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European forests: NGO Statements

NGO Statement to Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe

Statement from Friedrich Wulf of Pro Natura – Friends of the Earth Switzerland on behalf of FoE Eu­rope, its members and a large number of European Environmental NGOs and NGO networks: Bird Life Europe, FERN, IFAW, CEEweb, PlantLife, BatLife Europe, Client Earth, Greenpeace, Wetlands International, Robin Wood, ARA, Quercus, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Pro Regenwald, Friends of the Siberian Forests, Rainforest Foundation Norway,  TERRA, Global Witness and others. It expresses the NGOs' disappointment with the text of the convention.

PDF iconNGO Opening statement INC4.pdf98.39 KB

NGO concerns about proposed Forest Convention

An international negotiation committee, created by Forest Europe has for the past two years, negotiated a text for a new Forest Convention. The convention would cover the 46 countries on the European continent, including Russia and could be open to ratification by countries beyond Europe. The final text was nearly agreed on 14 June 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. European NGOs from countries across Europe have written this statement to raise their great concerns about both the content and the process.

The signatory organisations strongly believe that the text from 5 April 2013 being negotiated in June will not address the crisis faced by European and international forests and in fact may be detrimental to the health, carbon carrying capacity and biodiversity levels of Europe’s forests. Comments presented have been ignored and the level of participation has not been satisfactory. The statement concluded by calling upon European governments not to sign the draft Forest Convention in its current form.

NGOs' concerns with the legally binding agreement on forests in Europe

Released before the third session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee for a legally binding agreement on forests in Europe negotiations; this statement on behalf of 34 NGOs outlines key concerns that Europe’s NGO have in regards to the legally binding agreement on forests in Europe.

PDF iconNGO_letter_LBA_INC3_Jan_2013.pdf258.77 KB

FERN position paper: The new Forest Strategy

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 other 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 left much to be desired.
We have new challenges ahead of us, such as increasing demands for wood resources and continuing biodiversity decline, but no clear mechanism to resolve the trade-offs. There is therefore a need for a new Forest Strategy that sets clear priorities for forests in the EU within a framework of enhanced forest protection and resource efficiency. The new strategy also needs to be more effective in improving coherence between an increasing amount of policies impacting forests in the EU.


PDF iconFERN review EU Forestry Strategy237.4 KB

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


Most recent publications

LULUCF: EU misses key chance to deliver on Paris Agreement

(Brussels), December 14, 2017 - Two years after the Paris Agreement was adopted, the EU today missed a golden chance to deploy its forests in the ght against climate change.

The EU today nalised carbon accounting rules on land and forests (known as the LULUCF Regulation). This is the rst attempt to amend legislation previously full of loopholes, and the new accounting rules o er greater transparency. They are marred however, by a serious lack of ambition. 

Blog: Białowieża forest struggle is symptomatic of a greater ill


As Polish authorities disregard national protests and international pressure to stop logging, activists face increasing hostility in order to protect Białowieża, Europe’s last primeval forest. Activists estimate that 600-900 trees are felled daily.

EU’s Environment Committee recognises role of forests in fighting climate change but fails on bioenergy

The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee today voted to increase removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by forests from 2030 onwards, recognising the important role that EU fore

What impact has the Renewable Energy Directive had on EU forests?

The EU Renewable Energy Directive was launched in 2009 to great fanfare and the promise that the EU would fulfil at least 20 per cent of its total energy needs with renewables. Few could have guessed that
a policy intended to help the EU meet climate goals would lead to vast increases in the burning of wood, degrading forests in Europe and beyond.
PDF iconFull report489.12 KB
PDF iconReport summary310.81 KB

One step forward, two steps back for EU on climate and forests

Today, the European Parliament took one step forward and two steps back for the climate and forests.

Read the full Press Release

On a positive front, the Environment Committee voted to strengthen the EU’s climate target for the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) - which covers the agriculture, waste, buildings and transport sectors - by reducing the amount of ‘LULUCF offsets’ they had access to by 90 million tons of CO2.

Arctic Limits: How Finland’s forest policies threaten the Sámi and the climate

Finland is a test case in the fight against climate change. As the world edges closer to breaching the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees, forests have become increasingly important in discussions around how to battle climate change.

PDF iconArctic Limits_Final.pdf1.77 MB