New EU Framework for Forest Monitoring and Strategic Plans

EU Public Consultation on the new EU Framework for Forest Monitoring and Strategic Plans.

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The public consultation aims at giving EU citizens, including stakeholders and experts, an opportunity to express their views on the upcoming legistaive proposal for a new Framework for Forest Monitoring and Strategic Plans. The Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) has given its answer to this public consultation.

Forest monitoring:

Several organizations and processes already compile forest information on a regular basis for European countries, e.g., FAO/UNECE, European Forest Institute and Forest Europe. Also, global reporting exists, including FAO FRA, UNFCCC, and CBD as well as SDGs. Various harmonization efforts already exist. Hence, it would be desirable that EU support these rather than coming up with new harmonization efforts. However, for a few areas we see a clear need for harmonization at EU-level, such as forest health and forest disturbances. It is important to avoid a future situation where the individual Member States and the EU would deliver alternative facts about the forests in the Member States. Thus, a future forest information system for the EU needs to build largely on reporting from the Member States or otherwise it would be difficult to assure consistency between the Member States and the EU level. However, a potentially important role for pan-European monitoring with standardized methods could be regular mapping of disturbances.

KSLA recognizes that several Member States have difficulties to report accurate data on forests. EU Commission could support monitoring efforts upon request from Member States. Facilitate peer-learning and lessons learned among Member States to carry out National Forest Inventories and data collection. Developing guidance on best practices and lessons learned on forest monitoring within EU is another task the EU Commission or JRC could do.

It is unclear how the EU commission defines planning, especially considering that forest policy is a national capacity for the Member States. EU regulation linked to forests and forestry is integrated in existing national plans and there is no reason for the EU to impose laws requiring additional planning, for unclear reasons. KSLA welcomes voluntary strategic plans at the national level that would focus on policy coherence for sustainable development. The forest resources are increasingly being utilized for multiple purposes and different goals and targets have sometimes competing interests. A voluntary national strategic plan on forest could be a useful tool to foster greater synergies and identify trade-offs. For this, the approach needs to be holistic, taking in to account all relevant goals and targets globally, EU and nationally.

Read KSLA’s full answer to the consultation in enclosed pdf.