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EDP MEPs score big wins in European Parliament plenary votes

Forester

A New EU Forest Strategy for 2030 was adopted this afternoon in the parliament plenary session, a big win for EDP Executive Vice-President and MEP Ulrike Müller who served as the parliament’s rapporteur for the strategy. Today’s vote in the European Parliament plenary was 417 votes in favour to 144 against with 67 abstentions for the resolution on “A New EU Forest Strategy for 2030 – Sustainable Forest Management in Europe”.

By adopting the text, Europe with take a much needed step to meet Green Deal aims for the climate. The strategy is set to be developed with forests owners, with the European Parliament saying that sustainable management of EU forests takes into account local conditions and concerns and ideas from forest owners.

Commenting on the session, Müller noted that forests face “more challenges and expectations than ever, and not only due to climate change.” She added: "We need the new EU forest strategy to achieve policy coherence on all levels to enable forests and foresters to meet these challenges and expectations. To deliver, the strategy must build on the principles of multi-functionality, sustainable forest management, owners and foresters as key pillars of implementation, and on a bottom-up approach to reflect the local uniqueness of all forests.”

According to the European Parliament press release, “MEPs stress that forests are essential for providing both ecosystem services and jobs in the EU.” In addition, “Only dynamic sustainable active management of forests will allow for their resilience and successful adaptation the changing climate, stresses the adopted text. At the same time, diversity of forests, climate conditions, ownership patterns and forms of governance around the EU require this management be developed nationally, regionally and locally, hand in hand with forest owners, add MEPs. In this regard, support programmes, voluntary payment for ecosystem services schemes and research funding should be made available especially for small-holders of forests, requests the Parliament.

A reaction to the European Commission New EU Forest Strategy for 2030 dated 16 July 2021, the Commission strategy sets actions for increasing the quantity and quality of forests in the EU and strengthening their protection, restoration and resilience.

Deforestation regulation approved.

Along with the EU forest strategy, the parliament also voted in favour of a regulation on deforestation. Commenting on the pass of this crucial rule, which came out of the Parliamentary Environment Committee (ENVI), regulation is designed to minimise the risk of global deforestation and forest degradation linked to with products placed on the EU market as well as export from the Union products connected to deforestation and forest degradation. It does this by imposing on operators and traders a duty of due diligence throughout the supply chain. The legislation matters because European consumers account for 17% of tropical deforestation linked to internationally traded commodities such as meat, palm oil, soy, coffee and cocoa.

Commenting on the result, EDP MEP Catherine Chabaud (Mouvement Démocrate) tweeted immediately after the vote : “Stronger together (EU). Our vote on imported deforestation illustrates the positive impact we can have as European citizens. May we do the same to preserve the ocean and turn the EU towards the sea.”