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Ernst Schulte, European Commission, DG Environment

Green Paper on forest protection and information: Preparing forests for climate change ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the European Forest Institute 15 September 2010 Dresden Ernst Schulte, European Commission, DG Environment Afforestation Cork production

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Ernst Schulte, European Commission, DG Environment

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  1. Green Paper on forest protection and information: Preparing forests for climate changeANNUAL CONFERENCEof the European Forest Institute15 September 2010Dresden Ernst Schulte, European Commission, DG Environment

  2. Afforestation Cork production Regulation on monitoring of atmospheric pollution Green Paper on forest protection & information EU Forestry Strategy Rural Development 1957 1987 1992 1998 2003 2006 Forest Action Plan + Stronger RDR + LIFE+ Regulation European Communities No systematic approach to forestry Forest Focus Regulation Regulations on forest fire protectionand monitoring Forestry measures related to CAP reform EU Involvement in forest issues: Historical Overview 2010 European Commission, DG Environment — Unit B1

  3. Basis of the Green Paper • EU Forest Action Plan • Key action 6 : EU compliance with UNFCCC/Kyoto Protocol + adaptation to the effects of climate change • Key action 8 : Work towards a European Forest Monitoring System • Key action 9: Enhance the protection of EU forests • Commission White Paper on adaptation to climate change – COM(2009)147 • Asks for establishing an EU Framework for Action, • Launching a debate on forest protection and information and • Adapting the EU Forestry Strategy

  4. What is at stake ? • Trees and soil as sinks or sources of carbon • Output of forest products that can act as sink during their useful life • High expectations for bio-energy supply, especially with current bio-energy debate • Ecological functions that are essential to the earth’s life supporting systems (70% of species threatened by loss of their habitat) Protecting forests = both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change

  5. Functions of EU forests “Diversity supports multifunctionality” • Socio- Economic functions : • Forest based industry = 10 % of EU manfacturing/2.5 million jobs • Large downstream value chain • Possible imbalance supply/demand > bio-energy 2020 • Local importance on non wood forest products • Important landscape element (tourism/property value) • « Green infrastructure » protects settlements • Environmental functions – ecosystem services: • Forests protect soil • Forests protect water quality and regulate water quantity • Forests are a major repository of terrestrial biodiversity • Forests regulate climate and weather • Forests as carbon stocks

  6. Forest Protection Challenges • Forest fires , mainly in Southern Europe • Storms and windthrow more frequent • invasive alien species, incl. exotic trees, new pests • Fragmentation of ecosystems and holdings • Changes in water regime • Excessive game density • Decline of genetic resources • Scarcity of undisturbed areas • Impacts of forest management • Forest « dieback » at regional level loss of biodiversity and carbon forest functions at risk

  7. Impacts of climate change on forests • Increase in water stress • Increased risk of storm damage • Increased fire risk in terms of frequency and scale • Changes in nutrient balance in soils • Northward/altitude migration of tree species as well as other organisms • Increase in insect outbreaks , e.g. of bark beetles • Increase of pests • Forest dieback, including damage caused by game and invasive alien species Rapid changes may affect ecosystem stability and forest functions

  8. KIPKE BOB BOB KIPKE KIPKE BOB BOB KIPKE GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS KIPKE BOB KIPKE BOB BOB KIPKE BOB KIPKE GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS 2000 2000 2000 2000 2001 2001 2001 2001 Tools available now EU policies: EU Forest Strategy, FAP, CAP (rural development), Natura Directives, Forest based industries, FP7, climate policy, energy, plant health, etc National policies: National and regional forest programmes, including forest protection plans, national forest inventories, management requirements, legal provisions, etc Forest management: afforestation, fire and storm prevention & restoration, overall planning with the aim to guarantee multi-functionality of forests

  9. NFIs Forest types (EEA) Current forest information sources IACS European Forest Data Centre & European Forest Information and Communication Platform Forest condition Forest classification

  10. Future forest information needs Possible forest reporting requirements after 2013 could target on: • A harmonization of definitions and forest inventory systems which assures compatibility and comparability • An agreement on a forest typology • Assuring continuity of the forest conditionmonitoring, including information on climate (carbon contents of soils), biodiversity (incl. Wilderness and forest fragmentation aspects) and biomass • Assuring continuation of efficient forest fire monitoring and disaster prevention

  11. Recent relevant Council conclusions: International biodiversity beyond 2010 of 22 December 2009 Biodiversity post-2010 of 15 March 2010 forest fire prevention within the European Union of 26 April 2010 Preparing forests for climate change: Forest protection and information in the EU of 11 June 2010 Mar-14 DG Environment — Unit B1 11

  12. Where are we ? International forest protection conference, Valsain/Spain, April 2010 Green Week and forest side session of 3 June 2010 Public consultation on the Green Paper (ended in July 2010) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/fprotection.htm Public consultation on biodiversity (ends 22 October 2010) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/biodecline.htm

  13. Green Paper public consultation 254 replies to the consultations were regrouped into the following categories Business and industry (48) Governmental and public bodies (55) NGOs (40) Private and forest owners (90) Research and academia (21) Analysis started in September 2010 Results expected end of 2010/beginning of 2011 Mar-14 DG Environment — Unit B1 13

  14. A POLICY PROCESS • Studies: storms, forest fires, forest protection, dieback, protective functions, biotic agents, … • Valsain Declaration on forest protection of 6 April 2010 • Council conclusions, Forest Strategy and Forest Action Plan • Opinions/resolutions from the Parliament, CoR, EESC • Report on public consultation (2010/2011) • White paper on forest protection and information (2011) • Legislative proposal (2012) • update of the EU Forest Strategy on climate related aspects

  15. Thank you for your attention ! Mar-14 DG Environment — Unit B1 15

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