European forests are under increasing stress as a result of climate change and other human activities and pressures. The new EU Forest Strategy for 2030 addresses these challenges and aims to unlock the potential of forests for our future.
Knowledge of forests’ status and trends is crucial for targeted and effective responses. The many EU policies affecting forests require accurate and harmonised EU-wide forest information and a basis to exchange about short, medium and long-term visions of forests and the forest-based sector. Today, information is patchy on the status of forests in the EU, their social, ecological and economic value, as well as the pressures they face and ecosystem services they provide. Forest managers and policymakers rely on national forest inventories with varying designs and update cycles to access forest data. Only a few initiatives, such as the International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) and the Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey (LUCAS), provide forest-related information across the EU. Effective policymaking is hindered by the limited information available and fragmented forest planning.
Carbon Gap has responded to the Commission’s public consultation about the content of a new legislative proposal on an EU Framework for Forest Monitoring and Strategic Plans. This initiative aims to improve forest monitoring across the EU. In addition, and subject to an impact assessment, Member State competent authorities would prepare long-term strategic plans for forests and the forest-based sector, which would provide a comprehensive picture of the state, the evolution and the future developments of forests in the EU, as envisioned by Member States.