On 15 April, the European Council adopted a set of conclusions on the progress achieved in the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy and on a new strategic framework for forests. The conclusions follow the publication of a Commission report in December 2018, which reviewed the role played by the strategy in its first five years of life.
In its conclusions, the Council welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy, which has contributed to the promotion of sustainable development through sustainable forest management, and improved the cooperation between member states, the Commission and other relevant stakeholders on EU forest-related policies.
The conclusions then set out the priorities to be followed in the next two years in order to achieve the objectives of the strategy, such as further improving coordination, communication and the sharing of best practices.
Finally the Council calls on the Commission to present an ambitious communication on stepping up the EU action against deforestation and to develop a new EU forest strategy beyond 2020.
Council Priorities for 2019-2020
- making full use of all the financial tools, in particular the rural development forestry measures under the Common Agricultural Policy and state aid;
- contributing further to mainstreaming EU biodiversity objectives in a coherent manner;
- further integrating nature conservation into SFM;
- enhancing communication and awareness of the value and importance of forests and SFM by addressing major societal and environmental challenges as a contribution to the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
- continuing to encourage the use of wood from sustainably managed forests, as an environmentally friendly raw material for multiple purposes;
- promoting the key role of forests in line with the Paris Agreement.
The Council conclusions will be presented at the conference: "Our Forests, Our Future", taking place in Brussels on 25-26 April 2019.
Council Conclusions on the progress on the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy and on a new strategic framework for forests