Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)

The European Commission has launched a new public consultation in which all forest stakeholders are invited to take part until 17 November 2022. The aim of this initiative is to develop an observation framework for EU forests. 

After the expiration of the Forest Focus Regulation in 2007, there are currently no unified reporting requirements for forests at the European level. There is a lack of consistent and harmonised data on European forests, which is putting at risk not only the EU forests, but also the possibility to achieve the goals that the European Union has set on climate, biodiversity, rural development, and sustainable bioeconomy. 

Therefore, the Commission is preparing a legislative proposal for a new EU framework for forest monitoring and strategic plans. The aim of this initiative is to provide open access to detailed, accuratem regular and timely information on the condition and management of EU forests.

This information is not only intended to improve forest monitoring, but also to promote data-driven decision-making, increase public trust in forest management, reduce illegal logging, incentivise and reward more sustainable forest management, and support the adaptation of forests to climate change. 

With this, the digital transition will become more real as this initiative will also empower people, businesses and administrations by providing access to harmonised forest-related data and making better use of digital technologies.

The consultation is being developed in the framework of the EU Forest Strategy for 2030, which sets the vision for effective afforestation, forest preservation and restoration in Europe. This strategy represents a crucial element of the European Green Deal, aimed at improving the quantity and quality of forests in the European Union, and of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, aimed at safeguarding nature and restoring ecosystems, including forests.