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EU Forest Strategy and EU Forest Action Plan

There is no specific forest policy in the EU, and consequently policies affecting forests are found under a range of topics such as environment, rural development, industry, trade, etc. The EU Forestry Strategy adopted in 1998, acted as a response to concerns about the lack of coherence and coordination between national forest policies and different forest related EU policies. Though the non-legally binding Forestry Strategy represents the first significant attempt to create an EU-wide framework for forests, its development and implementation have left much to be desired.

A review of the implementation of the Forestry Strategy in 2005 revealed that there was a need to strengthen coherence between EU policies, as well as coordination between the European Commission and Member States. It also suggested a more coherent and pro-active approach to governing the EU’s forest resources. This led to the tabling and adoption in 2006 of the EU Forest Action Plan for the period 2007-2011. The document is however, fraught with internal contradictions. The vagueness of the concept of multifunctionality for example, raises serious questions about how the potential conflicts between environmental, social and economic components are to be resolved. In 2009, the mid-term evaluation of the EU Forest Action Plan concluded that its activities have been ineffective on most counts.

FERN comments and briefing notes on the Forestry Strategy and the EU Forest Action Plan

EU documents



Most recent publications

Enhancing forest protection is key in future CAP

In this position paper, FERN explains that the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should prioritise enhanced forest protection and improved forestry practices that have notable and measurable positive environmental and climate benefits.

PDF iconOPEN174.78 KB

NGO open letter on the Legally Binding Agreement on forests in Europe

NGOs are concerned that a Forest Europe working group is pushing ahead with creating a Legally Binding Agreement on forests in Europe despite the fact that key questions have not been considered. The biggest among those unanswered questions is: what value would such a new agreement add to the protection of the forests in Europe? NGOs think the answer is 'none' and are also concerned that the process has been very poor.

PDF iconOPEN175.7 KB

Forests in danger: failures of EU policy and what needs to change

Though EU policy aims to give equal weight to the 'commercial interests' versus 'ecological interests' of forests, in practice, commercial interests have dominated.  This is concerning given that forests can help mitigate the effects of climate change, but are under threat from climate change itself.

PDF iconforestsindanger.pdf5.62 MB

Forestwatch Issue 152 September 2010

  • Biofuel landscape changing, but will ILUC be taken into account?
  • Another land case won in Sarawak
  • Carbon trading explained
  • Small improvements in draft Ecolabel criteria
  • World Bank palm oil strategy “reckless”
  • REDD+ Partnership’s chaotic, intransparent process
PDF iconFW 152 September 2010.pdf189.81 KB

ForestWatch Issue 151 July 2010 and special update on Bonn UNFCCC meeting

  • Prohibition on illegal timber is here!
  • Bioenergy policy will lead to a carbon debt
  • More human approaches
  • Missing: political will to protect forests in the EU
  • Sweden’s unsustainable forestry
  • Ecolabel still endorses forest destruction
PDF iconFW 151 July 2010192.76 KB
PDF iconBonn update.pdf149.51 KB