FSC has made this call in response to the new EU Forest Strategy, launched by the European Commission on 20 September 2013. The Council of Ministers is expected to respond to this strategy on behalf of the EU Member States in December, with the European Parliament set to follow early next year.
The new EU Forest Strategy replaces the one adopted in 1998, and the EU Forest Action Plan, which expired in 2011.
According to FSC, the Forest Strategy underlines the importance of the forest sector in the EU for both the economy and the environment. It emphasizes the sector’s important contribution as a source of raw materials for many industries, including energy production and emerging sectors such as bio-chemicals. FSC welcomes the Forest Strategy’s focus on both sustainable forest management and resource efficiency, particularly in light of the large expected increase in demand for forest biomass for energy production.
However, FSC deplores the Commission for not including forest certification in its analysis of the current situation or the formulation of future policies.
John Hontelez, FSC’s Chief Advocacy Officer, says: “more than 50 percent of the EU’s forest territory is certified either by FSC, or by a member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, or both. Given the Commission’s concerns about forest management, and its intention to develop sustainable forest management criteria next year, it is remarkable that it has not announced an assessment of these systems or their impacts. Moreover, the Strategy ignores the role of such schemes in driving markets towards sustainable sourcing of forest materials.”
FSC has produced a position paper in response to the Forest Strategy, in which it calls upon the Council and the Parliament to encourage the Commission to pay more attention to certification, and makes specific proposals for action. The position paper can be found below.
Proposals for the responses of the Council of Ministers and European Parliament to the EU Forest Strategy
John Hontelez, FSC Chief Advocacy Officer
About The Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. Our vision is to ensure that the world’s forests meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations. FSC runs a global forest certification system with three key components: Forest Management, Chain of Custody certification and Trademark Licensing. This system allows consumers to identify, purchase and use timber and forest products produced from well-managed forests. For more information, visit www.fsc.org.
For general media requests, please contact:
FSC Communications Manager, Lisa Smyth, at communications at fsc point org or on +49 (0)228 36766 (ext. 23).