EC protection and restoration of the world’s forests, why it matters for IN4WOOD
Forests play a major role in the biggest sustainability challenges of our time, such as biodiversity decline, climate change and population increase. International agreements and commitments acknowledge the need for ambitious action to reverse the deforestation trend.
Therefore, the European Commission adopted a communication to set out a new framework of actions to protect and restore the world’s forests.
The communication adopted has a two-fold objective of protecting and improving the health of existing forests, especially primary forests, and significantly increasing sustainable, biodiverse forest coverage worldwide. The Commission has set out five priorities:
- Reduce the EU consumption footprint on land and encourage the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the EU;
- Work in partnership with producing countries to reduce pressures on forests and to “deforest-proof” EU development cooperation;
- Strengthen international cooperation to halt deforestation and forest degradation, and encourage forest restoration;
- Redirect finance to support more sustainable land-use practices;
- Support the availability of, quality of, and access to information on forests and commodity supply chains, and support research and innovation.
Also, the Commission will work closely with partner countries to help them to reduce pressures on their forests and will ensure that EU policies do not contribute to deforestation and forest degradation. It will help partners develop and implement comprehensive national frameworks on forests, enhancing the sustainable use of forests, and increasing the sustainability of forest-based value chains. The Commission will also work through international fora – such as the FAO, the UN, the G7 and G20, the WTO and the OECD – to strengthen cooperation on actions and policies in this field. The Commission will continue to ensure that trade agreements negotiated by the EU contribute to the responsible and sustainable management of global supply chains and encourage trade of agricultural and forest-based products not causing deforestation or forest degradation. The Commission will also develop incentive mechanisms for smallholder farmers to maintain and enhance ecosystem services and embrace sustainable agriculture and forest management.
To improve the availability and quality of information, and access to information on forests and supply chains, the Commission proposes the creation of an EU Observatory on Deforestation and Forest Degradation, to monitor and measure changes in the world’s forest cover and associated drivers. This resource will give public bodies, consumers and businesses better access to information about supply chains, encouraging them to become more sustainable. The Commission will also explore the possibility of strengthening the use of the Copernicus satellite system for forest monitoring.
IN4WOOD’s main goal is going to contribute to that vision by teaching skills that will be needed to achieve this ecological and digital transition. In fact, new technologies such as 3D printing and augmented reality can be helpful to make the wood industry more renewable.
European Commission: Fact-sheet on Protecting and restoring the world’s forests: stepping up EU action to halt deforestation and forest degradation at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/FS_19_4549.