As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission should present in the beginning of 2021 the new EU Forest Strategy for 2030, repealing the 2013 text. Forests are the most common land cover of mountains in continental Europe, covering 41% of the total area. They provide multiple essential functions from the provision of wood to the one of ecosystem services, such as protection against natural hazards, conservation of fauna and flora and carbon storage. Therefore, Euromontana provided in December 2020 a feedback and recommendations to the European Commission’s roadmap for the new Forest Strategy.
Euromontana insists on the necessity to develop a balanced Strategy, in respect of the different existing uses of forests. Our recommendations focused on the following points:
- Protecting forests habitats and species by promoting better forest management and enhancing forests’ resilience to fires through research, social innovation, exchanges of knowledge and better governance.
- Protecting landscapes, biodiversity, and pastoral culture by applying a territorial approach to afforestation.
- Protecting mountains’ local economy and sustainable development by promoting the use of bio-based resources and wood waste, encouraging research on biomass heating, and supporting the digitalisation of SMEs from the timber industry. This should also be achieved through adapted strategies for carbon sequestration and concrete actions against illegal logging.
Euromontana will reaffirm these demands in the public consultation due to open before the end of 2020 and hopes that the European Commission will present in spring 2021 a balanced and effective Strategy to tackle the environmental and social-economic challenges of mountain areas. For more information on our recommendations, please see our feedback to the EU Commission’s roadmap “The EU Forest Strategy for 2030: enhancing the resilience of forests and regional value chains”.9 December 2020