Forests are essential for our health and wellbeing, and the health of the planet. They are rich in biodiversity and are hugely important in the fight against climate change. They provide us with clean water, food, medicines and materials, reduce the risk of disasters and stabilise soils.
Europe is one of the most forest-rich regions in the world. Yet, current forest management practices are not always in line with the need to ensure high biodiversity in woodland ecosystems. With an ever-increasing demand for timber, forests and their ecosystems continue to suffer from air and water pollution, habitat and biodiversity loss and encroaching urban areas.
The EU shares several forest-related competences with Member States, including environment, climate and agriculture. Whilst exercising these competences, the Union respects the principle of subsidiarity. In particular, forest protection is a fundamental part of EU environmental action and the EU’s competence founded on Articles 191-192 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU, as confirmed by the European Court of Justice.
The EU forest strategy for 2030 is one of the flagship initiatives of the European Green Deal. The strategy sets a vision and concrete actions to improve the quantity and quality of EU forests and strengthen their protection, restoration and resilience. It aims to adapt Europe’s forests to the new conditions, weather extremes and high uncertainty brought about by climate change.
As specified in the EU forest strategy to 2030, the EU aims to
- protect forests and the value of the many ecosystem services they provide
- plant at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030
- contribute to a modern, climate-neutral, resource-efficient and competitive economy
- preserve lively rural areas and help maintain wealthy rural populations
- ensure that products consumed in the EU do not contribute to global deforestation
Rules to guarantee that the products consumed in the EU do not contribute to global deforestation.
Ensuring that timely and accurate information on the condition and management of EU forests is available.
How the EU prevents and monitors wildfires and provides assistance when they strike.
Related Commission Priorities: European Green Deal
For questions about EU environmental policy, please contact Europe Direct.