover around 43% of the EU’s surface, reaching at least 182 million hectares and comprise 5% of the world’s total forests. 23% of all forests in Europe are within Natura 2000 sites. Forests absorb over 10% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.

Around 60% of EU forests are privately owned, and a large proportion are small size forest holdings (less than 3 hectares). Over 60% of the productive forests in the EU are certified to fulfil sustainable forest management voluntary standards. The sector employs at least 500,000 people directly and 2.6 million indirectly in the EU.

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

2019/2157(INI)

Debate: Tuesday, 6 October

Vote: Wednesday, 7 October