14th Annual Conference, Warsaw, 14-16 September 2006
of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils EEAC
Action for Sustainable Forest Management - From Coordination to Education
Sustainable management of natural resources underpins environmental quality, economic prosperity and human well-being. It is therefore a key component of sustainable development, and also contributes towards the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy. Its importance is reflected in the revised EU Sustainable Development Strategy, one of the objectives of which is to '… respect the limit of the planet's natural resources and promote sustainable production and consumption …'. Europe needs a long-term strategy that takes into account sustainable use of renewable natural resources and eco-efficient use of non-renewable resources.
The challenge of achieving sustainable resource use within the EU is illustrated by forests. Forests are multifunctional and provide environmental, economic and social goods and services. However, long-term provision of the full range of these goods and services is threatened by unsustainable patterns of use which degrade and deplete forest resources.
• There are 160 million hectares of forest in the EU (35% of the total land area) and this area is increasing by approximately 0.5% per year
• Forests provide a wide range of goods and services, including timber, non-wood products (e.g. berries and mushrooms), biomass as an energy source, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and environmental functions (e.g. carbon sequestration and regulation of water flow)
• Forestry and related industries have an annual production value of €356 billion, and over 100,000 forestry-related companies employ ca 3.4 million people in the EU
• Forests are an important biodiversity resource - they support more species than any other biotope in Europe
• Less than 2% of the total area of forests in Europe is strictly protected, of which the majority is in Nordic countries
• Major factors damaging forests in Europe include uncontrolled grazing and browsing, land use change, air pollution, forest fires, erosion, climate change, exotic pests and diseases
EU forest policy falls within the sphere of competence of the Member States. However, there are several EU policies and initiatives in other sectors that influence the forest sector, either directly or indirectly. In 1998, the EU Forestry Strategy was adopted as the EU's contribution to sustainable forest management through the implementation of common policies based on the principles of subsidiarity and shared responsibility. More recently, the development of an EU Forest Action Plan provides a coherent framework for the implementation of forest-related action. It serves as an instrument for co-ordination between Community initiatives and Member States' forest policies, and for implementing forest-related components of the Lisbon and Göteborg strategies.
Conference venue. Download map.
|The Warsaw Technical University (Polytechnica)||
Hotel Polonia Palace