The new EU Forestry Strategy will include the planting of 3,000 million trees by 2030 to use “forests and other green infrastructures as natural solutions to climate change,” explained the Belgian spokesman for the EC for Climate Action and Energy, Tim McPhie.
During an interview with Efe, McPhie also pointed out that these plantations will also make it possible to face other types of “extreme events” such as the recent floods in Central Europe, which left nearly two hundred dead and an undetermined number of disappeared, in addition to significant material damage.
Framed in the European Green Deal and based on the EU Strategy on Biodiversity, the initiative was officially adopted this week, with the idea of increasing the number and quality of European forests and carrying out “an effective monitoring of the themselves “and a correct management of their raw materials.
In this way it is intended “to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality in 2050 in the EU”, according to the European Commission itself.
McPhie considers that forest management “continues to be a major challenge” for the Brussels authorities and is confident that the new Strategy can be successfully applied since, although the one that was in force so far “was on the right track” to the When it came to increasing forest populations, she believes that “she was not very ambitious in her actions.”
The 3 billion trees that the EC now aspires to plant will meet a series of requirements to ensure their roots, among which is that the forests are composed mainly of native species, combined with those that “contribute better to the strategic objectives”, such as the absorption of carbon or the drop in temperatures in urban areas.
It is about “promoting the planting of the correct tree in the correct place”, as the community spokesperson has defined it to Efe, since a series of studies has been carried out on “the specific trees that are most useful for cleaning the air compared to other trees” and other aspects such as, for example, the importance of the tree canopy in the process of regulating the ambient temperature.
One of the key elements to achieve the projected increase in forest area in Europe will be the collaboration of “landowners who are not necessarily forest”, as indicated by both McPhie and the draft of the European document.
To achieve greater cooperation and adoption of forestry practices by these owners, the EC spokesperson is committed to supporting the “combination of tree lines on farmland or along large infrastructure channels”.
It will also be “very important” the increase in forest populations in “urban and peri-urban areas”, as well as monitoring the development of both primary and mature forests and promoting the use of woody biomass “within the limits of sustainability.” And “efficient use of wood”.
For the success of this program, the European authorities “must undertake a good mapping and develop conservation management plans, apply them and monitor them to see and really learn about what is happening,” McPhie acknowledged.
If the plan is successful, in 2030 the European Union will have 10% of its surface area of strictly protected nature: currently, this percentage is 3% according to community data.
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