The European Union (EU) has endorsed a new Forest Strategy for 2030 that aims to protect old forests
The European Union has approved a new Forest Strategy for 2030 that sets out plans to protect old forests and plant 3 billion new trees. This initiative is aimed at helping the EU achieve its climate change goals.
The European Union (EU) has endorsed a new Forest Strategy for 2030 that aims to protect old forests and plant 3 billion new trees, as well as to avoid clear-cuts where possible. The new strategy was endorsed on Wednesday and was presented on Friday by Lithuanian EU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius, who is responsible for environment, oceans, and fisheries.
The main principle of the strategy is that forests play a vital role in achieving the EU's climate change goals. According to Sinkevicius, if the forest ecosystem is of poor quality, it cannot store CO2 effectively, which is why the EU wants to ensure that forests are protected and preserved.
One of the strategy's key goals is the strong protection of Europe's old forests, which is expected to be implemented by the end of this year. "We are speaking about those 3 percent of the remaining old forests. Naturally, that protection is necessary. By the end of this year, we will complete the definition and together with other member states we will define where those forests are and, of course, we will ensure their proper protection," Sinkevicius said.
The second major goal of the strategy is to plant 3 billion trees over the next decade. "We need to do that based on environmental principles as several planted trees do not become a forest. Therefore, we want to stress not only the importance of planting trees but also the fact that only a fully-established ecosystem can be called a forest," he said.
A platform will be launched as early as October to identify territories where trees can be planted. Public organizations, institutions, and other organizations will be able to participate in this project.
Some parts of the new strategy will remain as recommendations for member states, as they cannot be applied universally to all 27 EU member states. However, the remaining provisions, such as the protection of old forests, will be mandatory and clearly defined.
The new Forest Strategy is part of the European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The EU has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
The Forest Strategy is an essential part of this goal, as forests are the most significant carbon sink in Europe, absorbing about 10% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. Protecting and expanding forests will help to achieve the EU's climate targets and promote biodiversity.
The EU's commitment to protecting old forests and planting new trees is a crucial step towards achieving a sustainable and environmentally friendly future. With the EU's endorsement of the new Forest Strategy, it is clear that Europe is taking significant steps towards reducing its carbon footprint and achieving its climate goals.
We thought you would love to hear about the most ancient forests in Europe. Here are five of Europe's most ancient forests:
1. Białowieża Forest:
Located in Poland and Belarus, this forest is known for its ancient woodland, which has been continuously present for at least 10,000 years. It is home to the European bison, wolves, and lynx.
2. Serrahn Beech Forest:
Located in Germany, this forest is over 8000 years old and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is home to ancient beech trees, as well as other rare species of plants and animals.
3. Fontainebleau Forest:
Located in France, this forest has been around for over 20,000 years and was a popular hunting ground for French royalty. It is home to over 8,000 species of plants and animals.
4. Black Forest:
Located in Germany, this forest is over 6,000 years old and is known for its tall trees and picturesque landscapes. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, boars, and foxes.
5. Belasica Mountain Forest:
Located in Bulgaria, this forest is over 50 million years old and is one of the oldest in Europe. It is home to over 100 species of birds, as well as bears, wolves, and lynx.