Comment on the forest policy of the European Union

At the EU Forest Conference of 4th-5th February, the Commission vice-president, Frans Timmermans, expressed clear support for the conservation of Europe’s forests. However, the fear still exists that Europe’s woodlands will continue to be seen primarily as a source of timber.

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Ancient forests are important for their biological diversity and for their capacity to store carbon dioxide.

© Matthias Schickhofer / EuroNatur

At the EU Forest Conference of 4th-5th February, the Commission vice-president, Frans Timmermans, expressed clear support for the conservation of Europe’s forests. However, the fear still exists that Europe’s woodlands will continue to be seen primarily as a source of timber. In a paper produced in response to the conference, EuroNatur is calling on the European Commission to radically intensify the efforts to conserve Europe’s ancient and primeval forests. These forests not only represent an important habitat for numerous species of plants and animals, but also play a vital role in stopping climate change by absorbing large quantities of carbon dioxide. In the European Union, it is above all in Romania where there are still large swathes of virgin forest. Yet, it is here that our natural heritage is being destroyed by the clear felling of large areas in the Carpathian Mountains, even in the protected areas.

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