21st March 2021
The International Day of Forests on the 21th of March is an annual celebration of the world’s incredible forests. This celebration was created in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
The value of old-growth forests
The protection and safeguarding of old-growth forests plays a key role on the mitigation of the climate and biodiversity crisis we face today. Preserving and restoring forest ecosystems can be one of the most effective and cheapest ways to combat climate change. It also contributes to boosting wildlife population and helping the land adapt to changing climate conditions. Old-growth forests also provide important ecosystem services such as filtering and storing freshwater, shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.
Old-growth forests can continue to accumulate carbon, contrary to the long-standing view that they are carbon neutral. Further, another study found that natural forests can store more carbon for longer compared to plantations and agroforestry, having a carbon sequestration potential 6 times better than agroforestry and 40 times greater than plantations. Specifically, the aim of BEECH POWER is the conservation of UNESCO World Heritage Beech Forests through improving protected area management capacities and empowering local communities, to promote long-term ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and provide stepping stones for shifting species.
Contribute to the EU Forest Strategy
When the European Commission announced the European Green Deal, it included the announcement for a new EU Forest Strategy. This European Commission experts will develop this EU Forest Strategy in a way to comply and align with the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. It will include all topics related to the forest cycle and promote forest ecosystem services. The aim of the strategy is to ensure healthy and resilient forests. This is for example necessary to halt biodiversity loss and mitigate climate change. Such healthy forests also help to reduce and control natural disasters and offer opportunities for local development to secure livelihoods. Furthermore it can even offer solutions to circular bio-economy.
The EU Forest Strategy is planned to support the international efforts to halt biodiversity decline, ensure sustainable usage of natural resources, and other international commitments. Furthermore, it will become a basis upon which a clear, consistent and holistic approach is formed for international cooperation and leadership to achieve these goals. With the public consultation, the European Commission would like to gather your opinions. This will help on how to concretely shape the strategy within this framework.
Let your voice be heard
The European Commission conducts the public consultation between 25th January 2021 – 19th April 2021. If you are unable to complete the questionnaire online, you can contact the European Commission directly via the email address provided on their website. Also, you can take the questionnaire in various languages.
The BEECH POWER team encourages all European citizens to participate in this consultation. All across Europe, forests are under pressure from extensive exploitation. The deforestation rates in Europe, and across the entire world for that matter, continue to be alarmingly high. Support the initiatives that try to protect and preserve the last remaining natural forests.