In order to succeed in the green transition, we need bigger, healthier and more resilient forests. Forests are essential for our health and wellbeing, and for the health of the planet. But forests in the EU are not doing well. Our carbon sinks, which are key to remove unavoidable CO2 emissions and to reach our decarbonisation goals, are going down in Europe, while less than half of our forest habitats are in good conservation status. At the same time, forests are at the intersection of different interests: forest industries, the bioeconomy sector and renewable energy.
In this episode, Euronews explores how to sustainably manage forests, reducing their vulnerability to climate extremes and increasing their adaptive capacity. The crew travels to Sweden, to better understand the effects of clear cuts and monoculture plantations on forest health, as well as to explore closer to nature forestry practices.
In the Sonian Forest in Brussels, one of Europe's largest periurban forests protected by Natura 2000 & Unesco, Euronews meets Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries to talk about the EU perspective on forests. Can Europeans make forests more resilient and can we find a consensus in the EU on how to better manage them?
The EU is mobilising, through a whole range of policies, a concerted effort to protect, improve and restore Europe’s forests, reduce their vulnerability, and help forest planners, owners and managers from across Europe to keep their forests stable and thriving during an uncertain future.
Under the EU Green Deal, the EU Forest Strategy sets a vision and concrete actions to improve the quantity and quality of EU forests and strengthen their protection, restoration and resilience. The strategy aims to adapt Europe’s forests to the new conditions, weather extremes and high uncertainty brought about by climate change.
The Nature Restoration Law proposal that is currently negotiated in the European Parliament and the Council is a key tool for adaptation and mitigation efforts as nature lessens the impact of natural disasters such as floods, droughts and heat waves. The Nature Restoration Law is also instrumental to reach our carbon sinks goal and therefore to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The EU provides a helping hand through new legal requirements – but also funding, guidance, and capacity building – for forest protection, restoration and adaptation to climate change.
“The Road to Green” is a Euronews magazine in collaboration with the Directorate-General for Environment (ENV). It features monthly 8-minute videos, delivered in a road trip format, covering Europe’s continuing transformation to a circular, net-zero, nature-positive and clean economy.
DG ENV co-finances the production of the Road to Green, while Euronews retain full editorial independence. Views and opinions expressed in the programme are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the European Commission or any other entities.
- Publication date
- 21 June 2023
- Directorate-General for Environment