The 7th Forest Europe Ministerial Conference drew to a close last week, having reached agreement on two Ministerial resolutions for the sector and a decision on the future for Forest Europe.
Held in Madrid, the two-day meeting was attended by representatives from 38 countries from the pan-European region, plus the EU, as signatories, as well as a high number of stakeholder organisations and UN bodies, with more than 200 delegates altogether. The signatories committed to strengthen the social function of forests and their contribution to green jobs, to protect forests against climate change, and to work together at the regional level to address the new challenges and opportunities.
In his opening speech, DG AGRI Director General Jerzy Plewa congratulated Forest Europe on its work on the principles of sustainable forest management and putting them into practice.
“Forestry is one of the main sectors that keep our rural areas still vibrant and sustainable, and forests have an essential element of Europe’s nature and wildlife, playing a major role in the protection of biodiversity and in the provision of many ecosystem services,” he said.
“Also, its contribution to green jobs especially in rural areas should be recognised and further promoted. The latest available information from the Rural Development programmes in the 28 EU Member States shows that €7.2 billion of public expenditure will be dedicated to forestry measures in the period 2014-2020.”