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“Our forest, our future” Sustainable forest management to address societal challenges EU commission Conference in Brussels April 2019

Sunday, April 28 , 2019 228

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On 25–26 April 2019 the Conference “Our Forests, Our Future” took place at the Charlemagne building in Brussels. Organized by DG Agri, the event provided a good opportunity for a broad exchange of views on major challenges and opportunities facing forests and the forest sector. The Conference dedicated particular attention to EU priorities through thematic sessions.

The first day started with the Opening session:
“Setting the scene: The contribution of forests and the forest sector to EU priorities and targets, taking stock of the review of the EU Forest Strategy
followed by the First session “Contribution of the forest sector to innovation, growth and jobs. Opportunities and challenges for the bio economy”. In the Panel discussion the increase in demand for wood-based renewable energy, the search for bio-based materials in industry and the chemical sector and the drive towards zero carbon buildings was discussed.

 

The Second session dealt with “Forests and the Paris Agreement: Opportunities and challenges for the forest sector.”

During the Panel discussion it became clear, that the Paris Agreement is reducing Forests to a GHG storage with emissions and removals. The important role of Forests and Forestry by the long-term storage of CHG through wood products is not taken into account.

 

The first Conference day ended with the Third session: Forests and the health of the Earth: Healthy forest ecosystems provide habitats for animals and plants, play a major role in adapting to climate change, in biodiversity conservation and in preventing and combating desertification, providing also water and soil protection and protection from natural hazards, and delivering other environmental services. They also provide other multiple benefits to society, including benefits for human health, recreation and tourism

and a Panel discussion: what mechanisms for safeguarding and enhancing the delivery of ecosystem services through forests? How to foster markets for ecosystem services?

 

The Fourth Session was held on 26 April: „Protecting forests and promoting sustainable forest management at global level: through different initiatives (REDD+, FLEGT, Timber Regulation) the EU and the Member States are contributing to combat deforestation and forest degradation at global level and the Commission is currently preparing further action in this area.

Then followed a Panel discussion: how to develop and implement effective actions and measures to combat deforestation and forest degradation?

 

The first Conference day ended with the Third session: “Forests and the health of the Earth”: Healthy forest ecosystems provide habitats for animals and plants, play a major role in adapting to climate change, in biodiversity conservation and in preventing and combating desertification, providing also water and soil protection and protection from natural hazards, and delivering other environmental services. They also provide other multiple benefits to society, including benefits for human health, recreation and tourism “.
In the following Panel discussion it was discussed how the delivery of ecosystem services can be ensured and how to foster the markets for ecosystem services?

 

UEF attended this very interesting meeting, represented by its President, Michael Diemer.

More detailed informations about the Conference can be found under https://ec.europa.eu/events/forestry-conference2019-apr-25_en

A feedback will be given during our next Governing Council Meeting in Switzerland.  

 

The UEF Presidency

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