Written given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the European Commission to a question (Rule 138) by Giorgos Georgiou (GUE/NGL) and Niyazi Kizilyürek (GUE/NGL) concerning “Financing reforestation in Member States”.
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the European Commission
The Commission takes the protection of our forests very seriously and is concerned about the increased occurrence of forest fires.
The EU Forest Strategy(1) has successfully aligned the relevant existing EU funding streams towards the policy objectives for forests.
Sustainable forest management is one of the key objectives of the EU Forest Strategy and one of the key priorities of the rural development policy 2014-2020 which is, the main source of public financial support for EU forests, with a planned expenditure of about EUR 8 billion. Other funds, including the Cohesion Policy, the civil protection mechanism, LIFE or Horizon 2020, have also consistently supported the EU’s forests.
More specifically, the rural development pillar of the common agricultural policy (CAP) provides significant support to Member States for afforestation, prevention of damages and restoration of forests, including damages from forest fires, amounting to EUR 4.5 billion, with EUR 1.5 billion planned in addition for supporting the forests’ long-term resilience. The sustainable management of existing forests is equally important, as the benefits of reforestation risk to be quickly overshadowed if existing forests and wooded areas are lost or degraded.
The Commission has proposed(2) that the future CAP post 2020 can support a new and more ambitious forest policy, enhancing its contribution to secure healthy and sustainably managed forests, and increase forest area. Member States will have more flexibility and opportunities in their CAP Strategic Plans by designing their interventions, addressing their investment and management-specific needs.
Question for written answer E-002903/2019 to the Commission
Giorgos Georgiou (GUE/NGL) and Niyazi Kizilyürek (GUE/NGL)
Subject: Financing reforestation in Member States
Climate change is rapidly turning into a climate crisis and we are heading towards an ecological nightmare. Our forests are being burnt – sacrificed on the altar – for financial gains and profit for the benefit of both domestic corporations and multinationals. Fires do not start by accident but through criminal actions, and drastic measures are needed to stop them. The EU needs to act now to put in place measures that act as a deterrent to prevent illegal logging and arbitrary deforestation and the destruction and burning of forests.
Is the Commission going to announce the allocation of a specific budget for reforestation in all Member States as a matter of urgency?