The Council Conclusions on EU Forest Action Plan were adopted today in the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in response to the Commission Communication on an EU Forest Action Plan for the period 2007-2011. The Communication was presented to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 19th June 2006.
The conclusions emphasize the synergy between the EU Forest Action Plan and other relevant Community initiatives and strategies. The Council invites the Commission and Member States to jointly implement the key actions set out in the Forest Action Plan. Among other things, the Commission and Member States are invited to strengthen forest-related research and innovation, to increase the use of forest biomass in energy production, to further elaborate a European forest monitoring system and to promote wood as a renewable raw material.
Forest sector is also encouraged to contribute to the mitigation for and adaptation to climate change, as well as to work towards achieving EU biodiversity objectives. Member States and Commission are asked to continue the efforts to combat trade in illegally logged timber and to exchange ideas and experiences on national public procurement criteria for timber and consider the possibility of achieving better compatibility.
Member States are asked to incorporate the key actions set out in the Action Plan into their national strategies, to foster cooperation and education of forest owners and to make the best use of Community forestry measures and instruments
The Commission is invited to further improve coordination and cooperation between various fields of Community policy that are relevant to forests, to strengthen the role of the Standing Forestry Committee and to improve its working methods regarding forestry issues.
The implementation of the EU Forest Action Plan in 2007-2011 will be based on a work programme to be dealt within the Standing Forestry Committee. A mid-term evaluation will be carried out in 2009 and a final report on the implementation of the Action Plan will be presented to the Council in 2012.
senior adviser Kaisa Pirkola, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 40 759 7936