Towards EU forest partnerships: pillars under the Green Deal Alliances
Enhancing the multi-functional role of forests can help deliver on key strategic priorities of the European Commission: from the Green Deal, to growth and jobs, to reducing inequalities and building inclusive societies. It is for this reason that DEVCO is working to develop forest partnerships, a holistic approach to protect, restore and ensure the sustainable use of the world’s forests and in particular key tropical forests. A pillar of the Green Alliances foreseen under the European Green Deal, forest partnerships will seek to work:
- on the forest: (i) to protect and restore the ecosystem and through afforestation to support climate change and biodiversity commitments; and (ii) to protect the rights and cultures of indigenous peoples;
- on the socio-economic development of the communities who live and work in and around forests; the viability and sustainability of forest-related businesses, education; and laws and practices governing the forest sector, so as to ensure the long-term sustainable use of the forest;
- on other sectors and challenges that affect forests, including agricultural production, alternative energy supplies or educating future forest managers.
It is envisaged that forest partnerships will be established between a partner country and the EU, or at a regional level when a group of countries share a common ecological forest basin or where intra-regional trade flows require a coordinated approach. EU Delegations are invited, together with Member States in a #TeamEurope approach when there is joint interest, to sound out the interest of partner countries or regions.
To this end, DEVCO will support EU Delegations by providing a guidance note on forest partnerships as well as country fiches outlining options for engagement. Other DGs may also be invited to contribute. If the partner is interested, concrete objectives, actions and quantified targets for the partnership will be defined, to feed into the programming process.
Tree nursery in Pemba, Tanzania (Pemba Community Forest © GCCA+ Tanzania)
The new Forests for the Future Facility (F4) was launched in early 2020 to support cooperation in the forest sector with a 4-year mandate. F4 assists DG DEVCO in implementing EU global forest policy objectives and actions, linked to protecting and supporting the sustainable use of forests. F4 services are available to partner countries and EU Delegations through DEVCO C2 for both remote and in-country technical assistance in the following areas:
- Programming (2021-2027);
- Measures to support the creation of an enabling business environment for sustainable forest-based value chains and investments;
- Policy development and dialogue on forests;
- Capacity and knowledge development, communication and outreach.