Forest biodiversity is under pressure in some regions of Europe due to climate change, landscape fragmentation, pollution, and unsustainable forest management practices. But, how will a process, like FOREST EUROPE, tackle that problem if the high-level political forum where Ministers responsible for forest policies only meet, as a general rule, every four years?
The Work Programme 2021-24 introduced the Rapid Response concept for ad hoc meetings on emerging issues, an overarching process interconnected to the other work streams (sustainable forest management, forest risks, and green jobs and forest education). It also facilitates prompt reactions with sound science and innovative communication products.
And that is how the FOREST EUROPE High-Level Talks are envisioned: a dialogue that brings together ministers, research and environmental organizations, forest managers, industry, youth, and landowners for knowledge exchange and to promote synergies in the pan-European region.
Sustainable Forest Management: Unlocking forest biodiversity’s potential On 30 August, the German Federal Minister Cem Özdemir, acting as chair of the process, together with Minister Zdeněk Nekula (Czechia) and Minister Anna-Caren Sätherberg (Sweden) will discuss with Eckart Senitza (Pro Silva) and Erica Di Girolami (IFSA) common achievements of sustainable forest management to prevent loss of forest biodiversity.
“The challenge is to find the optimal mix, considering that forests in Europe are very different and so are biodiversity values, so it must be context dependent. Also, what you take as action in policy will not have a direct result in the field. Trees grow slowly. Let’s merge the efforts of state initiatives, like subsidies or legal initiatives, with private initiatives. Think about forest certification, which meant a lot for biodiversity in European forests. There are new things to explore in the private sphere like reverse auctions or biodiversity offsets.”Bart Muys, author of Forest Biodiversity in Europe
Then, the debate will be extended to practical examples. Panelists will present challenges, gaps, and tradeoffs in strengthening forest biodiversity while guaranteeing multi-functionality. María Jesús Rodríguez de Sancho, Director General of Biodiversity, Forests and Desertification of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Spain), Fanny-Pomme Langue (CEPF), Kelsey Perlman (Fern) are part of this second segment.
FOREST EUROPE (formerly Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forest in Europe) develops common strategies for its 46 signatories on how to protect and sustainably manage their forests since 1990.