C 51/98 EN 23.2.2000Official Journal of the European Communities1.2.3. The international forestry debate continued from 2.1.4. Some of the proposals made by the Committee in itsearlier own-initiative opinion(
) have been incorporated into1995 to 1997 in the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF),the work of which will be continued until the year 2000 by the forestry strategy. However, the opinion argued that tosafeguard the interests of the EU’s forestry sector, it wasthe Intergovernmental Forestry Forum (IFF). One of the mostimportant tasks of the IFF process is to reach agreement on an necessary among other things for all Community policies totake account of their impact on the forestry sector. The EUinternational, legally binding instrument. Such an instrumenthas a key role to play as it does not make sense to resolve also needs to substantially improve the coordination of EUforestry-related matters. These proposals have not been takensustainable forestry issues, such as trade, the environment andfunding, in a separate and fragmented way. The EU’s forestry into account in the forestry strategy.strategy also states that the Community supports the establish-ment of a global and legally binding instrument, whichaddresses the management, conservation and sustainabledevelopment of every kind of forest.2.2.
Added value from EU-level measures
1.2.4. Other imminent challenges for forestry policy atboth the European and international level include the roleplayed by forests in controlling climate change and the2.2.1. Although the subsidiarity principle should be retai-promotion of credible forest certification systems.ned when forestry issues are being considered, EU-levelcooperation can also be of benefit if Community-level actioncontributesadded valuetonationalmeasures. Theinvolvement1.2.5. During the enlargement negotiations, it must beof the Community in the forestry strategy is viewed asguaranteed that forestry in the Central and East Europeanbeneficial to rural development measures, protecting forestsCountries (the so-called CEEC countries) is conducted in afrom air pollution and forest fires, the development of long-termeconomically,environmentally,biologically,socially information and communication systems on forestry, researchand culturally sustainable way, and that, in this sense, the EU’sand development, and development cooperation, inter alia.forestry strategy is also implemented by these countries.Subjects of special concern to forestry include maintenance of the biological diversity of forests, promotion of the use of wood as a renewable natural resource and as an environmen-tally friendly energy source, preventing climate change, and2.
The European Union’s forestry strategy
forest certification compatible with European circumstances.2.2.2. The participation of the EU in international cooper-2.1.
Sustainable forestry and national forestry policies as a starting
ation at both the pan-European and global level will also
contribute essential added value by complementing nationalmeasures.2.1.1. The starting point of the EU’s forestry strategy isthe subsidiarity principle. This means that the sustainablemanagement and use of forests are the responsibility of 2.2.3. The EU’s forestry strategy does not address issuesnational forestry programmes and policies. The EU does not,concerning the forestry industry , as the Commission’s direc-therefore, have a common forestry policy along the lines of itstorate-general for enterprise has issued its own communi-common agricultural policy. As the Council of Ministers statescation(
) on the European forestry industry and on improvingin its resolution, forestry and commercial activity related toits competitiveness. In the Committee’s view it is, however,forests should remain market-based (point 14).important for forestry and the forestry industry to coordinatetheir work in the forestry sector. This is the most effective way of promoting the use of wood and other forestry products,2.1.2. It is extremely important that forestry strategy besuch as cork and resin as renewable and environmentally-based on the concept of sustainable forest managementfriendly natural resources and materials from both the econ-as defined in 1993 by the above-mentioned pan-Europeanomic and environmental point of view. An example of theministerial conference on the protection of forests. Sustainableadded value which could result from such cooperation wouldforestry consists of a balanced combination of ecological,be the drawing up of a publicity or information programme,economic, social and cultural activities.which would enable a wider public to be informed about theuse of renewablenaturalforest resourcesasa way of enhancingpeople’s well-being. One possible campaign of this kind would2.1.3. Although the forestry strategy is a very welcomebe to organise an EU year of forestry.document, it leaves open, inter alia, the question of how theforestry strategy will be implemented in the short- andlong-term. The only indication of concrete measures is madein Agenda 2000. In addition, the strategy lacks clear assess-ments and analyses of existing measures as well as any visionfor the future. Nor does it propose any concrete measures for
) OJ C 206, 7.7.1997.
solving current problems — instead it does little more than
) The state of the competitiveness of the EU forest-based and relatedindustries, 5.10.1999, COM (1999) 457.
list existing EU forestry sector measures.