Written Answer to a Question: Urban afforestation

Source: The EU Parliament

Answer given by Mr Sinkevi?ius on behalf of the European Commission to a question (Rule 138) by Roberta Metsola (PPE) on “Urban afforestation”.

The Commission confirms its strong interest in promoting afforestation in urban and periurban areas. The new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 (1) announced that the new EU Forest Strategy to be adopted in 2021 will include a roadmap to planting 3 billion additional trees by 2030 in full respect of ecological principles favourable to biodiversity, and specified that tree planting is particularly beneficial in cities.

Since the Report on the mid-term Review of the EU Forest Strategy (2), the Commission held discussions on urban and peri-urban forests in the scope of the Standing Forestry Committee in 2019. These discussions followed on the 2011 Commission organised workshop (3). The outcome of these is a list of good examples on urban and peri-urban forests in EU Member States (4).

Member States can draw support from the European Regional Development Fund (5) and the Cohesion Fund (6) for investments in biodiversity and green infrastructure, for instance in urban and peri-urban areas. Under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (7), support is provided for afforestation, but this is generally only made available to rural areas. Other funding sources such as the EU programme for the environment and climate action (8) could be considered. Accompanying research activities can be supported in the EU research and innovation framework programme (9).

(1) https://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/strategy/index_en.htm

(2) https://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/index_en.htm

(3)  Sharing experiences on urban and peri urban forestry, https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm?do=groupDetail.groupMeetingDoc&docid=29012

(4) https://circabc.europa.eu/d/a/workspace/SpacesStore/36608dfb-3429-40b2-81cb9a0f72056a7c/Urban%20and%20periurban%20forestsGood%20practices%20in%20EU%20Member%20States-June%202019.pdf

(5) https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/erdf/

(6) https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/cohesion-fund/

(7) https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/ruraldevelopment_en

(8) https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/life

(9) https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en

Question for written answer E-003492/2020 to the Commission
Roberta Metsola (PPE)

Subject: Urban afforestation

In the Commission’s ‘Progress in the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy’ Report of 2018, it was noted that ‘the interaction of forests and trees with urban and peri-urban areas, and the understanding of their role for those communities are increasingly demanding attention’.

1. Has there been any further work on this interaction?

2. Will the Commission provide additional support for the afforestation of urban and peri-urban areas within the Union?

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