Forests are essential for our health and wellbeing, and the health of the planet. They are rich in biodiversity and are hugely important in the fight against climate change.
The new EU forest strategy for 2030 is one of the flagship initiatives of the European Green Deal and builds on the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. The strategy will contribute to achieving the EU’s biodiversity objectives as well as greenhouse gas emission reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. It recognises the central and multifunctional role of forests, and the contribution of foresters and the entire forest-based value chain for achieving a sustainable and climate neutral economy by 2050 and preserving lively and prosperous rural areas.
The strategy is accompanied by two staff working documents: Staff Working Document on the Stakeholder Consultation and Evidence Base and Staff Working Document on the 3 Billion Tree Planting Pledge for 2030.
The strategy sets a vision and concrete actions to improve the quantity and quality of EU forests and strengthen their protection, restoration and resilience. It aims to adapt Europe’s forests to the new conditions, weather extremes and high uncertainty brought about by climate change. This is a precondition for forests to continue delivering their socio-economic functions, and to ensure vibrant rural areas with thriving populations.
The new EU forest strategy will support the socio-economic functions of forests for thriving rural areas and boosting forest-based bio-economy within sustainability boundaries. It will also protect, restore and enlarge the EU’s forests to combat climate change, reverse biodiversity loss and ensure resilient and multifunctional forest ecosystems by
- promoting the sustainable forest bioeconomy for long-lived wood products
- ensuring sustainable use of wood-based resources for bioenergy
- promoting non-wood forest-based bioeconomy, including ecotourism
- developing skills and empowering people for sustainable forest-based bioeconomy
- protecting EU’s last remaining primary and old-growth forests
- ensuring forest restoration and reinforced sustainable forest management for climate adaptation and forest resilience
- re- and afforestation of biodiverse forests, including by planting 3 billion additional trees by 2030
- providing financial incentives for forest owners and managers for improving the quantity and quality of EU forests
The strategy also focuses on
- strategic forest monitoring, reporting and data collection
- developing a strong research and innovation agenda to improve our knowledge on forests
- implementing an inclusive and coherent EU forest governance framework
- stepping up implementation and enforcement of existing EU acquis
Key dates related to the new EU forest strategy
- 14 July 2021Publication of the new EU forest strategy for 2030
- 20 May 2020Publication of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030
- 11 December 2019Publication of the European Green Deal