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Forestry measures

EU Forest Action Plan: Progress to date

The Forest Action Plan (FAP) sets four main objectives (and contains 18 key actions). In order to achieve these objectives, the European Commission developed the FAP work programme in cooperation with the main stakeholders. This programme is updated annually in cooperation with the Member States. The European Agricultural Rural Development Fund (EARDF) is the main financial instrument supporting implementation of the FAP

Improving long-term competitiveness

In order to improve the long-term competitiveness of the forest sector, and to increase the sustainable use of forest products, goods and services, the FAP encourages innovation and research activities as well as training for forest owners and forest workers. To improve the competitiveness of the forest sector, the FAP also proposes actions to increase the use of forest resources for energy production. More intensive use of wood for energy would provide bigger markets for low-value timber and small-sized wood.

Examining how globalisation affects the economic viability of EU forestry has already produced indications of ways to improve long-term competitiveness. More research and development should enhance the competitiveness of the forest sector. Exchange and assessment of experiences in valuation and marketing of non-wood forest goods and services will provide a better understanding of the state-of-the-art in this field. 

Concrete steps to achieve this objective include staging a number of stakeholder conferences, and commissioning pilot projects, such as a study conducted by the consortium led by the European Forest Institute to identify marketing possibilities for currently non-marketed forest goods and services.

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Improving and protecting the environment

The FAP includes specific steps for dealing with climate change and biodiversity issues. It also addresses the protection of forests and proposes to work towards an improved European forest monitoring system. The Action Plan will also facilitate EU compliance with its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Among its other positive results, the Action Plan is expected to increase knowledge about the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. The European Commission has launched a study on the adaptation of forests to climate change.

Achieving the EU 2010 target of halting the loss of biodiversity will require efforts at both EU and Member State level. Better information and monitoring of the EU forest’s condition are essential for our awareness of the state of forest ecosystems. Recognising this, a European Forest Data Centre has been established.

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Contributing to the quality of life

To contribute to the quality of life, the FAP promotes the social and cultural dimensions of forests and forestry. It encourages environmental education, underlines the importance of the protective role of forests, and proposes to explore the potential of urban and near-urban forests. Education and information activities are especially important in the context of increasing urbanisation and the corresponding decline of rural life-styles.

Environmental education and information efforts will also help raise awareness about the goods and services provided by forests. Placing more focus on the establishment and management of urban and near-urban forests should enable forestry to better serve society in providing amenities, recreational and preventive healthcare services.

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Fostering coordination and communication

The FAP includes specific steps for dealing with climate change and biodiversity issues. It also addresses the protection of forests and proposes to work towards an improved European forest monitoring system. The Action Plan will also facilitate EU compliance with its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Among its other positive results, the Action Plan is expected to increase knowledge about the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. The European Commission has launched a study on the adaptation of forests to climate change.

Achieving the EU 2010 target of halting the loss of biodiversity will require efforts at both EU and Member State level. Better information and monitoring of the EU forest’s condition are essential for our awareness of the state of forest ecosystems. Recognising this, a European Forest Data Centre has been established.
 

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EU Forest Action Plan

Documents and publications

Other relevant areas of activity

Opinions of the Standing Forestry Committee


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Last update: 06-01-2010