Cepi’s response to the public consultation on the EU Forest Strategy
A public consultation, launched on the 25th of January 2021, gives relevant stakeholders an opportunity to voice their views on the EU Forest Strategy, which will serve as a contribution to the preparation of said Strategy.
Cepi welcomed this opportunity to provide its views on the potential objectives and actions of the new EU Forest Strategy, various forest aspects including threats and challenges, actions to be taken to promote and enhance forest biodiversity, adapt forests to climate change as well as strengthen carbon sequestration. Cepi’s main comments can be summarised as follows:
Sustainable Forest Management should be consistently demonstrated in different EU policies
The Standing Forest Committee should be mandated to establish the European risk-based approach and sustainability criteria for sustainable forest management, which has been adopted in the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive as a non-end-use specific sustainability system for forest biomass. The EU Forest Strategy should serve as a reference point to make sure that the approach is applied in a uniform manner across different policies, e.g. concerning bioenergy, financial instruments or sustainable fibre-based products. Doing so would not only strengthen active and sustainable forest management in the EU and promote the development of the bioeconomy but also ensure the consistency of policies.
Increased Policy Coordination via the new Strategy is needed.
Due to an expected increase in European initiatives concerning forests and the forest-based sector, policy coordination should be enhanced through the new Strategy, with the principle of sustainable forest management- as established in Forest Europe, H1 resolution, as the cornerstone.
Adaptation of forests to climate change should be done through active and sustainable forest management.
The EU Forest Strategy should foster adaptation of forests to climate change through active and sustainable forest management as opposed to adaptation through conservation when it comes to the future of forests, as the latter carries a risk of spreading diseases such as pests and insect outbreaks.
Forest sinks should not be treated as compensation for certain ‘difficult-to-decarbonise’ sectors.
Doing so is not efficient nor fair as forests are threatened by sectors outside forests and the forest-based sector along with climate change particularly, as opposed to sustainable forest-based bioeconomy.
Cepi’s full answers to the consultation here.