(20 September 2013) – A new Forest Strategy, based on a broader approach, has been published by the European Commission today. It brings together several policy areas, among which rural development, enterprise, environment, bioenergy, climate change and R&D.
Covering 40% of the EU area, forests are a key resource for improving the quality of life and creating jobs, in particular in rural areas, the Strategy states, while also protecting ecosystems and providing ecological benefits for everyone.
Following a new approach, the Strategy “goes out of the forest”, addressing aspects of the “value chain”, which strongly influence forest management. Stressing the need to adopt a holistic approach, it also emphasizes that the impacts of other policies on forests and developments taking place beyond forest boundaries should be taken into account.
It also underlines that linked EU policies should be fully taken into account in national forest policies. Finally, the Strategy also calls for a Forest Information System to be set up and for Europe-wide harmonised information on forests to be collected.
In a related initiative, today the Commission also issued a Blueprint detailing the remedial activities that could be undertaken to help EU’s forest-based industries overcome their current challenges.