The EU Council has urged Member States, the European Commission, regional and local administrations and the private sector to support forest-related activities in the context of the International Year of Forests.
Regional and sub-regional forest dialogues, such as those established in the Baltics, South-East Europe or more recently in the Mediterranean, are recognised by the Council as vital in fostering sustainable forest management. The Council also underlines the need to further strengthen international cooperation and action at all levels to combat deforestation and forest degradation.
The Council conclusions, adopted at a Council meeting on 24 January ahead of the EU’s participation in the 9th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, specifically call for the strengthening of forest governance and effective action against illegal logging and related trade.
Activities should also be coordinated with other forest-related conventions, agreements and processes, according to the Council.
The €6 million ENPI Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) programme (implemented by IUCN, the World Bank and WWF) for example supports governments, civil society and the private sector in the development of sound and sustainable forest management practices, including the prevention of illegal forestry activities. Participating countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.