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Europe’s 2030 forest must be multifunctional

As the European Commission is currently preparing its next EU Forest Strategy for 2030, Euromontana contributed to the public consultation to share its recommendations on the sustainable management of mountains’ forests.

Euromontana calls for a balanced strategy, that respect the multiple uses of forests and adopts a realistic approach of landscape protection. In this context, Euromontana invited the European Commission to take action against forest fires in mountain areas – which mainly occur in Natura 2000 sites – and to adopt a comprehensive approach on risk management engaging all stakeholders, fostering social innovations and increasing the resilience of mountains’ forests towards climate change.

If some forests are major habitats for mountain species, afforestation of grasslands in the other hand could harm other species whose survival depends on land management through agricultural and pastoral practices. Therefore, Euromontana calls upon the European Commission to adopt a placed-based approach when it comes to reforestation.

In addition, forestry is a crucial sector for mountain local economy. Yet, the viability of mountain forestry must be enhanced through stronger support to the sector and through the promotion of regional value chains and quality products. The creation of Geographical Indications for wood products, investments in circular economy and in digitalisation can be promising tools for the development of the entire value chain.

Mountain forests benefit all – they offer recreative activities, maintain sustainable jobs, provide energy, are unique habitats, protect species, capture CO2 emissions, and preserve soils – and the 2030 Forest Strategy must reflect their multiple uses. Read more on our recommendations in our contribution.

19 April 2021

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