Call for A new updated EU Forest Strategy for the period after 2020 with a stronger guiding role.
Adequate financing through the CAP, especially rural development funding to strengthen forestry in the regions and boost sustainable use. Funding options to be publicised so as to be used fully and appropriately.
Local and regional authorities to be closely involved in the design and implementation of forest sector measures led and funded by the EU to strengthen the sustainable use of forests for the benefit of the rural population and economy.
Fostering of national and regional cooperation in the EU to facilitate the exchange of skills and bolster competiveness of the regions is crucial.
The CoR adopted two opinions on the EU Forest strategy in the last 3 years: Mid-term review of the EU Forest Strategy and the Implementation of the EU Forest Strategy (rapporteur for both: Ossi Martikainen, FI/Renew Europe). The rapporteur has been very successful in building alliances in the European Parliament and with relevant stakeholders, organising a series of meetings with MEPs, stakeholders, such as CEPF, EUSTAFOR, EFI and co-operating with EU Presidency. The rapporteur spoke at numerous events, pleading for a better role of local and regional authorities.
European Commission refers to the Committee of the Regions' opinion in the introduction to the Mid-term review published in December 2018.
The Council conclusions from 15 April 2019 call for further improving coordination, communication and the sharing of best practices, in line with recommendations expressed by the CoR.
The rapporteur raised the profile of the CoR in the sector, presenting the CoR position at numerous events and high-level meetings.
Among events organised by the NAT commission, a high-level conference on Regional Forest innovation on 13 November encountered a lot of success with speakers calling for better communication and enhanced regional cooperation in the field.
On 21 January 2020, the rapporteur spoke at the conference in the European Parliament, hosted by Petri Sarvamaa, MEP and in the European Parliament and co-organised by CEPF, Copa Cogeca, ELO and EUSTAFOR. Highlighting the need for reinforced guiding role of the EU Forest strategy and an EU-level coordination on all forestry-related matters, the rapporteur pleaded for including local and regional authorities in the drafting and the implementation of the new strategy and more broadly, in the Green Deal.
The role of Forestry is gaining momentum, importantly contributing to the objectives of the Green Deal. The CoR will continue to advocate for the inclusion of local and regional authorities in the policymaking. It will also have a close look at a new EU Forest Strategy, expected for the end of 2020.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
calls for a new updated EU Forest Strategy for the period after 2020 with a stronger guiding role.
Local and regional authorities must be closely involved in the design and implementation of forest sector measures led and funded by the EU. Forest owners and those responsible for forest management and administration, including municipalities and regional governments, have a key part to play in strengthening the sustainable use of forests and their unequivocal commitment to the rural population and economy.
The forest sector needs adequate financing through the CAP, especially rural development funding, as these funds have been used by many regional and local actors to strengthen forestry in their regions and boost sustainable use. Funding options for the forestry sector should also be publicised at every level of government so that they can be used fully and appropriately.
Forests have a key role to play in the development of Europe’s bioeconomy and biodiversity and that of its regions and in the transition to a low-carbon, green economy. Local and regional governments could contribute to, among other things, regional sustainable development plans, bioeconomy strategies, education, ecologically sustainable construction, carbon sequestration in long-life wood products, renewable energy deployment and the promotion of SME entrepreneurship in the forest sector.