Forests are gaining momentum in the European Union's policy-making despite the sector not belonging to one of the common EU policies, but remaining a national competence. Forests' benefits are numerous, ranging from environmental benefits to preservation of biodiversity; health, tourism and protection against natural disaster. They play a significant role in climate and circular economy, importantly contributing to the Paris agreement and the achievements of the Sustainable Development goals. Importantly, forests contribute to growth and job creation in rural areas. Today, the sector faces a number of challenges, such as the impact of climate change, an increasing demand for raw materials and growing competition from international markets.
The first part of the seminar will look into the implementation of the EU Forest strategy to point towards a number of issues that are crucial for local and regional authorities. The second part will focus on climate change, forests being one of its victims but also saviours.