The New EU Forest Strategy is aimed at protecting forest ecosystems to provide a healthy future for people, planet and prosperity by ensuring healthy, biodiverse and resilient forests across Europe and the world.
European forests are under increasing strain, partly as a result of natural processes but also because of increased human activity and pressures. Climate change has also brought to light previously hidden vulnerabilities aggravating other destructive pressures such as pests, pollution and diseases.
The new EU Forest Strategy aims to overcome these challenges and unlock the potential of forests for our future, in natural and urban environments. In particular it is anchored in the European Green Deal and the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and it recognises the central and multi-functional role of forests for achieving by 2050 a sustainable and climate-neutral economy while ensuring that all of ecosystems are restored, resilient, and adequately protected.
Spontaneous forest regrowth through natural succession is the main force driving the increase of forested areas in the EU, mostly associated with abandonment of agriculture and rural areas. But additionally, there is potential for extending forest and tree coverage in the EU through active and sustainable re- and afforestation and tree planting.
This concerns mainly urban and peri-urban areas (including e.g. urban parks, trees on public and private property, greening buildings and infrastructure, and urban gardens). It is important to capitalise on this potential, as enhanced afforestation is also among the most effective climate change and disaster risk mitigation strategies in the forest sector, and can create substantial job opportunities, e.g. in relation to collecting and cultivating of seeds, planting seedlings, and ensuring their development, as well as providing socio-economic benefits to local communities. Also, exposure to green and forested areas can greatly benefit people’s physical and mental health.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets outs a pledge to plant at least 3 billion additional trees by 2030 in full respect of ecological principles of planting and growing the right tree in the right place and for the right purpose.
The roadmap sets out clear criteria for tree planting, counting and monitoring, which will be essential to track progress for meeting the target. This will build on the expertise of the Commission and the European Environment Agency to provide assessments of trends and the state of implementation.
This Agora will focus on the New EU Forest strategy and the urban green with various contributions from EFI, City of Bonn, UN/FAO, AlberItalia foundation, as well as ESA and GMATICS.
-Robert Mavsar (European Forest Insitute), Bonn City Representative
-Prof. Fabio Salbitano (University of Florence)
-Michela Conigliaro (UN/FAO)
-Klaus Scipal (ESA)
-Prof. Marco Marchetti (AlberItalia Foundation)