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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

Forestwatch Issue 147 and Biomass Report Special

  • EU Emissions Trading Scheme an ‘open door’ for crime?
  • Green Paper shows Commission is green on forest protection
  • German state allows short-rotation plantations in forests
  • Growing biofuel concern
  • WTO versus WEO
  • Biomass Report shows increasing lack of policy coherence on forest protection
PDF iconFW 147 March 2010.pdf192.74 KB
PDF iconBiomass report special.pdf133.65 KB

Forestwatch Issue 146 and FLEGT special

  • Copenhagen’s missing ingredients: legal standing and political will
  • Sarawak cases, VPA lessons
  • Moving goal posts: staunching EU biodiversity loss
  • Bulgaria facing EU penalty over forest swaps
  • Forest Inaction Plan
  • ‘Sustainable’ Biofuels?
  • Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT): Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) special 
PDF iconVPA update.pdf131.26 KB
PDF iconFW 146 February 2010.pdf212.96 KB

Forestwatch Issue 144 and update from Barcelona

  • Climate, energy and environment change
  • A binding forest agreement?
  • Biomass: binding sustainability criteria needed
  • relaunched
  • First US illegal timber investigation
  • EU ratifies Ghana VPA
  • Palm oil funding frozen
  • Update from UNFCCC Barcelona meeting
PDF iconFW 144 December 2009213.17 KB
PDF iconBarcelona update118.32 KB

Forestwatch Issue 143 November 2009

  • EU Council reaches a troubling conclusion
  • Flawed bioenergy policies will fail EU forests
  • CAR VPA negotiations calendar ambitious
  • CDM to open doors to large scale plantations
PDF iconFW 143 Nov 2009.pdf212.16 KB

Forestwatch issue 141

  • Obstacles on the road to sustainable bioenergy criteria
  • Climate haggling... to be continued
  • UK timber procurement: Help shape criteria
  • The Saami Council applauds breakthrough
PDF iconOPEN179.99 KB

Forest Watch Issue 138

  • Billions of Euros available for afforestation
  • Forest activists win prize
  • Recession+ETS=few carbon reductions in the EU
  • Adapting to climate change?
  • Republic of Congo to sign a VPA with the EU
  • Special report from the UNFCCC forest climate meeting in Bonn
PDF iconFW 138.pdf259.51 KB