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Forestry measures

Forests and biodiversity

Of all ecosystems, forests contain the greatest diversity in terms of species, genetic material and ecological processes. It is therefore important to ensure the conservation and appropriate enhancement of biodiversity in forests as a contribution to the maintenance of forest health and the global ecological balance, the sustainable production of raw material for forest-based industries as well as the provision of other goods and services sought by society.

The importance of SFM for the conservation and enhancement of biological diversity is identified under Article 2-g of the EU Forestry Strategy. Article 11 assigns an essential role to forest biodiversity in SFM and considers that appropriate measures should be integrated in the forest programmes or equivalent instruments of the Member States in line with the Pan-European "Work Programme on the Conservation and Enhancement of Biological and Landscape Diversity in Forest Ecosystems 1997–2000". Article 12 recognises the importance for biodiversity of protected forest areas, notably through the establishment of Natura 2000.

The EU has taken a major step to preserve biodiversity through the creation of the Natura 2000 network (an EU-wide network of nature protection areas established under the 1992 Habitats Directive). Almost 30 % of designated Natura 2000 sites comprise forest habitats and another 30 % partly contain woodland elements and related species.


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Last update: 06-01-2010