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European Forests

Fern’s aim is to push for forestry practice and conservation in Europe which halt biodiversity loss and protect important habitats.


Fern’s analysis: Of all ecosystems, forests are home to the largest number of species on the continent and provide important environmental functions, such as the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of water and soil. In the EU, forests and other wooded land now cover 155 million ha and 21 million ha respectively (more than 42 per cent of the EU land area). The majority of these forests consist of semi-natural stands and plantations and only about 5 per cent of the forests are “natural or undisturbed by human activity”. Thirty per cent of pan-European forests are now dominated by one single tree species, 50 per cent are forests of 2 or 3 species. About 87 per cent of European forests (excluding the Russian Federation) are even aged (MCPFE, State of European forests 2007).

EU powers over forest management in Member States are limited, and consequently, policies affecting forests are found under a range of topics such as environment, rural development, industry, trade, etc. However, these policies are often not coherent and are not effective enough to guarantee improved forest management and increased forest protection. 

 

To learn more about this campaign: the best documents to read is Funding forests into the future

 

Most recent publications

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.

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PDF iconFERN review EU Forestry Strategy237.4 KB

ForestWatch special: Legally binding agreement on forests in Europe: “same, same but different”?

Ministers will gather in mid June 2011 in Oslo to take a decision about whether to enter into negotiations on a legally binding agreement (LBA) for forests in Europe. NGOs question what the added value of this instrument will be and whether an LBA will really be able to deal with potential conflicts of interest concerning the future of Europe’s forests. This ForestWatch special outlines the main issues.

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PDF iconLBA special June 2011.pdf142.25 KB

ForestWatch Issue 158

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PDF iconFW 158 March 2011.pdf226.41 KB

ForestWatch Issue 157 February 2011

  • Commission’s ‘Buying Social’ guide disappoints
  • Greater ECA accountability needed – but how?
  • Emissions from land use: count them or reduce them?
  • Dutch Government rightly wary of MTCS
  • Paper dispute: Court finds against Italian NGO
  • UK marks year of forests by selling theirs
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PDF iconFW 157 February 2011.pdf232.25 KB

ForestWatch Issue 155 December 2010

  • Social criteria are permissible in timber procurement policy
  • Questions remain about Cancun forests agreement
  • A bold move: the EP votes to address ECA flaws
  • The future of CAP: opinions welcome
  • Agrofuel plans drive destruction

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PDF iconFW 155 December 2010.pdf217.33 KB

ForestWatch Issue 154 November 2010

  • Prelude to Cancun: Tianjin climate talks update
  • CAP reform: missing the opportunity to protect forests
  • Addressing carbon fraud?
  • Malaysian certificate rejected
  • How to reduce Madagascan forest destruction?
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PDF iconFW 154 November 2010.pdf214.71 KB

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