European Commission adopts new EU Forest Strategy for 2030
European forests are under increasing strain – partly as a result of natural processes but also because of increased human activity and pressures. The forest area has become bigger in the last decades thanks to natural processes, afforestation, sustainable management and active restoration. This has resulted in several trends moving upwards. However, the forest conservation status should be considerably improved, including in the 27% of the EU forest area that is protected and should be the healthiest.
Climate change continues to negatively affect European forests, particularly but not only in areas with mono-specific and even-aged forest stands. Climate change has also brought to light previously hidden vulnerabilities aggravating other destructive pressures such as pests, pollution and diseases. In addition, it affects forest fire regimes, leading to conditions under which the extent and intensity of forest fires in the EU will increase in the next years. Tree cover loss has accelerated in the last decade, because of extreme weather events and increase in harvesting for different economic purposes.
This new EU Forest Strategy aims to overcome these challenges and unlock the potential of forests for our future, in full respect for the principle of subsidiarity, best available scientific evidence and Better Regulation requirements. The Strategy is anchored in the European Green Deal and the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. It recognises the central and multi-functional role of forests and the contribution of foresters and the entire forest-based value chain for achieving by 2050 a sustainable and climate-neutral economy. This Strategy replaces the EU Forest Strategy adopted in 2013 and evaluated in 2018.