Forests play a key role in responding to climate change, preserving and restoring biodiversity and developing the bio-economy. However information is patchy about the status of forests in the EU. It is increasingly important to have access to precise, complete and up-to-date information on European forests.
Therefore the Commission is developing an EU-wide forest observation framework to provide open access to detail, accurate and timely information on the condition and management of EU forests. This will complement the Forest Information System for Europe, the first common database on forest information in Europe.
Since 2007, when the Forest Focus Regulation expired, there have not been any harmonised EU forest reporting requirements. There is consequently no comparable and consistent information on the status of forests in the EU. The lack of harmonised data in certain areas does constitutes a major risk for EU forests, EU policy monitoring and the achievement of climate, biodiversity, rural development and sustainable bio-economy objectives.
The new initiative on forest monitoring and strategic plans will ensure that timely and accurate information on EU forests is available so that policymakers, foresters and land managers are able to take swift and decisive action in response to the new pressures on forests.
In addition to improving forest monitoring, this information will lead to more data-driven decision-making on forests. It is expected to increase public trust in forest management, reduce illegal logging, incentivise and reward more sustainable forest management, and support the adaptation of forests to climate change. It will also help deliver a Europe fit for the digital age as it will empower people, businesses and administrations by providing access to harmonised forest-related data and making better use of digital technologies.
Forest Information System for Europe
The Forest Information System for Europe (FISE) is the first common database on forest information in Europe. The web portal provides tailor-made information to national, EU and international policymakers, experts working in the forest industry, forest owners and conservationists, as well as scientists and researchers. FISE also draws data and information from the EU’s Earth observation and monitoring programme Copernicus.
Studies and publications
- Monitoring of Forests through Remote Sensing
- EEA State of Nature Report
- Report on the use of woody biomass for energy production in the EU
- Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services
- State of Europe’s Forests 2020
Visit the Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy to explore data and information on forestry biomass and the state of EU forests.
Related Commission Priorities:European Green Deal