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The International Family Forestry Alliance

New study on Natura 2000 and forests: Assessing the state of implementation and effectiveness

EFI presented its new European scientific study “Natura 2000 and Forests” during a ThinkForest seminar on “Implementing Natura 2000 in Forests: lessons learnt and looking ahead” in Brussels on 27 September.

During the high level seminar, messages from all important EU institutions were given to the audience, followed by a wide-ranging panel discussion about better implementation of Natura 2000 in forests. 
CEPF Secretary General Emma Berglund highlighted as one of six panellists the necessity of forest owners’ acceptance for the Natura 2000 network to succeed and the need for having a more bottom-up approach: ‘’Having strong and secure forest ownership rights is the fundament of having long term acceptance and long term sustainable forest management. It guarantees that we have commitment from forest owners that will provide the biodiversity and other benefits from forests”. In her remarks she also noted that it is the forest owners that are bearing the costs of Natura 2000 network and it is difficult for forest owners to access rural development funds. In her closing statement Emma Berglund stressed that: ‘’A competitive forest sector is a fundamental prerequisite to also support biodiversity and social benefits of forests.’’ 
In general the discussion clearly showed that Natura 2000 has been recognised as important, but the implementation was among others hampered by unclear practices and therefore could have been better. In this context the funding of Natura 2000, the monitoring and the importance and need to involve all stakeholders were discussed as key issues.
With regard to the implementation issues, EFI’s scientific report is giving the following main recommendations:
  • Improve two-way communication between authorities and stakeholders
  • Spell out both win-win situations and trade-offs for nature conservation and forest management practices
  • Improve the cross-sectoral policy integration
  • Strengthening coordination between the nature conservation and the forestry/land-use sectors
Please find more information about the seminar and the report on EFI’s website

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