One month after the EU elections, the 751 newly elected members of the European Parliament have gathered in Strasbourg to decide about their organisation and start working on the different files. During the electoral campaign, CEPF and its members communicated key facts and main messages to the candidates through a pledge.
This was the opportunity to explain key data concerning the EU forest sector: 43% of the EU land area is covered by forests (182 million hectares); over the last 25 years EU forests have increased by the size of Portugal (9 million hectares); EU forests sequester 10% of EU’s total GHG emissions and 50% of Natura 2000 sites are forests.
Based on these facts, European Forest Owners have expressed 4 key messages to the candidates and new Members of the European Parliament:
- It is highly important to recognise the crucial contribution of over 16 million European forest owners to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement through taking care of 60% of the European forest area;
- the active role of forests and the forest-based sector in climate change mitigation and adaptation, environment conservation and the development of circular economy should be promoted;
- support is needed to advocate for sustainable forest management as a key tool to develop rural areas and move towards a competitive, fossil free economy;
- it is essential to support a holistic approach to sustainable forest management in the development of forest-related EU policies.
In a context when forests are subject to growing societal expectations and an increasing number of EU policies directly concern forests, these messages are important to consider when framing future EU policies and legislations.
The Parliament is now organising its work and David Sassoli (S&D, IT) has been voted to be the President of the European Parliament. MEPs have chosen the committees where they will seat and vote, and also elected the Chairs of the Committees of which we would like to name Norbert Lins (EPP, DE), Chair of the AGRI committee, Pascal Canfin (Renew Europe, FR), Chair of the ENVI Committee and Adina-Ioana Vălean (EPP, RO), Chair of the ITRE committee. More information about the Committee members, Chairs and Vice-Chairs can be found here.