Debate on the EU Forest Strategy in the European Parliament
The importance of forestry for jobs, growth, rural livelihoods and bioeconomy as well as concerns over negative impacts of the LULUCF climate proposal on the forest sector were some of the issues raised by MEPs in a debate on the EU Forest Strategy with Commissioner Phil Hogan.

The implementation of the EU Forest Strategy was the focus of a joint meeting between the agriculture, industry and environment committees held on 21 November 2016 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Commissioner Hogan emphasized in his introductory speech the importance of forestry and the forest-based sector for the priorities of the European Commission. The EU Forest Strategy address both the number one priority on jobs and growth, as well as priority number three on a sustainable energy union.

The Commissioner further stressed that integrated forest management is a key solution for long-term sustainable, multifunctional forests and that economic viability of the European forest sector is crucial for maintaining the multiple benefits that forests provide.

In the debate, a number of MEPs noted that the EU does not have competence to legislate on forestry, while many other policy areas have a big impact on forestry and the forest-based sector. Not the least the climate and energy policies, where many MEPs raised concerns over negative impacts of the current proposal on emissions and removals from land and forests (LULUCF), missing out on realising the full potential of the forest sector to contribute to climate change mitigation and developing the bioeconomy.

Watch the meeting here.