“Respect the multifunctionality of forests”

In picture: Anna Holmberg, Swedish Forest Industries Federation, Marta Souto Barreiros, Portuguese Paper Industry Association, Jessica Polfjärd, MEP (EPP, SE) and Dan Burgar Kuželički, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food in Slovenia.

The conditions of European forests, measures to maintain and enhance forest biodiversity and input on the upcoming revision of the EU Forest Strategy - these were topics discussed at the latest Cepinar arranged jointly by Cepi and the Swedish Forest Industries. 

On 4 May, policy makers and representatives of the European forest sector debated the state of European forests as well as the upcoming revision of the EU Forest Strategy at a Cepinar arranged by Cepi and the Swedish Forest IndustriesThe interest in discussing the Strategy revision was not diminished by the Commissionlatest notice that a further publication postponement is foreseen until “after the summer”.  

“I expect the EU Commission to respect the multifunctionality of forests, as clearly defined in the Parliament’s position. The status of the Forest Strategy should be standalone versus other policy initiatives.” said Jessica Polfjärd, Swedish MEP (EPP). 

For us in Slovenia the multifunctionality of the forest is of special importance since we are a quite small country. We want the multifunctionality principal to be acknowledgedas it clarifies that on one single area several management objectives can be defined at the same time, like climate, biodiversity, energy etcetera”, said Dan Burgar Kuželički from the Ministry of agriculture, forestry and food in Slovenia. 

"There is no one-size-fits-all”

“The revised Forest Strategy should take into account the nature and the ownership of the forests, because all the stakeholders; forest owners, forest managers, biobased forest industries, they all play key roles and are the drivers to reach the goals of the Strategy. The Strategy should also take into account the reality of each Member State. Europe and its forests are diverseThere is no one-size-fits-all”, said Marta Souto Barreiros, Environment and Forestry Expert at CELPA, the Portuguese Paper Industry Association. 

Other initiatives from the Commission were also discussed, such as the roadmap for planting at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030. 

“After planting trees someone has to manage the plantationSo the forest owners should be involved in the initiative from the beginning”, said Marta Souto Barreiros.  

In Slovenia, with forest covering 60 percent of the total area, we see limited possibilities for further reforestation since this could cause conflicts with other resources we also need, such as food security. So instead we are focusing on managing the existing forests in a sustainable way,” said Dan Burgar Kuželički. 

You can still watch the Cepinar here: