FOREST EUROPE, founded on 18 December 1990, is a high-level political process that involves ministers responsible for forests from 46 countries and the European Union (including observers from 14 additional countries and 45 organisations). The main objectives are to develop common strategies to strengthen sustainable forest management in the Pan-European domain and find proper responses to current forest policy challenges. It builds upon FOREST EUROPE’s definition of sustainable forest management and employs criteria and indicators as data basis of the Pan-European forest report (State of Europe’s Forests). As part of the process, members make decisions of highest political relevance regarding forests, forest management and socio-political topics aiming at safeguarding ecological, social and economic benefits of European forests.
Since Germany has taken over the presidency of this important forest process for the coming four years, the international secretariat called Liaison Unit Bonn (LUBO) has been established in Bonn. LUBO – led by Thomas Haußmann from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture – will act in close cooperation with the European Forest Institute (EFI), which has established its Bonn office in 2017. The EFI team for Forest Europe – led by Dr Bernhard Wolfslehner – is responsible for coordination, science-policy tasks and communication for the common work. It shall hence ensure a strong connection to the European-wide EFI research network.
Content-wise, the focus for the coming four years will lie on the further development of sustainable forest management in the Pan-European sphere. In addition, experts will work on climate-induced forest damages, that are currently so abundant in vast areas in Europe and explore options to make European forests more resilient. Consequently, it is planned to develop a European-wide focal point to facilitate experience exchange and new scientific advances (considering previous projects such as NET RISK WORK, FRISK-GO and SURE). Finally, it will be important to support activities that provide specialists in green jobs with education and perspectives. In many European countries a loss in these jobs was recently observed, and the FOREST EUROPE Secretariat will work on the development of an awareness raising campaign to make these jobs attractive again. Here, FOREST EUROPE can build upon experiences and results from the ongoing “Global student networking and green jobs” joint EFI-IFSA-IUFRO Capacity Development Project.
Further information can be found here: foresteurope.org