European forest governance post-2020

This report by EFI reviews significant developments in the forest governance framework including EU and international developments, and discusses how coordination in other policy areas than forests can lead to policy integration.

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Forests and forest-relevant policies in Europe face a wide array of challenges in a rapidly changing world. Issues such as Brexit, the new European Parliament and European Commission, and the recent European Green Deal proposal are certain to affect policymaking, as are the as-yet unknown impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

A new scientific-political study by EFI provides a timely look at forest governance in Europe and offers ideas on the possible way forward. Many of the policies of relevance to forests currently in place have been geared towards the year 2020, and although it is not yet possible to make a final assessment of their achievements, it is essential to look to the future.

Strategic and coordinated policy direction will be required in the coming years, particularly to support the implementation of globally agreed policy goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. At the global policy level, trade developments related, for example, to China, Russia and North America will also have a major impact on the European forest sector.

Based on evidence from a literature review, stakeholder interviews and workshop results, the study outlines several potential pathways for future forest policymaking in Europe. As the report coordinator Bernhard Wolfslehner said: “The European Green Deal puts the forest-based sector in a key position in climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection, and it is therefore important to emphasize forest policy integration and strengthen its implementation.”

Full reference

Wolfslehner, B., Pülzl, H., Kleinschmit, D., Aggestam, F., Winkel, G., Candel, J., Eckerberg, K., Feindt, P., McDermott, C., Secco, L., Sotirov, M., Lackner, M., Roux, J.-L. 2020. European forest governance post-2020. From Science to
Policy 10
. European Forest Institute.

Download the executive summary (PDF)