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New ideas for Forest Governance in Europe


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A high-level seminar on European Forest Governance: Issues at Stake and the Way Forward brought together a full house of leading forest policy scientists and decision makers to discuss the European architecture of forest-related policies and mechanisms. The interim results of the ThinkForest study on Forest Governance in Europe, the first study to systematically collect knowledge about the current status of European governance and new and innovative ideas on how to alleviate policy problems, were presented at the event.

European forest governance has become increasingly complex over recent decades, comprising a multitude of actors, policy arenas and an ever growing number of policies and instruments that directly or indirectly address and impact on forests and forestry in the European Union and beyond. The ThinkForest study has concentrated on assessing the framework of European forest governance and analyzing and reflecting on potential new approaches for forest policy cohesion and effectiveness.

"Europe's forests are in a very good state, but we need new solutions to deal with new challenges" declared Mr. Gerhard Mannsberger from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.

“The study on European forest governance is a timely initiative. It is a scientific contribution for managing complexity in a time of increasing interest in forests” said the Chair of the study, Dr. Peter Mayer.

A number of challenges and different tools were also examined during panel discussions at the seminar, which took place on 9 January in the European Parliament in Brussels, and ideas to overcome problems in forest governance were exchanged. The general agreement seemed to be that actions are needed on forest governance in Europe.

The seminar was co-organized by a high-level discussion and information-sharing forum on the future of forests in Europe – ThinkForest and the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development. ThinkForest aims to provide an active and efficient science-policy interface and foster an inspiring and dynamic dialogue on strategic forest-related issues.

The event was facilitated by the European Forest Institute, an independent, international organization .

Further information

Dr. Marc Palahí, Deputy Director, European Forest Institute, tel. +34 630 23 69 12

  • A detailed programme from the event is available in English and in French.

Photo: F. Radermecker